Affiliate Personnel

Lesley Cottrell Directory Photo

Lesley E Cottrell

Professor/ Vice Chair for Research, Department of Pediatrics
Department of Pediatrics
Pediatric Research Vice Chair




Professor, Pediatric Departmental Faculty Member
Joint Faculty Member, Social & Behavioral Health Department, School of Public Health
Co-Director, Prevention Research Center
Pediatrics (SOM)

Co-Principal Investigator
WV Prevention Research Center (SPH)

Interim Director
Center for Excellence in Disabilities (CED) (HSC)


West Virginia University PhD
Parental Monitoring, Childhood Obesity, Adolescent Risk Outcomes, Social and Behavioral Health

Dr. Lesley Cottrell is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics in the WVU School of Medicine. She received a PhD in Developmental Psychology from West Virginia University.  Her training included an NIDA-funded doctoral project examining parental monitoring and adolescent risk behaviors including substance use and unprotected sexual risk. She is a Co-Principal Investigator for the WVU Prevention Research Center and the Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Pediatrics. During her graduate training, she received a NIDA-funded fellowship to examine parental monitoring and adolescent risk behaviors including substance use and unprotected sexual risk. 

Dr. Cottrell's research interests examine parental influences on child and adolescent health risk decision-making and behaviors. She has led several national projects designed to examine childhood chronic health issues such as obesity, diabetes, asthma as well as health risks in adolescence related to unhealthy decision making. She recently completed her service as the Principal Investigator on the Marion County, WV portion of the National Children’s Study, which was sponsored by NIMH. She is currently the Co-Principal Investigator for the WV Prevention Research Center and the ACTIVATE Project, which is designed to examine children’s physical activity, fitness, and academic achievement over a five year period. She is also the Principal Investigator on the USDA-funded Choose to Change Project. This project is an intervention program designed to teach preschool children and their families, healthy physical activity and nutrition options to combat later childhood obesity. All of these programs are multi-disciplinary in nature, involving strong partnerships with WVU Extension, Agricultural Sciences, Psychology, Social Work, and Business & Economics.


Additionally, Dr. Cottrell is interested in integrated medicine. She is a Co-Investigator on the State Innovation Model Design Award WV received in early 2014. She also serves as the Co-Chair of the WV Health Innovation Collaborative’s Better Health Workgroup. This workgroup is one of three workgroups within the collaborative based on the Triple Aim concept with the charge of improving linkages between health care services and population health outcomes.