Paul Gilbert, PhD, ScM


Professor Paul Gilbert of the Department of Community and Behavioral Health at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Title(s): Associate Professor
Department: Community and Behavioral Health
Office: N414 CPHB
Phone: (319) 384-1478
Social: Twitter feed

Dr. Gilbert conducts research to understand and address alcohol-related disparities. He is particularly interested in the ways that gender, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation shape drinking patterns, risk of alcohol use disorders, and use of treatment services. Among current projects, he is conducting a national, NIH-funded study to investigate how people define recovery when they don’t seek treatment, the behavior change strategies leading to resolution of a drinking problem without treatment, and how untreated recovery may vary by gender and race/ethnicity. In addition, Dr. Gilbert is completing an interview study that was funded by a New Faculty Research Award from the College of Public Health to identify and describe the strategies people in Iowa have used to overcome alcohol problems when they don’t utilize treatment services. Additionally, he has recently completed a study of Iowa’s social host liability law that was supported by the Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy and has presented findings on teenagers’ use of e-cigarettes and other substances at the 2019 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting.

A secondary line of research focuses on improving the health of Latino communities in non-traditional settlement states through participatory, action-oriented research. Working with the West Liberty Coalition, a community-academic partnership in Iowa’s first majority-Latino rural town, Dr. Gilbert led a community survey to identify strengths and health concerns. Here is the survey’s summary report in English and in Spanish.

Dr. Gilbert is a core faculty member of the Health Equity Advancement Lab (HEAL), which brings together students, staff, and faculty who are interested in social justice to engage in research and extra-curricular learning opportunities.  HEAL runs monthly journal clubs and organizes an annual Science of Health Equity summit in the Spring.

Among other activities, Dr. Gilbert partnered with colleagues at the Iowa Cancer Consortium, One Iowa, and Des Moines University to conduct a comprehensive survey of LGBTQ Iowans’ health status and needs. The objective was to gather data for program planning and to establish a baseline to compare changes over time. A summary report is now available and additional papers are in preparation.

Dr. Gilbert also chairs the College of Public Health Diversity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, which is charged with carrying out the college’s strategic objectives for increasing diversity and creating an inclusive environment. Read the college’s strategic plan for DEI here.

Courses Taught

  • CBH 5220: Health Behavior and Health Education (Fall 2016)
  • CBH 6230: Health Equity, Disparities, and Social Justice (Spring 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • CBH 6410: Global Health Equity (Spring 2019)
  • CBH 7100: Doctoral Seminar (Fall 2016, 2018)
  • CBH 7300: Advanced Behavioral Theories (Fall 2017, Fall 2019)
  • CPH 1800: Social and Psychological Determinants of Health (Fall 2020)

Research Interests

  • Alcohol-related disparities
  • Mixed-methods study designs
  • Participatory research methods
  • Sexual and gender minority health
  • Social determinants of health



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