The 2015 Joseph W. Cullen Memorial Award for Excellence in Tobacco Research has been awarded to Dr. Cheryl L. Perry, Rockwell Distinguished Chair in Society and Health in the department of health promotion and behavioral sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health Austin Regional Campus. She is also regional dean of the Austin Regional Campus.
[Photo: Dr. Cheryl L. Perry]
Dr. Perry has more than 36 years of experience in the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of school, family, and community programs for young people. These primarily have involved group-randomized trials funded by the National Institutes of Health to prevent the onset of tobacco, alcohol, and drug use; and the promotion of healthy eating and physical activity. She was the principal investigator of the Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health (CATCH), Project Northland, the Minnesota Smoking Prevention Program, 5-A-Day Power Plus, D.A.R.E. Plus, and Project MYTRI (India). All of these trials demonstrated significant outcomes in terms of behavior change among children and adolescents. Dr. Perry has been involved in tobacco use prevention with young people for her entire career. She served as the senior scientific editor for the 1994 and 2012 Surgeon General’s Reports on tobacco use among youth and young adults. She is currently one of the senior scientific editors for the upcoming 2016 Surgeon General’s Report on E-cigarettes. She testified as a key witness for the State of Minnesota in the state’s tobacco trial in 1998 against the tobacco companies. Dr. Perry is co-investigator on an NIH-funded school-randomized trial on tobacco use and physical activity among youth in Uruguay, and on a Texas State Department of Health Services project to reduce tobacco use among college students. She serves as the principal investigator of the Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science on Youth and Young Adults.
A summary of Perry’s leadership in tobacco research includes:
The award was created in memory of Dr. Joseph W. Cullen, former coordinator of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Smoking Tobacco and Cancer Programs and pioneer of one of the largest tobacco intervention programs in the world, and it recognizes distinguished leaders in tobacco control, research, prevention, and program development. The annual award honors those with programs that broadly affect public health through policy and innovative initiatives.