Health behavior consultant
Cheryl K. Olson is an internationally known expert on using media to change behavior and to promote mental and physical health. Olson was a member of the psychiatry faculty at Harvard Medical School for 15 years. In 2000, while at Massachusetts General Hospital, she co-founded the Center for Mental Health and Media, an outreach, media production and research center devoted to mental and behavioral health and healthy child development.
She was principal investigator for a $1.5 million federal grant-funded qualitative/quantitative study of the effects of video game violence on youth behavior and co-investigator of a $1 million National Institutes of Health-funded project to improve the accuracy of health and science journalism.
For five years, Olson consulted for Philip Morris USA on the development and evaluation of smoking cessation and youth smoking prevention materials, including leading the QuitAssist project. Her plenary presentation at the 2017 Tobacco Science Research Conference looked at factors affecting media coverage of vaping research.
Olson holds a Doctor of Science degree in health and social behavior from the Harvard School of Public Health and a postdoctoral European Certificate in Pharmaceutical Medicine from the University of Basel in Switzerland. Her most recent book (co-authored with Eugene Beresin) is Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Media (Elsevier).