Liz Klein named chair of Health Behavior and Health Promotion

A faculty member since 2008, Klein takes helm during time of growth

  • Misti Crane
August 9, 2022
Liz Klein

Professor Liz Klein has been named chair of the Division of Health Behavior and Health Promotion. Klein, who joined the College of Public Health faculty in 2008, has been actively involved in public health since 1995 and is a self-described “public health lifer.”

Her research has focused on policy change strategies to prevent chronic disease, with a focus on understanding tobacco and e-cigarette use and exploring policy interventions, particularly in young people. In 2020, this work earned her a Fulbright Distinguished Chair Award to Adelaide, Australia for an innovative project using eye-tracking methods (near-infrared cameras that capture precise eye movements when viewing content on a screen) to study attention to health messages within reproductive-age female smokers.

A behavioral epidemiologist, Klein has worked in research, and in practice, in a range of settings, and brings those real-world experiences into the classroom, allowing her students to make the academic-practice connection.

The theme of her research agenda is the use of a multi-level, social-ecological approach in the prevention or reduction of tobacco use, with a particular interest in understanding the role of policy, systems and environmental change strategies and their influence on population health behavior, particularly tobacco use.  

Klein served as interim chair of the Division of Health Behavior and Health Promotion (HBHP) prior to her trip to Australia.

"Liz has demonstrated leadership strength and is well-positioned to take the division into the future, growing its breadth of expertise and supporting the existing research, teaching, and advocacy work of the current faculty," said Dean Amy Fairchild.

Klein is entering the role during a time of growth for HBHP, with three new faculty starting this fall: Gia Barboza-Salerno, Ashleigh LoVette and Joanne Patterson. She is also leading the search for a provost’s tenure-track fellow to faculty scholar, a position for an early career health behavior scientist focused on the health disparities and health equity, and the impact of trauma on different health outcomes.

“It is an exciting time of growth for HBHP.  I look forward to expanding our community-focused research and broadening our curriculum with the best practices in behavioral science.  Our faculty and students work hard to address a wide range of health disparities in research and practice, and I am eager to take on this leadership role to support this important work,” Klein said.

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About The Ohio State University College of Public Health

The Ohio State University College of Public Health is a leader in educating students, creating new knowledge through research, and improving the livelihoods and well-being of people in Ohio and beyond.  The College's divisions include biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health behavior and health promotion, and health services management and policy.   It is ranked 19th among all colleges of public health in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report, and also includes the top 7-ranked MHA degree program.  The College provides leadership and expertise for Ohio and the world through its Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Evaluation Studies (HOPES) and Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP).