Celette Sugg Skinner, Ph.D., is Professor and Inaugural Chair of the Department of Population & Data Sciences at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

A pioneer in computer-tailored communications, Dr. Skinner has spent 30 years developing and testing innovative behavior-change interventions, working primarily among traditionally underserved groups. Her recent work focuses on multilevel interventions that meaningfully use electronic health records to identify patients in need of intervention, use clinically collected information to generate and deliver algorithm-driven tailored interventions, and track intervention outcomes.  

Dr. Skinner, who holds the Parkland Community Medicine Professorship, is a member of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Since 1994, when she was a member of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) first Working Group on Computerized Tailored Interventions, Dr. Skinner has been a frequently invited participant in NCI “think tanks” to address cancer prevention and disparities. In 2016, she was the only UT Southwestern faculty member to serve on the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel, working with a group to set national priorities for dissemination and implementation research.

Dr. Skinner joined UT Southwestern in 2007 as Chief of the Division of Behavioral and Communication Sciences and as the founding Associate Director of Population Research for the Simmons Cancer Center. She previously served as Associate Director for Population Research for the Duke Cancer Institute. Before that, she was a member of the Siteman Cancer Center of Washington University in St. Louis (1993-1998) and the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center (1991-1993).


Dr. Skinner received an M.A. in Communications Research from The Wheaton Graduate School and a Ph.D. in Health Behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Gillings School of Global Public Health and Chairs the Public Health Foundation Board.


Graduate School
Wheaton College , Communications
Graduate School
University of North Carolina A (1991)


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Factors associated with African Americans’ enrollment in a cancer genetics registry.
Skinner CS, Schildkraut J, Calingaert B, Hoyo C, Crankshaw SS, Fish L, Susswein L, Corio C & Reid L. Community Genetics 2008 Vol. 11(4) 224-233
The effect of telephone v. print tailoring for mammography adherence
Champion VL, Skinner CS, Hui S, Monahan PO, Juliar BE, Daggy JK & Menon U. Patient Education & Counseling 2007 65 416-423
Psychosocial factors related to repeat mammography screening over five years in African American women.
Russell MK, Champion VL, Skinner CS Cancer Nursing 2006 29(3) 236-243
Studying communication in oncologist-patient encounters: the SCOPE trial.
Koropchak CM, Pollak KI, Arnold R, Alexander S, Skinner CS, Olsen M, Jeffreys A, Rodriguez KL, Abernathy AP & Tulsky JA Palliative Medicine 2006 20 813-819
Tailored interventions for screening mammography: When is a booster dose important?
Skinner CS, Champion VL, Monahan P, Fyfe J, Kobrin SC & Todora HS Patient Education & Counseling 2006 65(1) 87-94

Honors & Awards

  • Phi Beta Kappa