Traci Toomey, PhD, MPH
Dr. Toomey is an expert in public health policy, with a particular expertise in substance use control policies. She has served as the principal investigator or co-investigator of nearly 40 externally-funded research studies focusing on substance use (alcohol, cannabis, tobacco). She has been a leader on a series of studies assessing and/or changing the alcohol, cannabis, and tobacco retail environments, and on studies measuring the prevalence, strength, and effects of local and state substance-use-related policies. Dr. Toomey is the director of the Alcohol Epidemiology Program (AEP) at the University of Minnesota. AEP is one of the leading research groups studying effects of alcohol policies on public health harms. Dr. Toomey is a global expert in prevention strategies to reduce underage and college student drinking. She was an author on seminal review articles commissioned by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)—one on effects of the minimum legal drinking age and two on policies and strategies to prevent and reduce college student drinking. She led the team that developed the summary of environmental strategies for NIAAA’s College Alcohol Intervention Matrix, a comprehensive guide for addressing college student alcohol use. Her research has been funded by the NIAAA, Department of Defense, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Cancer Institute, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Additionally, Dr. Toomey has 15 years of administrative leadership and is an award-winning instructor and advisor.
Dr. Toomey’s research expertise has been instrumental in many community outreach efforts. She has served: (1) on Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Board of Directors, (2) as a consultant for the Congress for the Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking (STOP) Act, (3) on the Advisory Board for the U.S. Alcohol Policy Alliance (Co-chair), (4) on the Coordination Team of the CDC Guide to Community Preventive Services Alcohol Initiative, and (5) on the Center for Advancing Alcohol Science to Practice core team.
The work of Dr. Toomey and her colleagues has led to changes in policy and practice throughout the U.S.
Awards and Recognition
- Award for Excellence in Advising, School of Public Health, 2023
- Academy for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Academic Health Center, University of Minnesota, 2018
- Outstanding Advising and Mentoring Award, Council of Graduate Students, University of Minnesota, 2017
- Leonard M. Schuman Excellence in Teaching Award, 2015
- University of Minnesota Academy of Distinguished Teaching Professors, 2012
- Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education Award, University of Minnesota, 2012
- College-Based Leadership Award, ATOD Section, American Public Health Association, 2011
- MN MADD Choice Award, 2008
- School of Public Health Faculty Community Service Award, 2002
- John B. Hawley Award for Health Promotion Research, 1992-1993
- Lester Breslow Award for Health Promotion, 1992
- Delta Omega Honor Society, 1992
- Phi Beta Kappa, 1988
- Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, 1987
- National Merit Scholarship, 1984-88