Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and Portland State University (PSU) School of Public Health

Skip to Main Content

Judith Sobel

Photo of Judith Sobel
Associate Professor Emerita Health Promotion, Public Health Studies, Health Promotion & Social Work


Judith Sobel’s research has examined the effectiveness of a wide range of health behavior programs and health promotion compaigns. During the past 15 years, her research has focused on preventing noise-induced hearing loss. She is a media specialist and a member of the research and workshop team for Dangerous Decibels, a hearing loss prevention program with leaders from OHSU and PSU, among other institutions. She has designed media messages that target adolescents and their families in an effort to change attitudes about hearing loss prevention and promote healthy hearing behaviors around the world.

Prior to her work with Dangerous Decibels, Sobel researched and worked on health promotion campaigns relating to heart disease prevention and mammography promotion.

Much of her early work examined the effectiveness of health behavior programs aimed at communicating the negative aspects of drug use and smoking to adolescents in elementary school.

Education, Degrees

Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1981
M.P.H., University of California at Los Angeles, 1984
B.A., Community Studies and Information Science, University of California at Santa Cruz, 1975

Awards and Honors
  • 2013, Safe in Sound Innovation Award, NIH
  • 2012, Oregon MPH Teaching Award
  • 2007, Media Award, Nation Hearing Conservation Assoc.
  • 1981-1982, Public Health Service Fellowship, UCLA
  • 1978-1980, NIH Pre-doctoral Fellowship


  • 1 R43 OD021519-01    Odile (P.I.) 2016 NIH SBIR Phase 1/ Serious STEM Games This grant funds the creation of a STEM game to educate and promote hearing health and science for 4th to 7th grade. Role: Significant Contributor
  • 1U48 DP001937-01  Becker  (P.I.) 2010-2014 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Center for Healthy Native Communities This grant funds a Prevention Research Center in the Pacific Northwest, focusing on vision and hearing health promotion in Native communities. Role: Consultant
  • 1 U48 DP000024-02  Becker  (P.I.) 2004-2009, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   Center for Healthy Native Communities
  • R21-DC008077 Martin (PI) 2006-2008  National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)  Tribal Community-Based Prevention of Noise-induced Hearing Loss and Tinnitus. This project evaluated the hearing health of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest and made recommendations regarding medical interventions, auditory rehabilitation and hearing loss prevention. Role: Consultant
  • R25 DC006431 Martin (PI) 2004-2006   National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)  Health Communication: NIHL and Tinnitus Prevention . This project included training high school students and school nurses to deliver the Dangerous Decibels hearing loss prevention program in 4th grade classrooms.  Effectiveness of different interventions (classroom presentations, museum visits and web-based activities) were evaluated and compared.  Role: Co-PI
  • 2013 3M Foundation Dangerous Decibels Training Workshop Grant Role: Presenter Funded: $200,000

[expand title=”%(%h2%)%%{%+%}%%(%/h2%)%” swaptitle=”%{%-%}%” trigclass=”noarrow”]

  • 1999 Centers for Disease Control: Analysis of Breast and Cervical Cancer Reporting in National Media, with Wallack, L. and Winett, L. Role: Co-PI. Funded: $57,000.
  • 1996 Greater Portland Chapter, Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation: The Educational Impact of the Race for the Cure. Role: Co-Investigator (with Gelmon, S.)  Funded: $9974.00.