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): Assistant Professor
Department: Community and Behavioral Health
Office: N414 CPHB
Phone: (319) 384-1478
Social: Twitter

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. His current projects include an NIH-funded study to test an explanatory model of alcohol treatment disparities, a New Faculty Research Award from the College of Public Health to identify and describe the strategies people use to overcome alcohol problems when they don’t utilize treatment services, and an evaluation of Iowa’s social host liability law that’s supported by the Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy.  An Issue Brief on underage drinking and social host prohibitions was released at a community summit in September 2018; a white paper on the topic is forthcoming (winter 2019).

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 is housed in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health. HEAL 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 as part of the College’s Research Week (April 1-5, 2019).

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 Committee, which is charged with carrying out the college’s strategic objectives for increasing diversity and creating an inclusive environment.

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)

Research Interests

  • Health equity/alcohol-related disparities
  • Immigration and health
  • Mixed-methods study designs
  • Participatory action research