Interventions to reduce risky behavior focus of $2.5 million grant

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- As health care costs continue to rise, the ability of scientists to help combat preventable illnesses becomes increasingly critical. A $2.5 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse will fund the continuation of Penn State's Prevention and Methodology Training (PAMT) program, which focuses on developing interventions to reduce smoking, poor eating habits and risky sexual behavior, among other unhealthy choices.

Beginning in the fall semester this year, the PAMT program will train seven graduate and two post-graduate researchers to develop interventions that promote healthy lifestyles and to apply cutting-edge, statistical research methods to such interventions. The program is a joint effort between two research centers at Penn State, the Prevention Research Center and the Methodology Center, both of which research the prevention of smoking, HIV, substance abuse, and other vital health risks.

The PAMT program trains prevention researchers and methodologists. Prevention researchers develop interventions to reduce exposure to risks; methodologists develop the statistical research methods necessary to design and evaluate these interventions. Through the program, prevention researchers become comfortable with the latest and most innovative research methods, and methodologists gain an understanding of the realities and challenges facing prevention efforts in real-world settings.

Started in 2005, the PAMT program has trained 26 scientists. Former trainees have gone on to research and teaching positions at Penn State and other top universities and research facilities around the country. The program is directed by Mark Greenberg, director of the Prevention Research Center; Linda Collins, director of the Methodology Center; and Edward Smith, associate director of the Prevention Research Center.

For more information, contact Collins at lmc8@psu.edu, or Aaron Wagner at 814-404-6584 or atw14@psu.edu. To learn more about the Prevention Research Center, visit http://www.prevention.psu.edu online; to learn about the Methodology Center, visit http://methodology.psu.edu online.

Contacts: 
Last Updated August 10, 2011