New York Medical College

Alumni & Development

Irina Ellison, Ph.D. ’05

A college biology teacher has spread her anti-smoking message of health far beyond the confines of her classroom. Her advocacy helped her workplace become completely smoke-free.

Irina Ellison, Ph.D. ’05

Irina Ellison, Ph.D. ’05

Stamping out smoking and building community

Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences


Irina Ellison graduated from the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences in 2005 with a doctorate in pathology. But she took her basic sciences degree in an unusual direction when she began teaching cell and molecular biology to undergraduates at St. Francis College in Brooklyn: protecting and preserving public health. Unlike some anti-smoking advocates, Irina Ellison’s campaign is not a backlash against a childhood spent choking on relatives’ secondhand smoke. She has simply always been interested in disease prevention. Her dissertation research on the ways that different racial groups metabolize cigarette smoke—and her finding that smoking puts some minorities at greater risk than whites—stoked her interest even more. “I’m interested in bridging basic science research with public health research to help people understand how their behaviors affect their health,” she says.

Read more about Irina Ellison here!




Page updated: August 15, 2012