49th Lester Breslow Distinguished Lecture, featuring Dr. Michael Prelip


Join the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health for the 49th Lester Breslow Distinguished Lecture on Tuesday, February 6, from 12 pm – 1 pm PST, via Zoom. The event will be hosted by the dean of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Dr. Ron Brookmeyer.

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Dr. Michael Prelip, professor of community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, will present his lecture “The Strength of Community: Why collaborating with communities is critical to public health research, practice, and training” at the 49th Lester Breslow Distinguished Lecture. Prelip will also provide his perspective and insight about the evolution of public health practice and collaboration with communities, as well as lessons learned.

Dr. Michael Prelip is a health promotion intervention scientist whose research primarily focuses on the health and wellness of under-resourced communities. Prelip is an experienced community researcher and has led numerous initiatives involving community members, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and health care delivery systems to improve health. He has worked extensively in school-based and community-based food/nutrition and obesity related applied research projects. Overall, his projects have included local, statewide and global efforts (including projects in West Africa, Mexico and Armenia). Prelip has held numerous leadership positions at UCLA Fielding over the years including associate dean for public health practice and chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences.

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Dr. Lester Breslow -- a former dean of the UCLA Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health, professor emeritus of health services, and a leading figure in public health for seven decades -- was a visionary with a well-established track record for being ahead of his time. As early as the 1940s, he linked tobacco use to disease in three studies that were later cited in the U.S. Surgeon General’s landmark 1964 report.

Breslow is widely known for his early advocacy and research into health promotion and disease prevention. Breslow’s pioneering Alameda County studies beginning in the early 1960s were among the first to show that simple health practices — such as getting regular exercise and sleep, not drinking excessively, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight — add both years and quality to life.

While these conclusions are taken for granted today, the idea of such a strong connection between lifestyle and health was seen as "bizarre" at the time, Breslow noted decades later. He would smile when recalling the response of the National Institutes of Health panel of scientists that reviewed the initial study proposal: "Unanimous rejection." When the study was completed, even Breslow was shocked at the magnitude of the results, which helped usher in current thinking about health and fitness. 


READ MORE about Dr. Lester Breslow.

READ MORE about the Lester Breslow Distinguished Lecture series.