The Center faculty come from all four UCSF schools and conduct research and teaching in every aspect of tobacco control, from efforts by the tobacco industry to manipulate international politics to the molecular biology of nicotine addiction.


Yingning Wang, PhD

Assistant Professor
Institute for Health Aging

Dr. Wang's current research areas include: nondaily smokers, other tobacco use, the correlation between quitting, cigarette consumption reduction and other tobacco use, economic cost of tobacco products use and secondhand smoke exposure.

Shannon Watkins, PhD

Postdoc Scholar
Cardiovascular Research Inst

Shannon Lea Watkins is a scholar of public affairs whose work aims to illuminate social and structural barriers that individuals face in achieving their full health potential to inform efforts to promote health equity. Her current work investigates patterns of tobacco initiation, product change, and cessation among youth and young adults, with a particular focus on the role of additive flavors in tobacco initiation, use, and tobacco-related health disparities.

Justin White, PhD

Assistant Professor
Institute for Health Policy Studies

Justin White, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Health Economics in the UCSF School of Medicine, with joint appointments in the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He is also an affiliate of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education and Global Health Sciences at UCSF.

Prescott Woodruff, MD, MPH


Research program includes clinical and basic science approaches to study the effects of cigarette smoke on lung inflammation. He is also the Principal Investigator on the NIH-funded Spiromics Project and a Co-investigator on the COPD Clinical Research Network. Dr. Woodruff received his B.A, from Wesleyan University in 1989, received his M.D. degree from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1993, and completed Internal Medicine residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Tingting Yao, PhD

Assistant Professor
Institute for Health Aging

Dr. Yao's research focuses on the economic impact of tobacco products. Her current studies include estimating the economic costs of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure and the impact of price on the demand for electronic cigarettes in U.S. Her previous research include estimating healthcare costs of SHS exposure and analyzing cigarette purchasing behaviors among smokers in China.

Valerie Yerger, MA, ND

Associate Professor
Social Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Yerger's research focuses on the tobacco industry’s targeting of African American communities, the use of menthol in tobacco products, smoke-free policies in multi-unit housing. Dr. Valerie Yerger is a licensed naturopathic doctor and Associate Professor in Health Policy at the University of California, San Francisco. She received her doctorate in naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University, who honored her as one of its Distinguished Alumni when the award was first presented in 2004.