Jon-Patrick Allem Joins the Rutgers School of Public Health and Rutgers Institute for Nicotine & Tobacco Studies
Jon-Patrick Allem, Ph.D., M.A., has joined the Rutgers School of Public Health’s Department of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy as an associate professor. He is also an associate professor of general internal medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and a core member of the Rutgers Institute for Nicotine & Tobacco Studies.
Allem's research harnesses digital data sources and cutting-edge methodologies to improve population health surveillance and policy. His research shows the different ways that corporations influence adolescent health, with current projects focusing on identifying sources of exposure to tobacco marketing among adolescents and young adults. Beyond his impact on scientific discourse, Allem is committed to using his science to impact public health.
“The Institute for Nicotine & Tobacco Studies and the Rutgers School of Public Health have excellent leadership from which I can learn a lot,” says Allem. “When you’re in academia, you look for positions where people can push you forward. The Institute for Nicotine & Tobacco Studies recently received a major, one-of-a-kind, award to establish a center for rapid surveillance of tobacco providing a unique opportunity to generate information about the tobacco market that can truly move the needle to advance knowledge and protect public health. I’m excited to apply my skills to better forecast and understand trends in tobacco marketing, the marketplace, and use behavior and inform tobacco product regulation.”
“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Allem as a new faculty member to the Institute,” said Cristine Delnevo, director of the Rutgers Institute for Nicotine & Tobacco Studies. “His expertise and scholarly record, particularly on the role of social media in public health, will immediately enrich our team. We look forward to supporting his research endeavors and know that it holds great promise for the field of tobacco and beyond.”
Allem aims to apply his research in ways to protect the health of large numbers of children including advocating for policies that protect children and adolescents from harmful media exposures and exacting punishments for companies that harm children through their unfair marketing practices. Because companies fight such policies, this type of advocacy necessarily involves the judiciary system, working with attorneys at state and local levels to develop, pass and enforce restrictions, and enact punishments.
“One of the things that I wanted to accomplish was working in a tenure-track position at a school that I felt was going to support my passion for developing courses informed by my research and experience in preventive medicine, behavioral science, digital media, and data science,” adds Allem.
“Dr. Allem’s scholarship focuses on an issue that is of special interest to today’s students – the influence of commercial forces, including the tech industry, on the health and well-being of children and adolescents,” says Paul Duberstein, chair of the Department of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy. “We are delighted that we were able to recruit Dr. Allem to the Rutgers School of Public Health, as we continue to strengthen our highly ranked degree program in Social and Behavioral Health Sciences.”
Allem obtained a B.A. in political science with a minor in history and a M.A. in political science from San Diego State University and completed a Ph.D. in health behavior research from the University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine. His postdoctoral training was completed in tobacco regulatory science at the USC Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science. In 2019, he founded the Social Media Analytics (SOMA) Lab in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences at the Keck School of Medicine.