A leading epidemiologist and population health specialist from Wisconsin is the new dean of the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University.
Dr. F. Javier Nieto, chairman of the Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, will begin his new duties on Oct. 31. He succeeds Tammy Bray, who recently stepped down as dean after serving in that role since 2002.
“Dr. Nieto not only has extraordinary professional credentials as an educator, researcher, mentor and administrative leader, he is a genuinely warm and service oriented leader,” says Ron Adams, interim provost and executive vice provost at OSU. “His commitment to health as a fundamental human right and his desire to engage the people of Oregon in community-based health and research activities are an excellent fit for the College of Public Health and Human Sciences and its mission of lifelong health and well-being for everyone.”
Nieto, the Helfaer Professor of Public Health at the University of Wisconsin, also has appointments in the Department of Family Medicine & Community Health, and the University of Wisconsin Center for Demography and Ecology. He earned his medical degree from the University of Valencia in Spain and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
As dean, Nieto will assume leadership of one of OSU’s largest and fastest-growing colleges, with nearly 3,000 undergraduate students, 250 graduate students, and 220 students at the OSU-Cascades campus in Bend. The college has more than 100 tenure-track faculty, who last year generated nearly $19 million in research funding. The college has four research centers and a new Oregon Center for Health Innovation. In 2014, it became the first school of public health in Oregon to earn accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health.
Nieto’s own research spans a number of fields, including cardiovascular disease epidemiology, socio-economic determinants of health, and the epidemiology and health consequences of sleep disorders. He has been principal investigator and collaborator on numerous major research grants, both federally and privately funded, and has more than 250 publications in peer-reviewed journals or as book chapters.
Among some of his research projects:
- Principal investigator of “Survey of Health of Wisconsin” (SHOW), a $4.1 million study funded by the Wisconsin Partnership Fund for a Healthy Future
- Principal investigator on a $5.5 million project funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study novel health approaches to cardiovascular disease and pulmonary health disparities
- Co-investigator of the “Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study,” the world’s longest follow-up population-based study of the health consequences of sleep disorders, receiving continuing NIH funding for more than 25 years
Before joining the University of Wisconsin faculty, Nieto worked from 1991 to 2001 in a variety of capacities at The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, including serving as director of its General Epidemiology Program.
Before moving to the United States, he was the director of the Division of Primary Health Care in the Province of Segovia in Spain, where he coordinated the region’s primary health care centers.
Nieto has served as a consultant for numerous organizations including the National Institutes of Health, Institute of Medicine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Heart Association, American College of Epidemiology, Sleep Research Society, Pan American Health Organization and others.