Turning great ideas into healthier communities

Thomas Greenfield, PhD

Center Director

Tom Greenfield is scientific director of PHI's Alcohol Research Group (ARG). He also directs ARG's National Alcohol Research Center, which focuses on the epidemiology of alcohol problems and is sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

Greenfield is a core faculty member of the clinical services research training program at the University of California at San Francisco's Department of Psychiatry.

His research interests include the epidemiology of alcohol use and problems, alcohol policy studies, consumer satisfaction, national alcohol surveys and consumption measurement, drinking patterns and mortality, and services research. He oversees the ARG Center's National Alcohol Surveys, conducted every five years.

After eight years of research and practice at Washington State University and before coming to ARG in 1991, he was an associate director at the Marin Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems responsible for its research portfolio. He has served as vice president and secretary of the Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Study of Alcohol. Greenfield has served on the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association and on the Extramural Advisory Board of the NIAAA.  He is a field editor at ACER, assistant editor at Addiction, and on the Editorial Advisory boards for several journals including AJPH.

Greenfield earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from The University of Michigan.

Alcohol's Harms to Others Among US Adults: Individual and Contextual Effects

This survey project would be the first to assess comprehensively the types and seriousness of harms from others’ drinking in the US national adult population. By studying how relationships of victims and perpetrators, neighborhood social and economic factors, and state alcohol policies may add to or reduce risks of heavy drinkers’ harms to families, friends, and strangers, the research will inform prevention planning and generate findings relevant for developing evidence-informed alcohol policies.

Alcohol’s Harms to Others: Multinational Cultural Contexts and Policy Implications

This project would be the first to assess the types, severity, and individual and contextual correlates of harms from others’ heavy drinking in a wide range of societies with greatly varying drinking cultures and policies. Studying alcohol’s harms to others in a multinational, public health framework parallels the role that data on second-hand smoking harms played in making the case for tobacco regulations. The study will apply new metrics, including reduced quality of life and other costs, to document the severity of second-hand impacts of alcohol. By studying comprehensively how individual, social, and economic influences, as well as national alcohol policies, may affect heavy drinkers’ harms to families, friends, and strangers, the research will inform prevention planning and generate data to help gauge alcohol policy effects on these harms in varying cultural contexts.

Drinking Patterns & Ethnicity: Impact on Mortality Risks

This project conducts a secondary analysis of existing data to enhance understanding of patterns of alcohol consumption and the epidemiology of alcohol-related problems and mortality. Objectives include addressing risk and protective factors in the U.S. population and in white, black and Hispanic subpopulations of both genders.

Epidemiology of Alcohol Problems/National Alcohol Research Center

The goal of the National Alcohol Research Center is to explore relationships between well-characterized drinking patterns and numerous highly specific problems, as well as to look at conditions such as drug taking, disability, poverty and access to services. The Alcohol Research Group addresses emerging topics that are crucial policy concerns such as interpersonal violence and health-related harms.

Gender, Alcohol and Culture: Secondary Data Analysis

The project supports the re-analysis of GENACIS (Gender, Alcohol, and Culture: Secondary Data Analysis) data. Areas of involvement include the initial scale development tasks as well as analyses related to risk curves, societal and demographic influences, drinking contexts and informal social pressures.

National Alcohol Research Center Administrative Core

This administrative core provides support for principal investigator Thomas Greenfield, PhD, who manages the center. The core also supports the center's two associate directors, Cheryl Cherpitel, DrPH, and Lee Ann Kaskutas, DrPH. Kaskutas directs training and is multiple PI of the T32 training grant. Cherpitel encourages and supports collaborative research partnerships with other centers and research organizations. Sarah Zemore, PhD, leads an enrichment speakers program, which brings renowned scientists to ARG to present their new research. She also serves as multiple PI of the T32 training grant.

National Alcohol Research Center Methodological Studies -- Study 1

This National Alcohol Research Center project is one of three distinct and innovative methodological sub-studies. It analyzes data from wireless and landline telephone samples in the most recent National Alcohol Survey. By 2015 the mobile-only population is projected to amount to 30 percent of US adults, so it is critical to reach this group for valid results. 

National Alcohol Research Center Statistical and Data Services Core (A Center Core Component)

The SDS Core provides biostatistical consulting, analysis, and data management support for the Center’s other core and research components and participates actively in Pilot Projects. The SDS Core also involves training activities to enhance statistical capacities of scientific staff at all levels.

The Core also undertakes data archiving and documentation of measures, to increase data value and access, as well as helping assure that appropriate analysis, database storage, and integrity procedures are followed. A series of statistical methodology seminars for staff will increase sophistication in using newer techniques. Experience with cutting-edge statistical methodologies benefits all Center components and simultaneously helps train the next generation of alcohol researchers, improving their effectiveness.

National Alcohol Survey Resources

The aims of this core project of the National Alcohol Research Center include conducting and managing the National Alcohol Survey (NAS) undertaken every five years, with highly similar questions over the past 30 years. The 2009-10 NAS was the 12th in the series, a dual-frame landline and cell phone survey of nearly 8,000 US adults. The 13th in the series is currently being planned; it is scheduled for 2014-15.  The NAS data are vital for tracking US alcohol intake patterns and problems.


Trends in Alcohol’s Harms to Others (AHTO) and Co-occurrence of Family-Related AHTO: The Four US National Alcohol Surveys, 2000–2015 (2015)

PHI Alcohol Research Group researchers Thomas K. Greenfield, Katherine Karriker-Jaffe, Lauren Kaplan and William C. Kerr, along with Sharon C. Wils...

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Study Links Alcohol to Cancer Deaths (2013)

A new study finds that even moderate alcohol consumption can increase the risk of cancer-related death. We'll hear from one of the study's ...

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The Blurring of Alcohol Categories (2013)

Consumers often don't know how much alcohol is in their drink because beer and wine makers have been upping the amount of alcohol in ...

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With more than 1,000 peer-reviewed studies, PHI’s highly regarded epidemiological research on substance abuse identifies gaps in knowledge an...

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According to the WHO, cancer is among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 mill...

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Capacity Building & Training

With diverse public health programs spanning the globe, PHI understands how strong leadership and organizational management can enhance the success...

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The evaluation of public health programs and policies is essential to improving health outcomes. PHI offers a full suite of evaluation services&mda...

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Law & Policy

The Public Health Institute believes in the power of laws and policies to improve public health outcomes by changing community environments to bett...

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Population Health

Access to high-quality, affordable health care is critical. Yet health is also heavily determined by factors outside the doctor’s office, fro...

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Research - Quantitative

To make an effective impact on community health, public health practices, programs and policies must be informed by accurate research and analysis....

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Research - Surveillance

Understanding emerging and existing health threats begins with good data. Public health surveillance ensures that researchers, programs, and policy...

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Research - Survey

The Public Health Institute believes in fostering health and well-being through rigorous quantitative and qualitative research, guided by the princ...

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Violence Prevention

As an organization working to promote the health and well-being of all people, the Public Health Institute recognizes the tremendous threat that al...

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