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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 22, 2006

UI's Rushton Appointed To National Institutes Of Health (NIH) Review Panel

Gerard Rushton, professor in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Geography, has been appointed to a five-year term as a regular member of the National Institutes Of Health (NIH) Community Influences on Health Behavior (CIHB) Study Section.

The CIHB meets in Washington, D.C. three times a year to review scores of research applications that examine the broader socio-environmental contexts in which health, disease, health-related behavior, and normal development are embedded. Examples include studies that identify and elaborate social and cultural risk and protective influences; explore complex inter-relationships among economic, social, cultural, and environmental influences and health-related outcomes; examine the relationship between laws, law enforcement, or criminal justice institutions on health-related decision-making and behavior change; examine the relationship between advertising, media, and health communications on health behaviors, and the influence of ethnic identity and cultural norms on health risk knowledge, attitudes and behaviors.

Rushton says that he is honored by the NIH appointment and notes that he is the only geographer on the panel, with other members coming from such fields as sociology, anthropology, psychology and epidemiology. He adds that he looks forward to sharing with his UI colleagues an inside look at how an NIH panel works.

A 1998 recipient of Distinguished Scholarship Honors from the Association of American Geographers (AAG) for contributions to geographical theory and practice, Rushton is interested in the development of human service systems -- especially health services -- and the spatial analysis of disease in both developed and developing nations. His applied research has focused on access to urban services in rural development, locational efficiency in planning rural service delivery systems and, more recently, on using geographic information science to assess the burden of cancer in Iowa.

He has authored or co-authored four books and published more than 40 articles in professional journals. Rushton, who joined the UI faculty in 1969, earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Wales in 1959 and 1962 and received his doctorate in geography from the UI in 1964. He currently serves as a CLAS Collegiate Fellow, a member of the Interdisciplinary Program in Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences, research associate in the UI's Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research (CGRER), a member of the research core of the Environmental Modeling and Assessment Facility and adjunct professor in the Program in Hospital and Health Administration.

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