Shawn Gibbs's Portrait

Shawn Gibbs

Dean of the School of Public Health

School of Public Health


Shawn Gibbs is an industrial hygienist whose expertise is in the disruption of highly infectious diseases, such as COVID-19 and Ebola virus disease.

He has over a hundred peer reviewed articles in industrial hygiene and environmental exposure assessment, focusing on environmental microbiology and disrupting transmission of highly infectious diseases. His research has helped to determine national policies, procedures, and best practices for responders and healthcare workers to safely treat patients with Ebola virus disease, COVID-19, and other highly infectious diseases. Gibbs is sought after to lend guidance to national and international organizations, such as his appointment to the United States Environmental Protection Agency Board of Scientific Counselors-Homeland Security Subcommittee as well as work with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command.

Gibbs’ research and teaching have been recognized with several awards, including 2018 American Industrial Hygiene Association’s Edward J. Baier Technical Achievement Award, 2017 Biomedical Research Exemplar Award, 2015 Admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska for service to the State, and 2006-2007 U.S. Fulbright Faculty Scholar to Egypt. He has subsequently lead three (Libya in 2013, Egypt in 2016 and 2017) Institutional Fulbright Faculty Scholars training programs for Public Health Curriculum Development.

He obtained a bachelor of science in biology at The Ohio State University, a master of science in environmental engineering and a Ph.D. in environmental science from the University of Cincinnati (UC). While serving as Associate Dean at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) he completed his MBA in Agribusiness from the University of Nebraska.

His first tenure track position was with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston at their El Paso regional campus, where he served as co-director of two Cores of the Hispanic Health Disparities Research Center. He then went to the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he served as Director of Masters Programs and then Associate Dean of Student Affairs. There he worked with the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit (NBU) as Director of Research. As one of only three such facilities in the country at the time, the NBU became critical to the fight against Ebola. Gibbs then went to Indiana University to serve as Executive Associate Dean of the School of Public Health. While at Indiana University, he also held several interim roles, including Associate Dean for Research. He developed a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) training grant that resulted into the Biosafety and Infectious Disease Training Initiative, a partnership with several nationally recognized organizations, including the University of Texas Health School of Public Health, to deliver national trainings on infectious disease. This merged into a continuing partnership with the UTHealth led Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (P2R) Consortium a NIESH funded Worker Training Program, a relationship that has continued through his return to Texas to serve as dean of the Texas A&M School of Public Health.