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Miriam Researcher Receives Lifespan Excellence in Research Award


Lori Scott-Sheldon, Ph.D. honored by Judge Bruce Selya

Lori A. J. Scott-Sheldon, PhD, a research scientist with The Miriam Hospital’s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine , was recognized with the 2013 Bruce M. Selya Award for Excellence in Research. The award is presented annually by Judge Bruce M. Selya from the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit at the Lifespan Annual Research Celebration, held on October 31, 2013.

Lori Scott-Sheldon, PhD Selya Award
The Honorable Bruce M. Selya, (left) senior federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, presents the Bruce M. Selya Award for Research Excellence to Lori A Scott-Sheldon, PhD, (right) assistant professor, Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at The Miriam Hospital during the 21th Annual Research Celebration, hosted by Rhode Island Hospital, on October 31, 2013.

Scott-Sheldon’s research focuses on health promotion and disease prevention. She is especially interested in behavioral interventions aimed at reducing risky behaviors, such as hazardous and harmful alcohol use, unsafe sexual activity, and HIV; barriers and facilitators of protective and risky health behaviors; and contextualizing health messages to promote health behavior change.

“Dr. Scott-Sheldon brings so many great characteristics to her research — seemingly infinite energy, superb skills, high standards, and a heartfelt commitment to social justice,” said Michael Carey, PhD, director of the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at The Miriam Hospital “The net effect of these wonderful characteristics is methodologically rigorous research focused on important health and social problems. She’s also a great colleague and a dedicated mentor.”

In his nomination letter, Carey also noted Scott-Sheldon’s reputation as an internationally recognized expert in meta-analytic methodology and statistical analyses – the same approach she uses in her work to determine the state of the science and evaluate the efficacy of interventions to improve sexual health, reduce the incidence of HIV and limit alcohol consumption.

Scott-Sheldon’s ongoing research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and she is well-published in leading medical, public health, psychological and multi-disciplinary journals in behavioral and preventive medicine. She is also an associate editor of the peer-reviewed journal Archives of Sexual Behavior and a consulting editor for AIDS & Behavior and Health Psychology.

“Dr. Scott-Sheldon’s work clearly addresses important health issues and concerns, particularly with her focus on health and alcohol use, sexual risk behavior and HIV/AIDS, coping with HIV, and other chronic health disorders, diseases and conditions,” said Peggy McGill, director of research administration for Lifespan. “She is not only someone to watch in our research community, but she is also gaining a national reputation as a leader in her area of research. We congratulate Dr. Scott-Sheldon on this well-deserved honor.”

An assistant professor (research) in the department of psychiatry and human behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Scott-Sheldon was elected to the International Academy of Sex Research in 2011 and the Research Society on Alcoholism in 2013, and has also been actively involved in the Society of Behavioral Medicine since 2005.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Houghton College, her master’s degree from St. Bonaventure University, and her PhD in social psychology, specializing in health psychology and quantitative methods, from the University of Connecticut.

The Lifespan Board instituted this award in 1999 as a means to honor former Lifespan Board Chairman, the Honorable Bruce Selya, who served as Chairman from the creation of Lifespan in 1994 until the end of 1999. The Lifespan Board recognized Judge Selya’s “steadfast commitment to academic medicine and his keen insight concerning the importance of academic programs to quality health care at Lifespan.” This award provides recognition of research excellence at the level of the independent investigator and serves to enhance the visibility and role of research within the Lifespan community. The recipient is noted as a “rising star” in the research community.