• Professor, Health and Kinesiology

Research Summary

Dissemination & Implementation Science (studying the process of moving research evidence into community and clinical action). Integrated research-practice partnerships to improve system supports for physical activity, healthful eating, and weight control. Testing innovative health promotion program, policy, and practice interventions that can be adapted and adopted in schools, workplaces, communities and clinics—and advance racial, ethnic, or geographic health equity.


  • Master of Science, THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY


Dr. Paul Estabrooks began his research career as a graduate student in Canada (1996-1999) focused on group dynamics and physical activity with a goal to understand how best to design effectiven interventions and the mechanisms by which those interventions were successful. He learned early in his career the value of partnering with systems (community or clinical) to help develop interventions that were based in sound science but also were practical and could be delivered in practice. 

After his doctorate, Paul took a job at Kansas State University (1999-2003) as an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology and as a Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Office of Community Health. During this time he developed, with his colleagues and community partners, a systems based approach to better integrate research and practice resources--this model led to the scale up of Walk Kansas, a group dynamics based intervention that successfully engaged primarily rural participants and increased physical activity for nearly 70,000 Kansas over its first 5 years of delivery. 

In 2002, Paul collaborated with Drs. Russ Glasgow, Marcia Ory, Lisa Kleges, and David Dzewaltowski in the development of the National RE-AIM (reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance) workgroup. The workgroup's mission was, and is, to implement a robust and evolving conceptual, implementation research framework to advance science, enhance practice, and influence policy through collaboration and training. As part of this collaboration, Paul participated in the development of the website which has been providing resources to research and community partners for nearly 20 years. 

From Kansas, Paul moved to work at the Kaiser Permanente Clinical Research Unit in Denver (2003-2007) where he developed and led the Prevention Rapid Cycle Research Team that developed successful and sustained interventions for physical activity promotion, diabetes prevention, and childhood obesity treatment. Each of these interventions were integrated into practice across Colorado and Paul's research highlighted the importance of using horizontal and vertical system engagement to increase the likelihood of interventions optimizing RE-AIM outcomes. 

Subsequent to Kaiser Permanente Paul took a job as an associate professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise at Virginia Tech (2007-2015). While in Virginia, he developed the Translational Obesity Research Center with Dr. Kevin Davy and served as the Senior Director of Research at Carilion Clinic. During this time Paul focused on research capacity building for community and clinical partners, the role of financial incentives in weight loss, and community-engaged approaches to address childhood obesity in medically underserved communities. 

Next Paul served for 6 years as the Chair of the Department of Health Promotion at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (2016-2022). He continued his work on physical activity promotion, diabetes prevention, and weight management with a focus on digitally delivered interventions and community engagement. He was also co-director of the Great Plains Institutional Development Award Clinical and Translational Research Network and director of the Community Engagement Core. 

Most recently, Paul joined the University of Utah as Associate Dean of Community Engagement in the College of Health and professor in the Department of Health & Kinesiology (January 2022-ongoing). Current projects include increasing access and utilization of health promotion and lifestyle interventions in clinical and community settings, promoting health through the U Health Wellness Bus, and advancing the Exercise is Medicine initiative. Paul also continues to work and develop projects related to diabetes prevention and childhood obesity treatment. Drop him a note if you'd like to get involved in his work! (