Erika S. Trapl, PhD

Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences
School of Medicine
Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods
School of Medicine
Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Population and Cancer Prevention Program

Dr. Erika S. Trapl is a behavioral epidemiologist whose research focuses on multiple levels of determinants to prevent and reduce chronic disease, and she has led a community-engaged research program for over a decade. Much of her work over the past 15 years has involved informing or evaluating interventions to promote health behavior change and longitudinal data collection in partnership with community organizations, coalitions, residents, and health systems. Through this work, she has established content expertise with substantial contributions to the literature in the areas of tobacco control, community engagement, and evaluation and translation of health behavior interventions.

She has an extensive history in community-based tobacco control research and evaluation, with a specific interest in cigar, cigarillo, and little cigar use among urban adolescents and young adults, where her work has been funded by and informs the US Food & Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products. Her interest in tobacco control also extends to other vulnerable populations, including communities of color, low-income smokers, and sexual and gender minorities. Her research interests have recently extended into cancer prevention and screening in community settings, particularly among marginalized populations. 

Research Information

Research Interests

•    Tobacco control and little cigars
•    Cancer prevention and screening
•    Food access and the food environment
•    Health behavior measurement and surveillance
•    Survey-based data collection methods and technology
•    Community-based Interventions

Professional Memberships

American Academy of Health Behavior
American Public Health Association
American Society for Prevention Oncology
Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco


Find all of Dr. Trapl's publications here

Editorial roles:

  • Cancer Causes and Control, associate editor
  • Health Behavior Research, editorial board 
  • American Journal of Health Behavior, editorial board
  • Health Behavior and Policy Review, associate editor


Case Western Reserve University
Case Western Reserve University
Bachelor of Arts
Case Western Reserve University

Additional Information

Contributions to science:

  • Examine the measurement and use of cigars, cigarillos and little cigars among adolescents and cigar use among adults in Cuyahoga county 
  • Understanding and intervening upon multiple levels of influence associated with adolescent risk behaviors that contribute to chronic disease. This has involved the development of social environment measures as well as built environment measures, including a comprehensive, ground-truth city-wide food and tobacco retail database. 
  • Understanding the role of the social and physical environment on health and behavior, with a focus on using the environment as an intervention to influence behavior 

Dr. Trapl also serves as a mentor to students in the Master's of Public Health Program, as well as to several PhD trainees.

Among her mentees, several have gone on to careers in academia or industry including positions with: 

  •  Department of Nutrition, Dominican University, Assistant Professor
  • IBM