Georgia State plans to expand tobacco product regulatory science division

Georgia State is currently seeking experienced public health, economics and law scholars to join its faculty as part of its Tobacco Product of Regulatory Science Second Century Initiative (2CI) program this year.

The 2CI Initiative is a five-year program designed to build nationally recognized scholarly strength around common research themes and to emphasize interdisciplinary collaboration, according to the job posting.

In what was the largest grant in Georgia State history, the university’s School of Public Health and its partners will receive 19 million dollars over the course of five years from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish a Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS), according to the School of Public Health website.

Georgia State was one of 14 universities awarded the new FDA TCORS grant, according to the FDA website.

Anna Valera, director of communications for the School of Public Health, said the primary goal is to build international scholarly strength and mass critique around research themes.

“The primary goal of the initiative is to build internationally recognized scholarly strength and critical mass around common research themes in order to enhance Georgia State University’s overall quality, federally funded research and to elevate the university overall recognition for excellence in research,” she said.

The Tobacco Product of Regulatory Science (TPORS) is a program designed to generate research to inform the regulation of tobacco products to protect public health, according to Michael Eriksen, Dean of the School of Public Health.

This program is led by Eriksen and by the Senate Executive Committee, according to Valera.

Full-time or associate professor positions for the program have been posted on Vitae, an online career hub for college professors and administrators seeking jobs since Nov. 3, according to Vitae’s website.

Georgia State is also attempting to hire established researchers who have expertise in behavior, public health and addiction, according to Valera.

“We’re seeking scholars with at least a doctoral degree in public health, economics, or law that can help create solution to conquer the challenges of the 21st century. Applicants also must have experience in teaching and regulatory science, as well as the ability to contribute to the University and profession through service activities,” she said.

Once hired, the selectees are expected to join their respected college’s faculty to coordinate and teach graduate level classes, according to Valera.

“New employees will provide and research advisement to graduate students, strengthen interdisciplinary collaborations, forge connections with University-Level Research Centers and sustain our nationally competitive core facilities,” she said.

Those selected will also collaborate with faculty and help increase Georgia State’s research capacity and expand expertise in tobacco control and regulatory science.

They will respond also respond to opportunities in other public health areas that require regulatory action such as food, beverages and alcohol, according to the job posting.

Georgia State, with its partners of the University of Illinois at Chicago and Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International, will focus on a particularly important and often overlooked aspect of regulatory science, the understanding of human decision-making around the use of tobacco, according to the School of Public Health website.

Varela said the Senate Executive Committee (SEC), deans of the various schools and colleges and other university officers are excited about the promise of this division.

“We are excited to be awarded this grant and we hope to generate essential research to develop meaningful product regulation which will in turn reduce the toll of tobacco-related disease, disability and death in the United States as well as train the next generation of tobacco regulatory scientists,” she said.

Valera also said the TCORS program will consist of the School of Public Health, College of Law and the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.

Junior Marquice Brown said he’s glad that Georgia State made this program to justify why it’s a tobacco-free campus.

“I think it’s great that Georgia State has this tobacco research program because it shows the nation how tobacco affects the youth and why it should be banned,” he said.

Georgia State senior Patrick White said he is hopeful the tobacco program will help reduce the use of tobacco products.

“Hopefully this program can raise more awareness about the dangers of tobacco around campus and reduce the use of it,” he said. “Because I’m getting tired of the campus smelling like cigarettes.”

Valera said she is optimistic about the future for programs like the Tobacco Product of Regulatory Science Second Century Initiative.

“As we move to increase funding for these types of programs, we hope that they will continue to see federal support. So in the future programs like the TPORS can be supported by research centers that will facilitate the conduct and administration of research,” she said.