Dr. Komro is a social and behavioral epidemiologist focused on child health promotion by intervening on social determinants of health through policy change. For more than two decades, she has led NIH-funded cluster-randomized trials to study family, school, community and policy strategies to promote health and reduce high-risk behaviors and health disparities. Currently, with funding from NIMHD, she studies the effects of state-level family economic security policies on infant and child health using natural experiment design methods. She also collaborates on multiple community-based intervention projects. NIH has continually funded her research since the 1990s and she has published in the leading public health, prevention science, preventive medicine, addiction and health behavior journals.
Her meaningful and humbling experiences partnering with many diverse families, schools and communities have fueled her passion for addressing fundamental determinants of health. She is excited to share her knowledge, skills and passion with those dedicated to finding solutions through innovation and strong science to inform health-promoting policy action.
Dr. Komro serves as BSHE’s Director of Graduate Studies and has been recognized for her teaching and mentoring as recipient of the University of Florida College of Medicine Exemplary Teacher award in 2011, the Society for Prevention Research mentoring award in 2010, and the American Public Health Association’s Student Caucus mentor of the year award in 1999. She is a member of Delta Omega Society, the honorary public health society. She has held academic positions at the University of Minnesota and the University of Florida, where she served as Associate Director of the Institute for Child Health Policy. She is a graduate of the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota.
Dr. Komro's research has recently been highlighted at the National Institutes of Health and National Academies of Sciences.
Invited Panelist: The National Institutes of Health, Cutting Edge Science Meeting Series to End the Opioid Crisis: Contributions of Social and Behavioral Research to Addressing the Opioid Crisis, March 5-6, 2018. Dr. Komro was one of 26 leading social and behavioral scientists invited to participate in this roundtable discussion with NIH Director Francis Collins, OBSSR Director William Riley and Associate Director Wendy Smith, NIDA Director Nora Volkow, NCCIH Director David Shurtleff, and NIMHD Director Eliseo Perez-Stable.
Invited Speaker: The National Institutes of Health Behavioral and Social Sciences 2nd Annual Research Festival, Connecting People to Advance Health, December 8, 2017. Dr. Komro was one of nine scientists invited by the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research from a list of nominations they receive from the NIH Institutes.
Invited Speaker: The National Academies of Sciences Workshop on Achieving Health Equity: Promoting Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Health Equity for Children, Families and Communities, Community Engagement – A Means to Achieving Health Equity, November 14, 2017.
Areas of Interest
- Adolescent Health/Child Health
- Behavior and Health
- Community Based Research
- Health Outcomes
- Health Promotion
- Maternal and Child Health
- Health Disparities
- Public Health Policy
- Social Epidemiology
- Group-Randomized Trials
- Time-Series Field Experiments
- BSHE 710: Rsch.Designs in Beh.Social Sci
- BSHE 798R: Research Hours
- Spencer, R.A., Komro, K.A., 2017, Family economic security policies and child and family health, Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 20, 45-63
- Komro, K.A., 2018, 25 Years of complex intervention trials: Reflections on lived and scientific experiences, Research on Social Work Practice, 28, 523-531
- Komro, K.A., Livingston, M.D., Wagenaar, A.C., Kominsky, T.K., Pettigrew, D.W., Garrett, B.A., & the Cherokee Nation Prevention Trial , 2017, Multi-level prevention trial of alcohol use among American Indian and White high school students in the Cherokee Nation, American Journal of Public Health, 107, 453-459
- Livingston, M.D., Komro, K.A., Wagenaar, A.C., Kominsky, T.K., Pettigrew, D.W., & Garrett, B.A. , 2017, Effects of alcohol interventions on other drug use in the Cherokee Nation, American Journal of Public Health, 108, 259-261
- Markowitz, S., Komro, K.A., Livingston, M.D., Lenhart, O., & Wagenaar, A.C. , 2017, Effects of state-level Earned Income Tax Credit laws in the U.S. on maternal health behaviors and infant health outcomes., Social Science & Medicine, 194, 67-75
- Van Dyke, M.E., Komro, K.A., Shah, M.P., Livingston, M.D. & Kramer, M.R. , 2018, State-level minimum wage and heart disease death rates in the United States, 1980-2015: A novel application of marginal structural modeling, Preventive Medicine, 112, 97-103
- Komro, K.A., Lang, D.L., Walker, E.R., & Harper, P.D. , 2018, Integrating structural determinants into MPH training of health promotion professionals, American Journal of Public Health, 108, 477-479
- Wagenaar, A.C., Livingston, M.D., Pettigrew, D.W., Kominsky, T.K., & Komro, K.A., 2017, Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol (CMCA): Secondary analyses of an RCT showing effects of community organizing on alcohol acquisition by youth in the Cherokee Nation, Addiction, 113, 647-655
- Langford, R., Bonell, C., Komro, K., Murphy, S., Magnus, D., Waters, E., Gibbs, L. , 2017, The Health Promoting Schools framework: Known unknowns and an agenda for future research, Health Education and Behavior, ,
- Komro, K.A., 2018, Preventing risk for “deaths of despair” among American Indian youth: Unanswered questions for future research, American Journal of Public Health, 108, 971-973
- Komro, K.A., Livingston, M.D., Markowitz, S. & Wagenaar, A.C., 2016, The effect of an increased minimum wage on infant mortality and birth weight, American Journal of Public Health, 106, 1514-1516