Biography - Susan J. Curry, Ph.D.
After obtaining her Ph.D. in psychology at the University of New Hampshire in 1981, Dr. Curry completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Washington. She then moved to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center where she was a scientist in the country’s first Cancer Prevention Research Unit. From the late-1980’s until joining UIC in 2001, Dr. Curry was professor of health services in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Washington and senior investigator and director at the Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative.
As director of the Institute for Health Research and Policy at UIC, Dr. Curry has an outstanding track record of fostering cross-campus collaboration on health research, faculty mentoring, collaborating with colleges and departments for faculty recruitment, and ensuring the intellectual and administrative infrastructure that supports six affiliated centers and programs. The Institute has over 100 collaborating faculty from 39 departments, representing 11 colleges. In addition to collaborating faculty, more than 100 academic professionals work at the Institute in support of more than 70 research projects.
Dr. Curry is recognized internationally for her expertise in behavioral science and translation of research findings into health policy. Her bibliography includes over 180 publications. Her extensive research in tobacco includes studies of motivation to quit smoking, randomized trials of promising smoking cessation and prevention interventions, evaluations of the use and cost effectiveness of tobacco cessation treatments under different health insurance plans, and health care costs and utilization associated with tobacco cessation. Dr. Curry’s research also encompasses studies of dietary change, modification of risky drinking patterns, and methods of increasing compliance with recommended cancer screening. She has served as a PI or co-investigator on 30 grants funded by NIH, CDC, and major foundations. Dr. Curry is a committed mentor to graduate students and junior faculty by serving on master’s and dissertation committees, training grants, and as a K-award mentor.
Dr. Curry has been honored by the American Society for Preventive Oncology with the Joseph R. Cullen Memorial Award for distinguished research in smoking and the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society of Behavioral Medicine. She is a Fellow in the Society of Behavioral Medicine, the American Psychological Association, and the Institute of Medicine of Chicago.
In addition to her academic portfolio, Dr. Curry has extensive experience working with public and private health care systems. During her 15-year tenure at Group Health Cooperative, Dr. Curry worked at the interface of health care delivery and academic research. She has extensive knowledge and experience regarding the infrastructure, processes, and benefits of linking the academic and clinical enterprises as well as the challenges of balancing research opportunities with the critical priority of delivering outstanding health care. She serves as a director of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation national initiative, Addressing Tobacco in Health Care, which provides additional experience in facilitating collaborations between academic institutions and health care systems. In her capacity as the principal investigator of the Illinois Prevention Research Center, Dr. Curry partners with local and state health departments on health surveillance, needs and capacity assessments, and on the development and evaluation of public health interventions.
Dr. Curry is frequently sought as a member of national committees and boards, including Institute of Medicine Committees, Cancer Center Advisory Boards, and NIH committees. Her current national commitments include membership on the Board of Directors for the American Legacy Foundation and on the Board of Scientific Advisors for the National Cancer Institute.