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Pitt Doctor Honored for Research on Links Between Media and Health

Brian Primack, M.D., Receives Early Career Investigator Award from the Society of Behavioral Medicine

PITTSBURGH, April 8, 2010 – Brian Primack, M.D., Ed.M, M.S., today was awarded the Early Career Investigator Award at the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s 31st Annual Meeting, being held this week in Seattle. Dr. Primack, who is an assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, was recognized for his body of research focusing on the relationship between mass media and health.

“I was humbled to hear that I received this award, especially after looking over the list of past recipients who have done ground-breaking work,” said Dr. Primack. “I am delighted that the committee is interested in research on strategies for keeping people healthy in an increasingly media-driven society.”

The Early Career Investigator Award recognizes one recipient each year who, despite being early in his or her career, has made outstanding and lasting contributions to the field of behavioral medicine.

Since 2006, Dr. Primack has published 28 original research studies in a wide variety of leading peer-reviewed journals, including Pediatrics, Archives of General Psychiatry, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Addiction and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. These studies have explored topics such as racial disparities in tobacco advertising, the portrayal of substance use and sexual behavior in popular music, teaching principles of marketing to medical students to improve patient care, and the association between “media literacy” and adolescent smoking. Although many of his studies uncover potentially harmful effects of media, Dr. Primack also researches ways that mass media, technological advances and media literacy can be used to improve health.

After graduating from Yale University with degrees in English literature and mathematics, Dr. Primack received his medical degree from Emory Medical School and his master’s degree in education from Harvard University. He is the recent recipient of the Society of Adolescent Medicine New Investigator Award, the Robert Wood Johnson Physician Faculty Scholar Award and the University of Pittsburgh Provost’s Innovation in Education Award. 

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

As one of the nation’s leading academic centers for biomedical research, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine integrates advanced technology with basic science across a broad range of disciplines in a continuous quest to harness the power of new knowledge and improve the human condition. Driven mainly by the School of Medicine and its affiliates, Pitt has ranked among the top 10 recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1997 and now ranks fifth in the nation, according to preliminary data for fiscal year 2008. Likewise, the School of Medicine is equally committed to advancing the quality and strength of its medical and graduate education programs, for which it is recognized as an innovative leader, and to training highly skilled, compassionate clinicians and creative scientists well-equipped to engage in world-class research. The School of Medicine is the academic partner of UPMC, which has collaborated with the University to raise the standard of medical excellence in Pittsburgh and to position health care as a driving force behind the region’s economy. For more information about the School of Medicine, see

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