Dr. Gregory Knell
Assistant Professor, Department of Population & Community Health
Education & Experience:
I received a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) in Austin, Texas. I completed a postdoctoral fellowship through UTHealth’s National Cancer Institute Cancer Education & Career Development (T32) program. I hold bachelor of science and master of science degrees in kinesiology from Texas A&M University and the University of North Texas, respectively. Prior to joining the HSC School of Public Health in 2023, I was assistant professor of epidemiology at UTHealth with appointments at the Center for Pediatric Population Health (primary) and the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living (secondary).
Teaching Areas & Public Health Interests:
My teaching focuses on epidemiology methods and is informed by research in both field and clinical settings. In the courses I teach, I aim to allow the students to integrate their research interests into the classroom, so they are equipped to successfully plan, initiate and execute research projects as part of their culminating experiences for degree matriculation and when they enter the workforce as independent public health researchers. In the physical activity courses I teach, I aim to integrate the interdisciplinary nature of physical activity into my teaching, to serve as a model on how we may be able to utilize systems-level thinking to tackle health inequality. I teach courses on advanced epidemiology methods, epidemiology study design and field research methods, clinical epidemiology, and physical activity epidemiology and public health.
Professional Activities & Awards:
I am an active member of the American Public Health Association (APHA), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine Society (PRiSM). I have received awards for my scholarly work, including the Emerging Researcher Award from the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Disease Prevention, the Deans’ Excellence in Research Award from the UTHealth’s School of Public Health’s Office of the Dean, and I was nominated for the “Top Digital Biomarker Paper of 2017” from the journal Digital Biomarkers. My work has been featured in U.S. News & World Report, CNN, Reuters, TRT World and the New York Times. I am able to share my expertise in physical activity epidemiology as a member of the board of directors of the Fort Worth Youth Lacrosse Association and as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board on Med Outreach in Dallas, Texas.
My research aims to apply the physical activity epidemiology framework to address health inequality. Specifically, my research centers around three main areas: 1) understanding the upstream (political, cultural, societal and economic) factors affecting physical activity and related behaviors (including sport, sleep and sedentary behaviors); 2) application of epidemiological methods to advance the prevention, identification and treatment of sport-related injuries (musculoskeletal and concussion); and 3) advancing the measurement of physical activity and related behaviors in both clinical and field (observational) settings. My work has been funded by local, state, federal and private/foundational organizations and has been disseminated widely in white papers/reports and scholarly peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.
Link to Dr. Knell’s University Profile: