Eric Solberg serves as Vice President, Academic and Research Affairs for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and is an associate member of the faculty for the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics. From 2007–2015, he also held an appointment as Associate Dean for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UTHealth, and as a Lecturer in the Ethical Dimensions of the Biomedical Sciences course.
A native of Minnesota, Eric began his career at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and the Minneapolis Heart Institute, providing patient care in cardiac rehabilitation. In the late 1980s, Eric began exploring theories of ethics in the healthcare domain and shifted the focus of his career toward public health and disease prevention. After serving at the North Dakota State Department of Health, Eric joined the national organization DOC (Doctors Ought to Care) based at Baylor College of Medicine—an organization founded by Alan Blum, M.D., in 1977 that created pioneering strategies to united medical students, residents, and physicians in tackling the tobacco pandemic and other major public health problems through multidisciplinary approaches in the clinic, classroom, and community. These strategies are outlined in a chapter by Blum and Solberg in the Fundamentals of Clinical Practice: A Textbook on the Patient, Doctor, and Society, 2nd edition (Mengel and Holleman, Eds., 2002).
As DOC’s executive director for more than a decade, Eric investigated and uncovered controversial alliances that cigarette manufacturers developed with leading health and medical organizations—relationships that were used to perpetuate the tobacco pandemic over several decades, including some that still exist today. Over the past 25 years, Eric has published several papers on these alliances, served as an expert witness and consultant in tobacco litigation and public policy development, has provided more than 250 lectures worldwide, and served as an assistant editor for Tobacco Control – An International Journal (BMJ Publishing Group) from 1991-1994. Previously, Eric held leadership positions at MD Anderson Cancer Center – first as program director for the cancer center’s clinical genetics program and later as administrative director for MD Anderson’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Center Support Grant, the mechanism that maintains the cancer center’s NCI-designated status.
Eric graduated from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN, with a B.A. in Health and earned his M.S. in kinesiology/exercise physiology from the University of Minnesota. He is pursuing a doctoral degree at the UTHealth School of Public Health.
- Bachelor of Arts
- Augsburg College
- Master of Science
- University of Minnesota