Leadership profile: Director, Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention
The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health invites applications and nominations for the position of Director of the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention.
The Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (UW-CTRI) at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health is nationally recognized for its ground-breaking tobacco research and commitment to translating research findings into practice. The center improves lives by conducting biomedical and social science research to better understand the impacts of tobacco use and addiction and design and implement evidence-based interventions to reduce tobacco use.
Founded in 1992, the center recently celebrated 30 years of excellence in working to reduce the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of smoking and to eliminate all tobacco product use. The center has active research programs in broad areas relevant to tobacco use and treatment with research ranging from population-based approaches and tobacco control to the exploration of the biologic mechanisms of tobacco dependence.
Through outreach and a commitment to health equity, the center enhances the impact of smoking treatments on populations by increasing its reach, particularly in underserved communities. In addition, the center fosters partnerships with healthcare systems, state health organizations, and cancer centers and routinely advises and advocates for policy and systems changes related to tobacco use.
Some of the center’s notable and wide-ranging accomplishments include conceptualizing and advocating for the designation of tobacco use as one of the essential “vital signs” collected on all patients who present for healthcare, leading the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ first ever Subcommittee on Cessation, and more. Another distinguishing element of the Center is its outreach program, established in 2001. The UW-CTRI Outreach Program, part of a comprehensive, statewide Wisconsin Tobacco Control Program, includes the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line.
The director will lead the center’s team and further its mission of generating new research findings and translating research into policy and practice. The center is funded by an annual portfolio of about $9 million and brings together faculty, staff, students, and collaborating institutions and scientists to carry out its work.
The successful candidate will have experience and expertise conducting research in tobacco science and related fields. The director will develop and provide leadership to a group of scientists and staff engaged in efforts to characterize the nature of tobacco dependence and develop, research, implement, disseminate, and evaluate tobacco interventions. They will also contribute to the teaching and mentoring of scientists, residents, students, and clinicians via ad hoc lectures or presentations.
“For me, the Wisconsin Idea is the clear vision for what a public university is and should be. I want to celebrate it as a national and even global model for why public universities matter. It’s my goal to keep our teaching, research, and outreach missions strong, to support our students, and to make the university a more diverse and inclusive place to live, learn, and work.” — Jennifer L. Mnookin, Chancellor
Since 1848, this campus has been a catalyst for the extraordinary. As a public land-grant university and one of the most prolific research institutions in the world, UW–Madison is home to those who are driven by a desire to both explore new worlds and to apply new ideas to real-world problems.
With a total annual budget of over $3.6 billion, including more than $1.3 billion in annual research expenditures, UW–Madison has been in the top 10 in national research spending every year since 1972. The campus is home to more than 24,000 faculty and staff and 47,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree students. Members of the student body represent all 50 states and 112 countries. The university was ranked the number one public university and fourth overall in Washington Monthly’s 2021 College Guide and Rankings and is ranked 10th among public institutions in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-23 rankings of best colleges.
The Wisconsin Idea — the principle that the university should improve people’s lives beyond the classroom — has been guiding the efforts of UW–Madison Badgers for more than a century. The university has been dedicated to studying poverty and social inequity for 50 years, is ranked No. 1 among large schools for producing Peace Corps volunteers, and boasts 20 Nobel Prize winners among its faculty and alumni.
School of Medicine and Public Health
The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) is recognized as an international, national, and statewide leader in education, research, and service. Founded in 1907, it transformed into the nation’s first School of Medicine and Public Health in 2005 to integrate the principles and power of interwoven medical and public health approaches in all of its missions.
Powered by more than 5,500 employees, including over 2,000 faculty, the school’s engagement spans the entire state of Wisconsin and includes a deep commitment to improvement of the health of the population. This commitment manifests itself in innovative models that serve as paradigms for the rest of the country.
Members of the school rapidly translate discovery into application and continually foster synergies between clinical care, education, and research. Consistently ranked among the nation’s top medical schools, SMPH has established high-performance academic programs that are intentionally distributed across the entire spectrum of academic medicine. Its faculty members hold appointments in 27 departments—17 in the clinical sciences and 10 in the basic sciences. The faculty is composed of some of the nation’s leading researchers, educators, and clinicians. This includes several National Medal of Science recipients and National Academy of Science honorees.
Mission and values
UW SMPH strives to carry out its mission of advancing health and health equity through remarkable service to patients and communities, outstanding education, and innovative research. It upholds the values of integrity and accountability, compassion, diversity, equity and inclusivity, and excellence. The school’s Shared Guidelines for Professional Conduct help the SMPH community embody these values in their daily activities.
Fostering a diverse and inclusive community is important both as an end in itself and also as a valuable driver of eliminating health disparities. The school strives to be comprised of a diverse, inclusive academic community committed to excellence and equity in health; wellness through teaching and learning, clinical service, and advocacy; and research in all forms of biological science, population health science, and health care.
SMPH is dedicated to creating an inclusive, collaborative, respectful, and welcoming environment in which all faculty, students, and staff will thrive. This effort is referred to as Building Community, and includes a call to action for every SMPH member to examine not only our intent, but our impact—“Every Person. Every Action. Every Time.”
UW Health is the integrated health system of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, serving more than 700,000 patients each year in the Upper Midwest and beyond with 1,849 physicians and 21,000 staff at seven hospitals and more than 80 outpatient sites. The health system’s overall annual budget is approximately $3.8 billion. UW Health is governed by the UW Hospitals and Clinics Authority and partners with UW School of Medicine and Public Health to fulfill patient care, research, education, and community service missions. UW Health Hospitals, which includes both University Hospital on the UW–Madison campus and UW Health East Madison Hospital on the east side of Madison, has been ranked No. 1 in Wisconsin for 10 years in a row by U.S. News and World Report. University Hospital is one of only 25 U.S. hospitals named to Newsweek’s “Top 100 Global” list, which includes hospitals in 11 countries around the world. American Family Children’s Hospital is also nationally ranked as a top children’s hospital. UW Health has been designated by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as a Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality in the Healthcare Equality Index.
Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention
The Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention serves as the lead entity within the School of Medicine and Public Health regarding tobacco science, policy, outreach, intervention, and training. Its work and accomplishments span basic research, implementation science, outreach, policy, and more.
The center’s team includes more than 50 individuals. Twelve directors support the center director by leading work areas and staff focused on research administration, research, veteran research, health economics, communications, biostatistical operations, and more. The center’s staff and work are funded via an annual portfolio of approximately $9 million, most of which is secured via competitive National Institutes of Health grants. In addition, the UW-CTRI Fund, managed by the UW Foundation and Alumni Association, houses approximately $6 million in reserve funds — including three UW-CTRI Professorships.
30 years of UW-CTRI by the numbers:
- Published more than 570 research articles.
- Assisted more than 55,000 individuals to quit via research studies. These individuals directly participated in NIH and other UW-CTRI clinical trials.
- Helped more than 250,000 smokers in their quests to quit via the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line.
- Generated more than $170 million in grant funding, including five consecutive NIH Center Grants.
- Trained approximately 50,000 healthcare practitioners to help their patients quit smoking.
- Became a go-to source for journalists worldwide addressing tobacco addiction. As a result, UW-CTRI has reached an estimated 3.4 billion news consumers worldwide.
- Created the No. 1 website for “tobacco research” and “quit line” listed on Google.
A cadre of eight mid-career or senior principal investigators, four early career investigators, and four quantitative and methodology experts comprise the core team of the center’s investigators. These investigators are supported by highly experienced research implementation teams. The center’s research areas cover the nature and consequences of tobacco dependence, smoking treatment effectiveness and cost-effectiveness, the impact and reach of smoking treatment, and health equity through treatment reach and effectiveness in underserved populations.
The center’s top achievements include:
- Conceptualizing and advocating for the designation of tobacco use as one of the essential “vital signs,” collected on all patients who present for healthcare.
- Contributing to numerous publications of the US Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking Cessation.
- Chairing all three editions of the US Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline: Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence.
- Leading the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ first ever Subcommittee on Cessation that produced a National Action Plan to reduce tobacco dependence. One outcome of that plan was to establish the nationwide tobacco cessation quitline network, making telephone quitline treatment available to every tobacco user in any state via 800-QUIT-NOW.
- Developing and implementing innovative health systems changes that integrate tobacco treatment into healthcare.
- Adapting electronic health records to prompt tobacco cessation interventions during healthcare visits, by building a partnership with EPIC Systems Corp.
- Creating and managing the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line since its launch in 2001. The Quit Line is funded by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
- Assisting with passing workplace smoking bans, first in Madison then statewide in Wisconsin.
- Helping behavioral health patients quit tobacco use. UW-CTRI assisted with implementing Wisconsin DHS Section 75 to ensure recovery centers in Wisconsin go smoke-free, and that they screen and treat patients for their tobacco use disorders.
- Working with disadvantaged populations to counter health disparities, foster equity, and help people quit tobacco use.
- Developing widely used assessments of tobacco withdrawal and dependence.
- Conducting research on e-cigarettes and helping people who vape to quit.
- Co-leading the National Cancer Institute’s Moonshot-funded Cancer Center Cessation Initiative (C3I), a $30 million program designed to integrate tobacco dependence treatment into cancer care.
Qualifications and attributes of leadership
The successful candidate should have a record of successful leadership and management in an academic, policy, healthcare and/or research setting. They must help fulfill the center’s commitment to excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals.
The candidate will hold a PhD and/or MD or other doctoral degree with experience and expertise in relevant fields such as pharmacology, behavioral science, information science, implementation science, or another relevant field. Candidates must meet criteria for appointment at the Associate or full Professor rank per UW School of Medicine and Public Health guidelines for appointment and promotion on the tenure track.
Located on an isthmus between two lakes, Madison is the capital city of the state of Wisconsin. Madison has been voted:
- No. 1 Best Place to Live in the USA (Liveability, 2022)
- No. 1 City for Most Successful Women Per Capita (Forbes, 2019)
- No. 1 City for Best Work-Life Balance (SmartAsset, 2022)
- No. 7 Best City for STEM Professionals (CEO World, 2020)
- No. 4 Best State to Practice Medicine (WalletHub, 2022)
- No. 2 Best City for Biking (People for Bikes, 2020)
- No. 2 Fittest City in the U.S. (ACSM American Fitness Index, 2022)
- No. 2 Best Cities for Millennials (rent.com, 2020)
- No. 4 Greenest City in the US (Zippia, 2020)
- No. 1 Best Place to Retire (Money, 2020)
- No. 1 Best Place in the U.S. for Raising Children (DiversityDataKids.com 2020)
- No. 1 Best College Football Town in America (Sports Illustrated, 2019).
Madison’s technology economy is growing rapidly, and the region is home to the headquarters of Epic Systems, Exact Sciences, American Family Insurance, American Girl (Mattel), Sub-Zero, and Lands’ End, as well as many biotech, healthcare IT, and health systems startups.
The city of Madison and the University of Wisconsin–Madison acknowledge that they occupy ancestral Ho-Chunk land. The School of Medicine and Public Health recognizes the health inequities faced by Native communities and pledges to learn more and take action across all of its missions.
Madison is the second largest city in the state, with a city population of approximately 260,000 and regional population of over 1 million. The city is within easy driving range of Chicago and Milwaukee. Madison offers numerous unique neighborhoods and commercial areas including the Capitol Square, State Street, Willy Street, Shorewood Hills, Maple Bluff, and Hilldale. Suburbs and surrounding smaller communities include Sun Prairie, Middleton, McFarland, Verona, Cottage Grove, Waunakee, and Fitchburg.
Madison is home to one of the strongest local food scenes in the country with several James Beard Award winners, gastropubs, and farm-to-table restaurants. From April to October, the Capitol Square hosts the impressive Dane County Farmers’ Market, the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country. The city is rich with cultural offerings such as the Overture Center for the Performing Arts, Orpheum Theatre, Concerts on the Square, Jazz at Five, UW-Madison Mead Witter School of Music and Hamel Music Center, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Madison Opera, Madison Ballet, UW–Madison Chazen Museum of Art, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin Historical Museum, and Madison Children’s Museum, among others.
The city has a dedicated athletics fanbase which largely centers around the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Sports venues include Camp Randall Stadium, the Kohl Center, LaBahn Arena, Wisconsin Field House, and the Alliant Energy Center. Madison is home to Forward Madison FC, the first professional soccer team in the city, as well as the Madison Mallards, a college wood-bat summer baseball league team. Marquee endurance sports and specialty sporting events include IronMan Wisconsin and IronMan 70.3, Reebok CrossFit Games, Madison Marathon, and many national and international championship competitions.
Please send nominations to:
Nizar Jarjour, MD, and Jonathan Temte, MD, PhD, MS, co-chairs of the Director, Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention Search Committee
c/o Benjamin Schultz-Burkel, DMA
4299C HSLC, 750 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI, 53705-2111
To apply, please visit the UW-Madison jobs website, using the "apply now" button below. Applicants will be asked to upload a CV and personal statement/cover letter.
Diversity, equity and inclusion
The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has a deep and profound commitment to diversity both as an end in itself but also as a valuable means for eliminating health disparities. As such, we strongly encourage applications from candidates who foster and promote the values of a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist workplace.
Applications from Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals, LGBTQ+ and non-binary identities, women, persons with disabilities, military service members, and veterans are strongly encouraged.
To receive full consideration, please apply by Jan. 16, 2023.
Unless confidentiality is requested in writing, information regarding applicants must be released upon request. Finalists cannot be guaranteed confidentiality. Wisconsin Caregiver Law applies. The University of Wisconsin is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.