Brian Primack

Brian A. Primack, MD, PhD, MS, EdM

Brian A. Primack, MD, PhD, MS, EdM

(he/him)
Dean and Professor

Women's Building 123
160 SW 26th Street
Corvallis, OR 97331
United States

Academic interests

Dr. Primack combines his expertise in education, technology, human development, and medicine by researching both positive and negative effects of media messages on health. He is a pioneer on the use of media literacy education in preventing adolescent smoking, underage drinking, and other harmful adolescent health behaviors. He has also conducted extensive research on the new phenomenon of waterpipe ("hookah") tobacco smoking.

Biography

Brian A. Primack is Dean of the College of Health at Oregon State University. In this role, he leads a diverse unit of 3000 students and 300 faculty and staff members in areas including public health, exercise & sport sciences, human development & family sciences, and nutrition. He is also a professor of public health with tenure.

Prior to his appointment at Oregon State, he served as the Dean of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas. In this role, he served over 6000 undergraduate and graduate students and 500 faculty and staff members in such diverse areas such as K-12 education, nursing, educational policy, occupational therapy, exercise science, adult and community education, counseling, and human resources and workforce development. At the University of Arkansas, Dr. Primack also served as the Henry G. Hotz Endowed Chair in Educational Innovations and a tenured professor of public health and medicine.

Prior to moving to the University of Arkansas, Dr. Primack was Dean of the Honors College at the University of Pittsburgh, where he also served as a professor of medicine, pediatrics, and clinical and translational science. There, he also served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research on Health and Society and the Leo H. Criep Endowed Chair in Patient Care. He was also founding director of the University of Pittsburgh's multidisciplinary Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health. He has over 300 publications, including over 140 peer-reviewed articles of original research, and over $10 million in federal research funding. His findings have been published in multiple major journals in medicine, public health, and social science, and those results have been reported in news sources such as NPR, the New York Times, Cosmopolitan Magazine, US News and World Report, the BBC, and many more.

After graduating Yale University magna cum laude in 1991 with degrees in English and Mathematics, Dr. Primack spent 4 years teaching adolescents and studying human development for his master's degree, which he received from Harvard University. During this time, he also volunteered at a Head Start program for homeless children in Washington, DC and served as the dean of students for a large summer program aiming to instill a love of learning in adolescents. He subsequently graduated first in his class and summa cum laude from Emory Medical School and trained in Family Medicine in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Primack combines his expertise in education, technology, human development, and medicine by researching both positive and negative effects of media and technology on health. He is a pioneer on the use of media literacy education in preventing adolescent smoking, underage drinking, and other harmful adolescent health behaviors.

He is the recent recipient of regional, national, and international awards for research, teaching, and overall achievement, including the New Investigator of the Year by the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine (2006), the Robert Wood Johnson Faculty Physician Scholar Award (2009), the Early Career Research Award from the Society of Behavioral Medicine (2010), the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Junior Faculty Scholar Award (2010), and the University of Pittsburgh Outstanding Medical Student Mentoring Award two years in a row (2013 and 2014). In 2019, he was only the 7th person in the state of Arkansas to be inducted into the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the leading organization globally for physician-scientists. In 2021, his book You Are What You Click, published by Chronicle, was shortlisted for the prestigious Next Big Idea Book Award, which is selected by Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Daniel Pink, and Adam Grant.

Spotlight

Dr. Primack is the recipient of regional, national, and international awards for research, teaching, and overall achievement, including:

  • New Investigator of the Year by the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine (2006)
  • Robert Wood Johnson Faculty Physician Scholar Award (2006-2009)
  • Early Career Research Award from the Society of Behavioral Medicine (2010)
  • University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Junior Faculty Scholar Award (2010)
  • University of Pittsburgh Outstanding Medical Student Mentoring Award two years in a row (2013 and 2014)

In 2014, he was honored to give a TED talk on their main stage.

In 2019, he became only the 7th person in the state of Arkansas to be elected into the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the leading organization globally for physician-scientists.