About the Scientific Advisory Council

The Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living’s Scientific Advisory Council consisted of five national experts in child health, nutrition, physical activity, and obesity from 2008-2018. The Scientific Advisory Council provided guidance and offered suggestions to the Center’s Executive Committee and faculty on setting a research agenda in child and adolescent health, guidance to create evidence-based Center projects and activities, and overall strategic direction to the Center, including input on funding, publication, and other goals for future years. 

These experts were beneficial to the Center since childhood obesity is one of the most significant public health problems that we face, and the Center is charged to provide an opportunity to advance the field to make a significant impact. The Council members were essential to provide a vision for the Center’s future, along with an astute perspective on the past. Council members attended an annual two-day meeting to provide suggestions and expertise to help guide the Center’s future direction and development.

Scientific Advisory Council

Tony BiglanAnthony Biglan, PhD

Senior Scientist
Oregon Research Institute

Anthony Biglan, PhD, is a Senior Scientist at Oregon Research Institute and a leading figure in the development of prevention science. His research over the past 30 years has helped to identify effective family, school, and community interventions to prevent the most common and costly problems of childhood and adolescence. He is a leader in efforts to use prevention science to build more nurturing families, schools, and communities, throughout the world. Dr. Biglan is a former president of the Society for Prevention Research.

In recent years, his work has shifted to comprehensive interventions with the potential to prevent the entire range of child and adolescent problems. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Prevention, which released its report in 2009 documenting numerous evidence-based preventive interventions that can prevent multiple problems. His recent review of preventive interventions concluded that diverse psychological, behavioral, and health problems can be prevented through the promotion of nurturing families, schools, and communities. Dr. Biglan’s book, The Nurture Effect: How the science of human behavior can improve our lives and our world (New Harbinger Publications) is a union of his experience and knowledge and experimental evidence stressing the importance of nurturing in raising happy children who become thriving and successful as adults. The book will be available in spring of 2015.

Dr. Biglan was an expert witness in the U. S. Department of Justice lawsuit against the tobacco companies from 2001 to 2005. He is Past President of the Society for Prevention Research and has been a board member from 1998 to 2009.

John ElderJohn Elder, PhD

San Diego State University

John Elder is Distinguished Professor of Public Health at San Diego State University and Adjunct Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California-San Diego.

His research interests include behavior modification applied to health promotion, prevention of chronic disease risks in the Latino community, and child survival and infectious disease control in developing countries. He currently serves as Principal Investigator of two NIH funded projects, including a community trial examining obesity prevention and control for Hispanic families and their preschool children.. He is also Co-PI of an NIH-funded study examining dengue outbreaks and human behavior in the Amazon region of Peru. Dr. Elder has consulted for USAID, the Department of Defense, the Rockefeller Foundation and WHO projects in 32 different countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe, working in the areas of child survival, MCH, AIDS/HIV, dengue fever control, research design, and health communication.

Dr. Elder received his Bachelors degree from The University of Nebraska, his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from West Virginia University and his Master of Public Health/ International Health from Boston University.

Russell LuepkerRussell Luepker, MD, MS

Mayo Professor
University of Minnesota 

Dr. Luepker is a Professor at The University of Minnesota, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health and the Director of the Graduate Certificate program in Clinical Research.

His research interests include cardiovascular disease epidemiology and prevention, health behavior, community and clinical trials. He has worked in community approaches to disease prevention. He served as Principal Investigator of the Minnesota Heart Health Program, a community-wide effort to reduce cardiovascular risk. This included work with the general population, high-risk groups and youth, along with a focus on screening as a method for detection and education of high-risk and average-risk individuals.

Dr. Luepker is the past Head of the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at The University of Minnesota (1991-2004). He chaired the Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health (CATCH) Steering Committee, the Rapid Early Action Coronary Treatment (REACT) Steering Committee, and the NHLBI advisory boards of the Honolulu Health Study and the Framingham Study. He is a member of the National Cholesterol Education Program, ATP III Committee and the American Heart Association. Dr. Luepker is the treasurer and membership coordinator of the International Society of Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention (ISCEP).

Dr. Luepker received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Grinnell College, his Masters of Science in Epidemiology from Harvard University, and his medical degree from The University of Rochester. He trained in internal medicine and cardiology at UCSD and Harvard.

Jim SallisJames F. Sallis, PhD

Distinguished Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine
Director, Active Living Research
University of California, San Diego

Dr. Sallis is a Distinguished Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego and Program Director of Active Living Research.

Dr Sallis has dedicated his career to preventing chronic diseases through health behavior change. His research interests include identifying correlates of physical activity, intervention, and advocacy, measurement development, interventions, ethnically diverse populations, school programs, adolescent health, and project management. His focus is on improving built environments and policies to support healthy behaviors in whole populations.

Dr. Sallis has worked with multiple community agencies and has written about community youth physical activity promotion. He is a frequent consultant to government agencies, research programs, health organizations, and corporations through the United States and internationally. He served on the editorial committee for the 1996 US Surgeon General's Report Physical Activity and Health and is on the editorial boards of several journals.

Dr. Sallis received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Psychology from Belhaven College, his Master of Science in Psychology and doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from Memphis State University. He interned in Clinical Psychology at Brown University and was a post-doctoral fellow in cardiovascular disease prevention and epidemiology at the Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention.

Mary StoryMary Story, PhD, RD

Professor of Global Health and Community and Family Medicine
Director, Healthy Eating Research
Duke University 

Mary Story, Ph.D., R.D. is a Professor in Community and Family Medicine, and Global Health at Duke University, and is the Associate Director of Academic Programs at the Duke Global Health Institute. Prior to coming to Duke in January 2014, she was Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs and Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health in the School of Public Health, University of Minnesota. She is the director of the National Program Office for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy Eating Research program.

Her research has focused primarily on nutrition and diet-related issues of low-income and minority youth and their families, and environmental and behavioral prevention interventions for youth. Dr. Story has conducted several NIH funded school and community-based obesity prevention trials. She has over 430 scientific publications in the area of child and adolescent nutrition and obesity. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine and is currently on the IOM Food and Nutrition Board and Co-Vice Chair of the IOM Roundtable on Obesity Solutions. She served on the USDHHS/USDA 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. She is also a member of the Policy and Prevention Steering Group, World Obesity Federation. She has received several awards for her research and work including the CDC, Weight of the Nation 2012 Pioneering Innovation Award for Applied Obesity Research and most recently the 2014 Bar-Or Award for Excellence in Pediatric Obesity Research from The Obesity Society.

Dr. Story received her doctorate in Human Nutrition Science from The Florida State University. She is also a Registered Dietician.