Laura Linnan’s primary area of research expertise is the prevention and control of chronic diseases, especially cancer, with a concentration on applied research efforts in worksites and other community-based settings. Much of her research utilizes community-based participatory research principles in partnership with those who are suffering disproportionately high rates of disease/illness to plan, deliver and evaluate interventions in worksites, universities, community colleges, beauty salons, barbershops, public libraries, and other locations where people live, work and socialize. Dr. Linnan has developed innovative interventions to address a wide range of chronic disease risk factors. She has special expertise in the design and development of innovative evaluation methods (both process and outcome) and measures for public health research and practice settings. She embraces both quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches in the planning, delivery and evaluation of her community-based intervention studies on a wide range of health and social problems.
Dr. Linnan earned her doctorate from Harvard University’s School of Public Health. She served as the Masters Program Director in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the Gillings School of Global Public Health for five years, and is currently the Academic Dean for Academic and Student Affairs. Dr. Linnan also serves as a professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education and as a faculty member in Human Movement Science in the Department of Exercise Science and Sports. She currently serves as the Founding Director of the Carolina Collaborative on Work and Health.
Dr. Linnan is the author of more than 100 scientific articles and the co-editor, with Dr. Allan Steckler, of Process Evaluation for Public Health Interventions and Research (2002, Jossey-Bass) that addresses the need for systematic evaluations of public health interventions. She is also on the editorial board for journals such as the American Journal of Health Promotion.