Dr. Philip May, Sociology professor and principal investigator for the Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions, will deliver UNM's 56th Annual Research Lecture on Tuesday, March 29 at 6 p.m. in the Continuing Education auditorium located at 1634 University Blvd., NE. A reception will be held following the lecture, which is free and open to the public. Plenty of free parking is available.

Delivering the Annual Research Lecture is one of the highest honors UNM bestows on its faculty. May's lecture, titled "Adventures in Public Health Research: Four Decades of Shoe-Leather Epidemiology and Prevention," will discuss three key areas of his research over the past 40 years including suicide and alcohol epidemiology among American Indians, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) research.

For the past four decades, including 33 as a UNM professor, May has pursued research on behavioral issues that directly relate to public health. Trained formally in Sociology as a specialist in demography, epidemiology, medical sociology and deviant behavior, the major topics of May's research have included: suicide; adult alcohol abuse epidemiology and prevention; fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) epidemiology, maternal risk factors for FASD, psycho-social behavioral problems of children with FASD, and community-wide prevention of FASD; and alcohol involvement in a number of problems such as child abuse and neglect, motor vehicle crashes, and various causes of mortality.

"I've had many blessings over the years including great colleagues on my research teams that have enabled those teams to make broad, practical contributions related to causal factors, public health, community risk factors and prevention," said May. "The lecture is about the results and value of old-fashioned data collection in the field including homes, schools and amongst the community. It's a 40-year history of epidemiology projects."

Over that period of time, May has left his mark and has made significant contributions that have improved the lives of many. During the first 20 years of his career, May researched and studied suicide, mental health challenges, alcohol use and abuse in the Rocky Mountain regions. Over the course of the past 20 years, he has conducted extensive research regarding fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico, and has expanded into the plains' states including Montana and South Dakota, as well as in the countries of Italy, South Africa and elsehwere.

He has also authored or co-authored more than 120 refereed journal articles, book chapters and research monographs along with other publications of scientific and public health interest.

At UNM, he has been an active teacher of future researchers. One of May's most rewarding accomplishments over the decades at UNM has been his research training of undergraduates. From 1990 through 2010, May has been the program director of the New Mexico Access to Research Careers (NMARC), a program in mental health research training for honors undergraduate students. This program is funded primarily by NIMH Career Opportunities in Research Program, but also UNM.

More than 150 students have graduated and gone on to pursue graduate school opportunities and doctorates in a variety of basic science and applied disciplines with more
than 30 completing a doctorate. Many more are poised to do so in the near future.

Additionally, May has served on 31 successful doctoral dissertation committees and 14 master's thesis committees in a variety of departments, chairing 19 of them.

"I've had the pleasure of teaching some really great students," said May.

May has also served the State of New Mexico as a member of the influential first State Commission on Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) under Gov. Bruce King, the New Mexico Indian Education Advisory Council, and currently the New Mexico Council on Compulsive Gambling. He has been a member of the Board of Education of the Pueblo of Laguna for 12 years, serving as president for nine of those years.

Nationally, he has served on and been a co-author for three National Science Foundation and Institute of Medicine study committees over the years including: Demography and Population Issues for American Indians and Alaska Natives (1993-94); Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Treatment, and Prevention (1994-96); and the Patho-Physiology and Prevention of Suicide (2000-02).

For more information on UNM's Annual Research Lecture visit: Dr. Philip May, UNM's 56th Annual Research Lecture.

Media contact: Steve Carr (505) 277-1821; e-mail: scarr@unm.edu