Professor Jim Sallis PhD

Jim SallisEmeritus Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California, San Diego

Professorial Fellow, ACU

James F. Sallis, Ph.D is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at University of California, San Diego and Professorial Fellow at the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, ACU. His primary research interests are promoting physical activity and understanding policy and environmental influences on physical activity, sedentary behaviour, nutrition, and obesity. Prof. Sallis was a pioneer in developing the interdisciplinary study of built environment and physical activity, including such topics as community walkability, design of parks, and facilities for safe bicycling. He co-founded IPEN (International Physical Activity and Environment Network), which is coordinating international studies in over 20 countries. His health improvement programs have been studied and used in health care settings, schools, universities, and companies.

His current focus is using research to inform policy and environmental changes that will increase physical activity and reduce obesity and chronic diseases. He is the author of over 600 scientific publications, on the editorial boards of several journals, and one of the world’s most cited authors in the social sciences. Thomson-Reuters identified him as one of the world’s most creative scientific minds of  2014, 2015, and 2016. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports. He serves on the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Obesity Solutions and is an elected member of the US National Academy of Medicine. He is current President of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.

Professor Sallis’ appointment at IHA will ensure continued productivity with several of his projects, including IPEN studies with long-time collaborators Professors Ester Cerin and Takemi Sugiyama. The team are seeking funding via the US National Institutes of Health to coordinate an IPEN study of older adults, and Professor Cerin has applied for ARC funding for an Australian IPEN Senior study. The team have also recently engaged a Research Fellow with biostatistical expertise to continue analyses of IPEN data. ACU recently approved partial support for key staff of the IPEN Coordinating Center based at UCSD as part of a collaborative venture to continue working on IPEN after the NIH funding ends.

Professor Sallis is working closely with Professor Cerin with a proposal to advance knowledge in the role of built environments in preserving cognitive function in older adults, as well as exploring mechanisms for the expected effects.

Professor Sallis is also playing a senior leadership role with other IHA researchers to advance their work. He provides mentoring and career guidance to IHA’s PhD students and early career researchers, to supplement the guidance from their primary supervisors.


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