Leading Public Health Education at O'Donnell School
The UT Southwestern O'Donnell School of Public Health is built around a simple premise: to engage in rigorous research and outreach that delivers excellence for impact.
We are advancing the nation's health through groundbreaking research and by training a new generation of leaders who can respond to emerging public health needs. Read Full Overview
We are now accepting applications for the M.P.H. and Ph.D. programs.
Join the OSPH Team
OSPH has grown rapidly and now includes a multidisciplinary team of 48 primary faculty members, 35 scholars with secondary appointments, and 75 staff members who conduct research and prepare the next generation of professionals to address major public health challenges. The school is poised to grow further in a short period of time. We are currently looking for exemplary faculty and staff to join our team!
Meet Our New Faculty
Romaine F. Johnson, M.D., M.P.H., is Director of the M.D./M.P.H. Program. He also is Professor of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery and holds the Beth and Marvin C. “Cub” Culbertson Professorship in Pediatric Otolaryngology. A nationally recognized public health scientist and pediatric otolaryngologist, Dr. Johnson has focused his career on improving the lives of children with complex airway and throat issues. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology, as Director of the Pediatric Voice and the Swallowing Clinic at Children’s Medical Center Dallas, and as a member of the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Exam Council. He earned his M.D. from Drexel University College of Medicine and his M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Lynn Ibekwe, Ph.D., M.P.H., is an Assistant Professor in the Advanced Implementation & Improvement Science program within OSPH and the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. She focuses on cancer-related health disparities and uses implementation science, a health equity understanding, and an anti-racist lens to improve cancer-related health behavior and outcomes. Previously, she served as a Research Associate within the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Ibekwe earned a Ph.D. in behavioral sciences from the UTHealth Houston School of Public Health and recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Chan within the Harvard T32 Educational Program in Cancer Prevention.
Ruichen Rong, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Data Science for Precision Health group at the O’Donnell School of Public Health. His research focuses on artificial intelligence applications and pipelines for biomedical research, with a background in biostatistics, applied mathematics, machine learning, data science, and computer vision. He received his Ph.D. in Computational Biology from the University of North Texas in 2017 and his master's degree in computer sciences from the same institution in 2016.
James “Jim” Stimpson, Ph.D., is a Professor at O’Donnell School of Public Health. A medical sociologist, Dr. Stimpson seeks to improve population health, reduce inequalities, and connect people with the knowledge and tools to advocate for evidence-based public policy and health systems change. He has dedicated his career to public health as an educator, researcher, and administrator.
His areas of focus include cancer preventions, immigrant populations, family and neighborhood influences on health, and access to care. He has published more than 140 journal articles, book chapters, and reports on the social determinants of health, health policy, and health services research.
Zachary Sturman, J.D., Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Health Economics & Policy Program of the Peter O'Donnell Jr. School of Public Health. He teaches Ph.D. courses in health economics and health policy.
Dr. Sturman received his J.D. and Ph.D. in Law & Economics from Vanderbilt University in 2023 and earned his B.A. in 2017 from the Honors College at the College of Charleston, where he graduated first in his class.
He has been published in law, economics, and health policy journals. His current work focuses on homelessness, addiction, and substance abuse.
Message from the Founding Dean
“Excellence for impact is the cornerstone of the O’Donnell School of Public Health. It is our commitment to our communities that drives us to utilize the best available evidence, be it through education, policy change, or clinical care. Therefore, OSPH is dedicated to providing world-class training and creating an environment conducive to excellence, mentorship, and meaningful collaboration among cohorts of talented individuals who share our passion for making a difference.”
CPRIT Cancer Funding
Foundations & Other
Community-driven Health & Equity
- Artificial Intelligence to Identify Cancer
Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, UT Southwestern researchers have developed a software tool that uses artificial intelligence to recognize cancer cells from digital pathology images – giving clinicians a powerful way of predicting patient outcomes.
- Breast Screening and Patient Navigation Program (BSPAN)
Launched in 2009 with funding from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas, the Breast Screening and Patient Navigation (BSPAN) program works with community providers and other local organizations to decrease financial and geographical hurdles that keep women from getting mammograms and timely diagnostic services.
- Colon Cancer Screening
Funded by the National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, Colon Cancer Screening is a program that asks patients to mail in stool samples to screen for colon cancer is an effective way to expand screenings to underserved and underinsured communities and offers an alternative to in-person testing during the pandemic, according to a study conducted by UT Southwestern and Parkland Health & Hospital system.
- COVID-19 Forecasting for DFW
To track the course of the virus in North Texas, UT Southwestern researchers have created a sophisticated forecasting model to show the spread of COVID-19 and predict its trajectory.
- COVID-19 Prevalence Study
- Dallas Heart Study
The only single-center heart study of its size and multiethnic composition, the Dallas Heart Study is a scientific resource that becomes more valuable each year as the population ages, providing opportunities to learn more about environmental, social, and genetic factors that contribute to health and disease.
- Food Pantries Need to Address Food Insecurity
Food banks should be used more consistently rather than only during emergencies to better address food insecurity and related health issues, a joint study by researchers at UT Southwestern and economists at the University of Dallas shows. The research is funded by multiple foundations and community organizations.
- Life Expectancy by Zip Code in Texas
An interactive map developed by UT Southwestern researchers reveals populations and places in Texas where people can expect to live longer—or shorter—lives. Life expectancy in Texas is 78.5 years, but varies greatly by populations and places. Users can navigate the map down to the ZIP Code level to learn about specific communities and explore differences between women and men, or between Blacks, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic whites.
- Population Science and Cancer Control
UT Southwestern’s Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Population Science and Cancer Control (PS) Program generates research discoveries addressing cancer burden and disparities in our catchment area and beyond. With over $5 million in funding each year from the National Institutes of Health and the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas, program members conduct research to generate discoveries across the cancer continuum from prevention and early detection, through treatment and survivorship.
- PROSPR Study
Partnering with the Dallas County’s Parkland Health & Hospital System, UT Southwestern’s Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers are deploying funding from the National Cancer Institute to address challenges of helping individuals complete the cervical and colorectal screening processes. As leaders in this large consortium of researchers, they are setting an agenda nationally for cancer prevention and detection in the neediest of populations.
- Texas Online Population Health Assessment Tool (TOPHAT)
TOPHAT provides access to multiple, interactive, layers of population health statistics, such as morbidity rates and life expectancy. The public can easily assess the health of neighborhoods, cities, towns, and counties for populations defined by race/ethnicity and sex across the state.