Tobacco Regulatory Scientist Joins Stephenson Cancer Center Research Program

Published: Friday, February 22, 2019

The Stephenson Cancer Center at OU Medicine welcomes a new tobacco regulatory scientist, Amy Cohn, Ph.D., to join a growing team of researchers dedicated to reducing the burden of tobacco-related diseases and deaths in Oklahoma.

Cohn joins the Stephenson Cancer Center from Battelle Memorial Institute in Arlington, Virginia, where she served as a senior research scientist. She also held a faculty position as an adjunct associate professor in clinical oncology at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She brings a wealth of experience in clinical psychology and tobacco and alcohol use and abuse.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Cohn to our team,” said Jennifer Vidrine, Ph.D., director of the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center at the Stephenson Cancer Center. “She brings a deep understanding of tobacco use, policy and behavior change.”

Cohn has been awarded multiple federal grants and brings several ongoing research projects to Oklahoma. They include measuring young adults’ appeal for menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products; co-use patterns of tobacco with marijuana among young adults; and studying the implications of young adult exposure to flavored tobacco advertising. She has published more than 80 original articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Cohn earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Georgia and completed post-doctoral training in the assessment and treatment of alcohol use disorders and cigarette smoking. In addition to patient care and research, her career includes significant experience in educating the next generation of health professionals about mental health and substance abuse. At the OU College of Medicine, she will hold the faculty title of associate professor of research in the Department of Pediatrics.

Cohn’s recruitment is supported by funding from the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET). An endowment created by the voters in 2000 to improve the health of Oklahomans, TSET is dedicated to reducing the state’s leading causes of preventable death – cancer and cardiovascular disease – caused by tobacco use and obesity.

As a tobacco regulatory scientist, Cohn will join a team that is dedicated to helping policy makers better understand the impact of tobacco marketing, policies and regulations on tobacco usage, particularly among younger users.

“Dr. Cohn’s expertise will play an important role in our mission to help end tobacco-related mortality in Oklahoma,” said Theodore Wagener, Ph.D., director of Tobacco Regulatory Science Research at the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center.