Research Team


Core members of the Youth Smoking and the Media Research Team include:
Melanie Wakefield (Cancer Council Victoria)
Frank Chaloupka (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Brian Flay (Oregon State University)
George Balch (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Katherine Clegg Smith (Johns Hopkins University)
Sherry Emery (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Henry Saffer (National Bureau of Economic Research)
Glen Szczypka (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Lloyd Johnston (University of Michigan)
Sandy Slater (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Yvonne M. Terry-McElrath (University of Michigan)


Melanie Wakefield PhD
Professor Wakefield is the PI on this project. She is Director, Center for Behavioral Research in Cancer at the Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne, Australia and she is a Visiting Research Scientist at the Institute for Health Research and Policy at UIC. She is also a NHMRC Principal Research Fellow. She is a behavioral scientist specializing in cancer control research, with a particular interest in tobacco control. Prof. Wakefield obtained a Master of Arts degree in applied psychology in 1988 and a PhD in community medicine from the University of Adelaide, Australia. She is author of over 130 peer-reviewed journal publications and Deputy Editor of the journal Tobacco Control. Her research interests particularly include assessing effects of anti-smoking advertising campaigns, studying patterns of news coverage on tobacco issues, and evaluating effects of smoke-free policies on smoking behavior and exposure to secondhand smoke.

Telephone: Intl+ 61-3-9635 5046
Email: [email protected]

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Frank Chaloupka PhD
Dr. Chaloupka is Director of ImpacTeen and a PI on this project. He is a professor of economics in the department of economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Business Administration and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research Health Economics Program. He received his doctorate in economics from the City University of New York Graduate School in 1988. Dr. Chaloupka’s research focuses on the economic analysis of substance use and abuse, primarily among youth and young adults. He has conducted extensive research on the effects of prices and substance control policies on the demands for tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs, and on related outcomes. Dr. Chaloupka has published many articles in such journals as the Journal of Political Economy, American Economic Review, Journal of Health Economics, Economic Inquiry, Eastern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Journal, and Contemporary Economic Policy; and numerous book chapters and working papers.

Telephone: 312.413.2287
Email: [email protected]
Web: http://www.uic.edu/~fjc

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Brian Flay PhD
Dr. Brian Flay is a Co-Investigator on this project and Professor of Public Health at Oregon State University. He is a behavioral scientist whose main interest is in understanding and preventing the adoption of unsafe behaviors by adolescents, including tobacco use and other substance abuse, unsafe sexual behaviors, interpersonal violence and unhealthy eating and exercise patterns. He has been conducting research on the role and use of mass media in health promotion for two decades, including a series of empirical studies which have evaluated the relative impact of television anti-smoking advertising, community-based and school-based programs on teenage smoking.

Telephone: 541.737.3837
Email: [email protected]

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George Balch PhD
Adjunct Associate Professor of Marketing at the Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago. He is also Principal of Balch Associates, a team of seasoned research consultants whose primary interests are social, nonprofit, and public policy marketing; group facilitation; strategic planning; and evaluation. This includes the consumer research basis for developing and evaluating advertising, as well as integrating advertising into the marketing mix.

Before starting Balch Associates, George was Vice President, Associate Director of Strategic Planning and Research at DDB Needham Worldwide (now DDB). He received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Indiana University. Dr. Balch has more than 30 years of experience in research, consulting, teaching and training in marketing and behavioral science. George has focused on social marketing and, particularly tobacco control and has published over 15 peer-reviewed articles in these areas as well as conducted applied research for public health agencies and nonprofit organizations such as NCI, CDC, the Institute of Medicine, NIDA, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Medical Association, the National Health Council, AARP, and Prevent Child Abuse America.

Telephone: 708.383.570
Email: [email protected]

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Katherine Clegg Smith PhD
Katherine Clegg Smith is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society in the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Smith is a sociologist with a particular research interest in the role played by the media (especially the news media) in health knowledge and behavior, as well as the influence of the media in the health policy process. She also has a general interest in youth health behavior and the use of qualitative methodology in public health research.

Dr. Smith coordinated the data collection and analyses for the newspaper component of the NCI Youth Smoking and the Media project, and is currently leading several analyses for this project. She is the principal investigator on a research project linking news coverage of tobacco to attitudes around policy change that is funded by the American Cancer Society. She is also part of the evaluation team for the Robert Wood Johnson funded SmokeLess States initiative, and a research team exploring smoking behaviors among young adults in Baltimore. Dr. Smith is currently involved in projects in which she is working to apply the news monitoring strategies developed for tobacco to other public health topics.

Telephone: 410.502.0025
Email: [email protected]

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Sherry Emery PhD
Dr. Sherry Emery is a CO-Investigator on this project and a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Emery is a health economist, whose work focuses on tobacco control policy analysis, program evaluation, and adolescent smoking prevention and cessation.

Telephone: 312.355.2758
Email: [email protected]


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Henry Saffer PhD
DR Saffer is a CO-Investigator on this project. He is an economist who is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Professor at Kean University in New Jersey. DR Saffer has extensive experience in the study of the effects of alcohol advertising on alcohol consumption and alcohol-related morbidity and mortality, as well as the effects of tobacco advertising on cigarette consumption, having completed a series of reviews and empirical studies.

Telephone: 212.953.0200 ext. 108
Email: [email protected]

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Glen Szczypka
Mr. Szczypka is a research specialist and is responsible for the management and analysis of counteradvertising television ratings data. This involves the aggregation of commercial occurrence data purchased from Nielsen Media Research to construct indices of exposure (gross rating points and teen-targeted rating points) to anti-smoking advertising. He also manages the Youth Media Advertising Library, an ongoing collection of anti-smoking television commercials produced by state health departments, federal agencies, professional organizations and tobacco companies. Mr. Szczypka worked as a research consultant for the tobacco industry. He collected and managed data for a variety of tobacco lawsuits providing research support for the defense against labor unions, Attorney Generals’ and US Federal lawsuits. His research interests include tobacco industry public relations and youth prevention campaigns and state and professional sponsored anti-smoking television advertising campaigns.

Telephone: 312.996.1388
Email: [email protected]

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Lloyd Johnston, PhD (University of Michigan)
Lloyd D. Johnston is Research Professor and Distinguished Research Scientist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research and has been the principal investigator of the Monitoring the Future (MTF) study since its inception in 1975. Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, MTF is comprised of an ongoing series of annual national surveys of American adolescents, college students, and adults through middle age-all studied in an integrated cohort-sequential design. Johnston is also principal investigator of the Youth, Education, and Society (YES) study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a part of the Foundation’s Bridging the Gap initiative. YES deals with environmental influences on adolescent substance use, particularly policies, programs, and practices in the school. A social psychologist by training, he has served as advisor to the White House, Congress, and many other national and international bodies. He has written and lectured extensively in the areas of substance abuse epidemiology, etiology, policy, and prevention. He is author of more than 40 books and monographs, and over 100 chapters and articles in the field of substance abuse.

Telephone: 734.763.5043
Email: [email protected]
Web: http://www.monitoringthefuture.org

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Sandy Slater, PhD
Sandy Slater, PhD, Research Specialist at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), is a health policy analyst whose research focuses on the impact of state and local policies, and other environmental factors on health behavior. Since joining UIC, Dr. Slater has examined state and local policies, socioeconomic, geographic and store type variation in tobacco and alcohol retail marketing strategies and their association to youth smoking and drinking attitudes, beliefs, and behavior. More recently, Dr. Slater is investigating the impact of socioeconomic and other environmental factors on physical activity and obesity. Specifically, she conducts research aimed at understanding factors in the environment that provide opportunities, and those that constrain, the ability for individuals to be physically active. Her research has included examining the relationship between the availability of outdoor physical activity-related settings and commercial physical activity-related outlets on race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, as well as on youth physical activity behavior and overweight. Her National Institutes of Health-funded research examines the importance of school and community physical activity settings and opportunities on youth physical activity levels, overweight and obesity. She also developed a guide that inventories existing obesity-related data sources, identifies what factors are currently being measured, and what is missing from existing sources to determine what measures should be developed for future research.

Telephone: 312.413.0475
Email: [email protected]
Web: http://www.uic.edu/~sslater

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Yvonne M. Terry-McElrath
Ms. Terry-McElrath received her master’s of science degree in not-for-profit administration from the University of Notre Dame in 1999, and has been working in the fields of sociology and public health since that time. Her research and publication experience has focused on trends and correlates of tobacco and illicit drug use in adolescent populations, use of the media in public health efforts to reduce tobacco use, drug policy, international development, drug treatment provision within juvenile justice populations, the drug-crime cycle and HIV/AIDS prevention services among high-risk groups.

Telephone: 734.647.9142
Email: [email protected]

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