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Daniel Alexander
November 8, 2022

Professor Ronny A. Bell, Ph.D., MS has been named the new Chair of the Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy (DPOP) at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, effective January 1, 2023

Dr. Bell is currently a Professor with tenure in the Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy in the Division of Public Health Sciences at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He also serves as Associate Director of Community Outreach and Engagement and Director of the Office of Cancer Health Equity at the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Bell completed his Bachelor of Science degree in public health nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Masters and doctorate in nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Following his Ph.D., he completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics and obtained a Masters in Epidemiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Throughout his time in higher education, Dr. Bell has served in various roles as a faculty member and administrator. Notably, he has been a member of the faculty at Wake Forest University School of Medicine for over 20 years, served as Director of the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest Baptist from 2006-2016, Professor and Chair at East Carolina University Department of Public Health from 2016-2020, and returned to Wake Forest in 2020 where he now serves as Professor in the Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy. Dr. Bell was named a Distinguished Alumnus in the UNC Department of Nutrition in 2021. Dr. Bell is a lifelong resident of North Carolina. He grew up in Robeson County, North Carolina and is an enrolled member of the Lumbee tribe. He currently serves as chair of the North Carolina American Indian Health Board.

Dr. Bell has maintained an active research portfolio with a focus on health disparities in cancer as well as a concentration in chronic disease disparities with an emphasis on rural and underserved populations. Dr. Bell has been funded extensively over the years by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as non-federal agencies and foundations. Dr. Bell has authored nearly 300 publications, many reflecting his role as a team member as well as lead author. Dr. Bell is known among colleagues in cancer centers nationally and has participated in national meetings and panel discussions as part of his role as Associate Director of Community Outreach and Engagement. Dr. Bell has served as research advisor and mentor for over 50 graduate students, one post-doctoral fellow and seven junior faculty.
In addition to his scholarly success, Dr. Bell has a long-standing track record of substantial and sustained service to his school, university and scientific discipline and substantial contributions as a reviewer for journals and granting agencies. He has continued to be active in the teaching and mentorship of students. His work ranges from supporting science education among minoritized students to continuing to act as course director for core courses such as research design and grant writing.

Upon his arrival to Carolina in January and given his distinguished career in population science and community-based participatory research, Dr. Bell will serve as a formal Senior Advisor to the Community Outreach and Engagement; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and Prevention and Control programs within the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Bell will also play an active role in the UNC American Indian Center. Dr. Bell will continue his legacy of research, service, teaching, and mentorship when he joins the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in January! Dr Bell shared, “I am very excited to return to UNC and serve in the top Pharmacy school in the country. I am thankful for the opportunity to become part of the Eshelman School of Pharmacy family.”

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Bell on his new appointment and leadership role at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and welcoming him to our Pharmily!

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