Distinguished Scientist: Paul Estabrooks, Ph.D.

February 06, 2018

Image with caption: Paul Estabrooks, Ph.D.

Paul Estabrooks, Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony for UNMC's 2017 Scientist Laureate, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

  • Name: Paul Estabrooks, Ph.D.
  • Title: Harold M. Maurer Distinguished Chair, UNMC Department of Health Promotion
  • Joined UNMC: Jan. 1, 2016
  • Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

Research focus:

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Obesity

The goal of my research is to: develop physical activity, healthful eating, and weight management strategies that can be adopted and delivered broadly, have the ability for sustained and consistent implementation at a reasonable cost, reach large numbers of people, especially those who can most benefit, and produce replicable and long-lasting improvements in health.

My research will make a difference because: our team uses integrated research-practice partnerships to combine scientific evidence with practitioner expertise to design practical programs and practices that fit within typical health care and community organizations. This approach really increases how quickly scientific evidence can be used in practice. It typically takes about 17 years for less than one fifth of good research to be assimilated into clinical or community practice. With our approach our practice partners can test out recent scientific findings on ways to help people eat better, be more active, and achieve and sustain a healthy body -- and if findings lead to changes in their practice or patients, they can be sustained beyond the life of the study.

The best advice I've ever been given: is to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Sometimes the ideal thing just isn't possible, but there are alternatives that can have really good outcomes. This advice has helped a lot when working with community and clinical partners -- it gives real flexibility and still lets you get some really good things done.

Three things you may not know about me are:

  • I grew up in Calgary, Alberta.
  • I'm actually very tall (when compared to one of my four brothers and two sisters).
  • I love a good pun.


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Tom O'Connor
February 06, 2018 at 2:25 PM

Paul has been a great addition to the UNMC team. He is doing outstanding work for the College of Public Health. Great to see his efforts being recognized!

Rebecca Rae Anderson
February 06, 2018 at 8:24 AM

Kudos to a sharp, energetic, upbeat, productive, all-around great guy.