Grantee: Cheryl Perry

Cheryl Perry

Cheryl Perry, Ph.D.

Behavioral Scientist
  • University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Cheryl Perry, Ph.D., has devoted her 40-year scientific career to promoting healthy behaviors among young people, with a focus on tobacco use prevention, alcohol use prevention among teens, physical activity promotion, and healthy eating, including fruit and vegetable consumption. This focus came from her early work as a junior high and high school teacher, and junior high vice-principal, where many social problems (or discipline problems) among youth in schools were also health problems. For many of her students, these social problems were also barriers to healthy development in childhood and adolescence. She has been the PI on multiple NIH-funded group-randomized trials in schools and communities in order to design, implement, evaluate, and disseminate evidence-based prevention programs and policies. These trials demonstrate that prevention and health promotion with young people can have successful outcomes, be cost-effective, and are important to the long-term health of the population.

Dr. Perry is currently the PI of the NCI-funded Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science on Youth and Young Adults (Texas TCORS). The Texas TCORS research projects examine, via rapid response surveillance systems, the transitions and trajectories of multiple tobacco product use in two cohorts of teens and young adults (n~10,000), as well as tobacco companies' marketing methods in the environments near the cohort members. To date, five waves of data have been collected with each cohort, at six-month intervals, with high levels of retention, and a large minority representation. These data are intended to inform the FDA concerning the use of new and emerging tobacco products, marketing methods, and recommended communications methods for these vulnerable age groups and populations.

Having been very fortunate to have had NIH funding for many years, Dr. Perry has contributed to cancer control by demonstrating that theory- and determinant-driven, multi-component programs and policies can be successful in achieving behavior changes among young people. Dr. Perry has more than 300 publications in the peer-reviewed literature.

When I was working as the Senior Scientific Editor of the first Surgeon General's Report on "Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People (1994)," the ongoing and pervasive inter-relationships between health behaviors, their epidemiology and health effects; their social, political and economic determinants; and the predominance of powerful companies that directly support unhealthy behaviors, became evident and have guided the projects and science that I've done since that time. ”

Selected Grants

Project Title Grant Number Program Director
Tobacco Regulatory Science on Youth and Young Adults P50CA180906-04 Annette Kaufman