James Sallis

James Sallis, Ph.D.

Congratulations to James Sallis, Ph.D, a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychology who worked at San Diego State University from 1989 to 2012.

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) announced the election of James F. Sallis, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor and Chief of the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychology at SDSU. Election to NAM is considered among the highest honors possible in the fields of health and medicine.

Formerly known as the Institute of Medicine, NAM was chartered by Congress in 1970 to provide authoritative, independent, scientifically balanced advice on health and medical issues of national importance. Sallis was among 70 new members and 9 international members announced today at the organization’s annual meeting, bringing NAM’s total active membership to 1,947 worldwide. More than 50 UC San Diego faculty members, current and emeritus, are members of NAM.

Dr. James F. Sallis, has devoted his career to promoting physical activity and understanding how policy and environmental influences impact health. “My career-long dedication to researching how physical activity affects our health has evolved into a sense of mission. Our team is focused on working with policy makers to understand how a community’s infrastructure, such as parks, crosswalks and bike paths, is directly related to physical activity and health and then identifying long-lasting solutions in underserved areas,” said Sallis. “It is a true honor to be elected into such a prestigious group of professionals for the research I am so proud of and that can improve lives around the globe.”

Sallis is co-director of the Physical Activity Research Center at UC San Diego, funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The goal of the Center is to conduct research that will lead to increased physical activity in children and reduce disparities in obesity. He has created the International Physical Activity and Environment Network (IPEN) to stimulate international research using comparable methods so data can be pooled. More than 500 researchers from 60 countries are part of the network.

Recent published papers by Sallis examine how science can shape healthy city planning and how a neighborhood’s design plays a critical role not only in physical activity but the reduction of non-communicable diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Sallis is a member of the National Academy of Science, Health and Medicine Division roundtable on obesity solutions. He received his doctoral training and degree from Memphis State University.  During his faculty career in the Department of Psychology at SDSU, Dr. Sallis taught courses in health psychology and behavioral medicine and played an important role in the nationally ranked SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology.