Message from the Austin regional dean

Photo of Cheryl PerryThe faculty members at the Austin campus of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health bring a wealth of expertise and experience into the classroom. They include international experts in health promotion, nutrition, tobacco and physical activity. Campus research interests include obesity prevention, international tobacco control, tobacco regulatory sciences, physical activity promotion and public health economics. UTHealth School of Public Health in Austin is the headquarters for the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living and the Tobacco Center of Regulatory Sciences on Youth and Young Adults.

The Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, funded by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, has a vision of ‘healthy children in a healthy world’ and a mission to serve as a state, national and international leader in the promotion of healthy living. The center seeks to achieve this by the prevention and control of childhood obesity through healthy eating and physical activity, promotion of healthy living behaviors in youth, policy and environmental change, and professional education and community service.  Drs. Deanna Hoelscher and Steve Kelder are the co-Directors of this Center. The Dell Center for Healthy Living supports new research, provides pre- and post-doctoral training opportunities, educates the public about healthy living topics such as childhood obesity, and creates a community of scholars and community members devoted to improving child health.

In September 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with the NIH, funded 14 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Sciences (TCORS) to inform the FDA of scientific evidence to extend their future regulatory authority over tobacco products. The Tobacco Center of Regulatory Sciences on Youth and Young Adults is our research center housed at the Austin Campus and is funded from 2013-2018. Dr. Cheryl Perry and Dr. Melissa Harrell are the director and associate director for this center. This center aims to study tobacco use, particularly of non-cigarette products, among youth and young adults in Texas. The center is a collaboration of four institutions: UTHealth School of Public Health, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Rutgers School of Public Health. The center consists of three large RO1 research projects, and four “cores” to support and extend that research. Currently, the center is developing courses to create a concentration in Tobacco Regulatory Science to be offered at UTHealth School of Public Health. The center will also sponsor fellowships, lectureships, and pilot grant opportunities over the next five years.

As a center of high tech industry, home to one of the country’s largest universities, and the seat of Texas government, Austin offers professional, social and recreational opportunities for every taste. The weather is mild and perfect for outdoor sports 10 months out of the year — water sports, including swimming at Barton Springs and boating on the various local lakes, are very popular, as are cycling and jogging. Austin is also home to some of the best music in the U.S. including SXSW and ACL Festivals.

We believe, and we hope you will concur, that the entire UTHealth School of Public Health in Austin package (its considerable academic, cultural and intellectual resources, its world class faculty and the highly sought-after lifestyle of the community) makes UTHealth School of Public Health campus in Austin a highly attractive venue to further your education.


Cheryl L. Perry, PhD
Professor and Regional Dean
The Rockwell Distinguished Chair in Society and Health