Lori Pbert, Ph.D., is a tenured professor in the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences and the Department of Medicine, Associate Chief of the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, and founder and director of the Center for Tobacco Treatment Research and Training at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Dr. Pbert is a clinical psychologist and behavioral scientist with over 30 years of experience designing and evaluating pragmatic, sustainable approaches to integrating preventive health interventions into existing clinical practice to inform evidence-based guidelines and best practices. Dr. Pbert’s research program is in tobacco and obesity prevention and treatment with a focus on youth and families, the development of clinician-delivered preventive health intervention protocols within primary care settings, and the establishment of clinical-community linkages and adjunct approaches to support clinic-based health promotion and disease prevention efforts. Her current NIH-funded research includes evaluating the effectiveness of a telephonic coaching program as an adjunct to pediatric office-based intervention to help families of children with overweight and obesity make recommended changes in diet and physical activity; mindfulness training as an adjunct to medical care in managing symptoms and improving quality of life in adults with asthma; and school-based interventions to improve self-regulation and cardiovascular health behaviors in adolescents. Dr. Pbert’s work also has included the development of measures to assess clinician delivery of evidence-based clinical preventive services, including early work that demonstrated the validity of patient exit interviews compared with an objective assessment of the physician-patient interaction, contributing to patient reports being valued as a valid measure of systems performance and medical care process.
Dr. Pbert is nationally recognized as an expert in adolescent tobacco treatment. As a founding member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Center for Child Health Research Tobacco Consortium, Dr. Pbert led the Consortium’s efforts to review and synthesize the literature to develop and disseminate recommendations for the treatment of tobacco use and exposure among youth within pediatric practice. Dr. Pbert’s own protocols to prevent and treat nicotine dependence in adolescents have been disseminated as an NCI Research-tested Intervention Program and a Health Care Innovation, the latter cited in the 2012 Surgeon General’s Report on Preventing Tobacco Use among Youth and Young Adults to inform clinical recommendations.
Dr. Pbert has been recognized with numerous awards for outstanding research as well as for mentoring the future cadre of preventive health investigators, including the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s Distinguished Mentor Award and the Outstanding Mentoring to Women Faculty Award by the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Pbert is a fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and was elected to the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research for her significant contributions to the field and for her influence on the work of other scientists. Dr. Pbert was appointed to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in January 2019.