Dennis L. Thombs, PhD, FAAHB

Dean, School of Public Health

Dr. Dennis Thombs was named as Dean of the School of Public Health in August 2016.Dennis Thombs

He had previously served for one year as School of Public Health Interim Dean and was selected as Dean following an extensive national search of candidates.

He has been with the School of Public Health since 2010 and has previously held leadership roles including Professor and Chair of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health; Acting Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Director of the school’s MPH community health program; and Acting Director for the Texas Prevention Institute.

Dr. Thombs has made major research contributions to the study of alcohol and drug use in the adolescent and young adulthood population. Over the last 25 years, his work has examined the role of peer norms in facilitating heavy, episodic drinking and impaired driving; identified specific pharmacologic, genetic, economic and site risk factors that contribute to unsafe patron intoxication levels in the on premise setting; and developed evidence-based, mental health first aid strategies to connect persons in need with professional mental health treatment resources.

Dr. Thombs’ research has been supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute of Mental Health and the U.S. Department of Education.

He has authored more than 85 articles in peer-reviewed national and international journals, and is the author of one of the leading textbooks on addiction, Introduction to Addictive Behaviors, published by the Guilford Press, and now in its fourth edition.

Dr. Thombs was named as a Fellow in the American Academy of Health Behavior in 2005, and served as president of the Academy from 2009 to 2010.

During his career, Dr. Thombs has served on the faculty at the University of Florida, Kent State University and the State University of New York at Brockport.