Gilbert Joseph Botvin, Ph.D.
Public Health-Preventative Medicine
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Gilbert Joseph Botvin, Ph.D.

Public Health-Preventative Medicine

Profile Photo of Gilbert Joseph Botvin, Ph.D.
Gender: Male
Language: English


Personal Statement

Dr. Botvin is a professor emeritus of psychology in the department of Population Health Sciences. As a behavioral scientist, his interests have centered on the intersection of health behavior and disease prevention. His research at Weill Cornell has focused on the etiology and prevention of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug abuse as well as delinquency and violence. His NIH-funded research has also focused on translational research concerning the dissemination, adoption, implementation, and sustained use of evidence-based prevention approaches in multiple settings and populations.   

Specialties and Expertise


  • Psychology
  • Public Health-Preventative Medicine


Dr. Botvin holds a BA (Colgate University) and MA, M.Phil., and Ph.D. (Columbia University) with training and experience in both developmental and clinical psychology. Dr. Botvin has been a member of Cornell's Weill Medical College full-time faculty since 1980. He is currently a professor emeritus of psychology in the department of Population Health Sciences. Previously he was a tenured professor of psychology in public health and a professor of psychology in psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. He was also chief of the division of prevention and health behavior in the department of public health and director of Cornell's Institute for Prevention Research. Prior to coming to Cornell, Dr. Botvin spent three years at the American Health Foundation where he was director of child health behavior research.

Dr. Botvin is an internationally known expert in the field of tobacco, alcohol, and drug abuse prevention. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and has presented over 300 papers and invited addresses at national and international scientific meetings.

Dr. Botvin has been a principal investigator on numerous NIH-funded prevention trials involving over 300 schools and 40,000 students. Among these is a  five-year drug abuse and violence prevention trial with inner-city youth and a 10-year center grant with collaborators at Columbia University focusing on drug abuse prevention with multi-ethnic youth. Dr. Botvin was also the principal investigator on two large-scale translational research prevention studies funded by NIH's National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Dr. Botvin is past president of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) and founding editor of SPR's journal, Prevention Science. He is the recipient of SPR's presidential award for prevention research excellence. In 1997, Dr. Botvin was the first prevention researcher to receive a prestigious MERIT award from NIDA (NIH), an award given to the most outstanding senior scientists funded by NIH.

Dr. Botvin has served on numerous expert panels and advisory committees for federal agencies such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Cancer Institute, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Education, and the White House Office on Drug Control Policy.

Dr. Botvin is the developer of a tobacco, alcohol, and drug abuse prevention program called Life Skills Training (LST), and is founder and president of National Health Promotion Associates, Inc. which markets the LST program and provides training services to teachers and health professionals.


Honors and Awards

Honors and Awards

  • Who's Who in the East (1983-Present)
  • Who's Who of Emerging Leaders in America (1987-Present)
  • Who's Who in America (1996-Present)
  • Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society in Education (1987)
  • American Psychological Association's Task Force on Promotion, Prevention, and Intervention Alternatives selected the Life Skills Training Program developed by Dr. Botvin as an exemplary prevention model (1986)
  • American Medical Association, National Congress on Adolescent Health Awards Program selected the Life Skills Training Program developed by Dr. Botvin as an outstanding substance abuse prevention program (1990)
  • National Community Leadership Award (Drug Abuse Prevention). Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Justice Department (1994)
  • MERIT Award, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH (1995)
  • Society for Prevention Research's Presidential Award for Distinguished Prevention Science (1998)
  • Society for Prevention Research, President-Elect, 1998-1999
  • Society for Prevention Research, Board Member, Board of Directors, 1998-2000
  • Exemplary Substance Abuse Prevention Programs Award, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (May, 16, 2000)
  • Society for Prevention Research, President, 2001-2002.


Clinical and Academic Positions

  • Professor Emeritus of Psychology in Population Health Sciences - Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., Columbia University, 1977
  • B.A., Colgate University, 1969


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Locations and Appointments

External Relationships

External Relationships

Relationships and collaborations with for-profit and not-for profit organizations are of vital importance to our faculty because these exchanges of scientific information foster innovation. As experts in their fields, WCM physicians and scientists are sought after by many organizations to consult and educate. WCM and its faculty make this information available to the public, thus creating a transparent environment.

No External Relationships Reported