By TERRA OSTERLING
Published September 1, 2023
Lynn T. Kozlowski, PhD, Professor Emeritus and dean of the School of Public Health and Health Professions from 2008 to 2014, has retired. His 49-year academic career, during which he emerged as a world-renowned leader and expert in tobacco control and more recently e-cigarette use, brought him to University at Buffalo in 2006.
Kozlowski has been an influential researcher for nicotine addiction, cigarette marketing and packaging, tobacco policy of filtered cigarettes and e-cigarettes, as well as social-environmental implications of cigarette smoke on population health, with this work making a deep and lasting impact on public health. His significant contributions include his research results shaping the regulation of tobacco products as well as public perceptions of the dangers associated with nicotine use, from prenatal effects of cigarette usage to adult nicotine dependency.
From the classroom to local news stations, and even the White House Rose Garden, Kozlowski has shared his expertise and passion for his research topics to encourage change in the way people across generations view tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and the public health challenges posed by smoking, vaping, and chewing nicotine-based products.
Kozlowski has also been responsible for training and mentoring dozens of students, postdocs and faculty, and is beloved and respected by the UB community for his leadership within the public health field as well as on campus.
Kozlowski was recruited in 2006 from The Pennsylvania State University to be the founding chair of the Department of Health Behavior, now the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior. The creation of this department was required for the schools’ first accreditation process, which Kozlowski critically and successfully led, paving the way for establishing UB’s reputation among schools of public health and health-related professions.
In 2008, Kozlowski accepted the role of interim dean of the school and emerged as the best candidate to become permanent dean after a national search.
Kozlowski started his academic career as an assistant professor of psychology at Wesleyan University. He moved to Canada to serve as a senior scientist and head of the Behavioral Research Program on Tobacco Use at the Addiction Research Foundation in Toronto. He was also professor of preventive medicine and biostatistics, and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto and Professor and later head of the Department of Biobehavioral Health in the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State.
“Lynn’s passion for teaching, thoughtful research, supportive mentoring and great friendship will be missed by colleagues and students alike,” said Gregory G. Homish, PhD, chair of the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior. “Therefore, we are thrilled to announce a new philanthropic endeavor, named for Dr. Kozlowski, that will support exceptional students in our department who are focused on creating positive change in the field of public health.”
The establishment of the Lynn T. Kozlowski Community Health and Health Behavior Fund exemplifies his meaningful mark on UB’s school and department communities and honors his longstanding impact on the UB community through education, leadership, mentorship and research advances in the field of public health.
Through its dedication to research, training and outreach, the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior helps prepare students for success in the public health arena. Within the department, students learn how to conduct research on behavioral and community factors influencing disease prevention and health promotion; create positive changes in the health of their local, regional and broader communities; and develop, implement, monitor and evaluate public health programs addressing behavioral and community health.
The fund will provide resources supporting the activities and work of the department, and ultimately for the students who will go on to careers shaping public health in public health agencies, academia, health care delivery systems, voluntary health agencies and private research firms.