Burt Cowgill

Dr. Burt Cowgill is an adjunct associate professor who resides in the UCLA Kaiser Permanent Center for Health Equity and Center for Cancer Prevention and Control Research in the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is also a Pod Leader for the Research Well Pod at the UCLA Semel Healthy Campus Initiative Center. Dr. Cowgill received his PhD from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in 2007 from the Department of Health Policy and Management in Health Care Outcomes Research. He has extensive experience working with community-based organizations in the design, implementation and evaluation of a wide variety of research projects. Dr. Cowgill's areas of research include health promotion and disease prevention among youth and young adult populations, including a focus on nutrition and physical activity policies and practices in community-based settings and e-cigarette and tobacco use prevention in youth serving organizations. 

Prior to returning to academic teaching and research, Dr. Cowgill served as a fellow for Senator Edward Kennedy's Health Committee staff, working on the passage of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and as an analyst for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

During his time with CMS, Dr. Cowgill worked to implement regulations aligned with the implementation of Medicaid Managed Care and partnered with the CDC and State Medicaid agencies on child and adolescent immunization performance measurement, quality improvement projects, and funding for immunization registries.

He is experienced in both quantitative and qualitative research and analytical techniques.

Center Affiliations


  • PhD, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
  • MPH, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
  • BA, Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles, CA

Areas of Interest

  • Health Policy and Insurance Status
  • Adolescent Health Promotion
  • Tobacco Prevention and Control
  • Obesity Prevention and Control
  • Community Based Participatory Research

Selected Publications

  • Dhanjani SA, Yang HH, Goyal S, Zhang K, Gee G, Cowgill BO. Trends in healthcare access disparities among Asian and Pacific Islander health fair participants in Los Angeles, 2011-2019. Public Health Reports. 2022: doi.org/10.1177/003335492110613288
  • Cowgill BO, Perez V, Gerdes E, Sadda A, Ly C, Slusser W, Leung A. Get up, stand up, stand up for your health! Faculty and student perspectives on addressing prolonged sitting in university settings, Journal of American College Health, 2020: DOI: 10.1080/07448481.2019.1661419
  • Cowgill BO, Herrmann A, Richardon J, Guthmann D, McKee M, Malzhuhn M, Berman B.    Understanding e-cigarette knowledge and use among Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students and the need for tailored prevention programming: A qualitative study. American Annals of the Deaf. 2020:165(3):335-352
  • Bogart LM, Elliott MN, Cowgill BO, Klein DJ, Hawes-Dawson J, Uyeda K, Schuster MA. Two-year BMI outcomes from a school-based intervention for nutrition and exercise: A randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics. 2016;137(5): pii 320152493.
  • Cowgill BO, Chung PJ, Thompson L, Elijah J, Lamb S, Garcia VP, Bastani R. Parental views on engaging families of middle school students about obesity prevention and control in a multi-ethnic population. Preventing Chronic Disease. 2014 Apr 4;11:E54
  • Bogart LM, Cowgill BO, Elliott MN, Klein DJ, Hawes-Dawson J, Uyeda K, Elijah J, Binkle DG, Schuster MA. A randomized controlled trial of Students for Nutrition and eXercise (SNaX): A community-based participatory research study. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2014; 55(3):415-22
  • Chung PJ, Lui CK, Cowgill BO, Hoffman GJ, Elijah J, Schuster MA. Employment, family leave, and parents of newborns or seriously ill children. Academic Pediatrics. 2012; 12: 181-188
  • Coker TR, Chung PJ, Cowgill BO, Chen L, Rodriguez MA. Low-income parents' views on the redesign of well-child care. Pediatrics. 2009; 124: 194-204
  • Cowgill BO, Bogart LM, Corona R, Ryan G, Schuster MA. Fears about HIV transmission in families with an HIV-infected parent: A qualitative analysis. Pediatrics. 2008; 122: e950-958