Momentum Center | Driving Discovery to End Childhood Obesity

Leading our Progress

parents and children playing tug-of-war on summer dayMomentum’s leadership team helps to determine research focus, evaluate progress, and identify opportunities and partnerships. As active Center members, they are closely engaged with ongoing research and initiatives to prevent and end childhood obesity. Browse our stakeholders’ bios to learn more about their role in Momentum’s success.


Leadership Team

Karen E. Peterson, ScD More
Director; Chair, Nutritional Sciences at U-M School of Public Health
Specialty: Child growth, Obesity, and Metabolic Homeostasis

Dr. Karen Peterson is Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the U-M School of Public Health, as well as Research Professor for the Center for Human Growth and Development, both at the University of Michigan. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. Her research focuses on the influence of biosocial and environmental influences on child growth and maturation during sensitive developmental periods, as well as the design and evaluation of population-based interventions addressing dietary and physical activity behaviors related to obesity and chronic disease in diverse populations, including children and youth. She is Contact PI for the U-M Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Protection Center on the theme: “Lifecourse exposures and diet: Epigenetics, maturation, and metabolic syndrome,” and serves as Associate Director of the Michigan Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (MNORC). She earned her ScD in Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Julie Lumeng, MD More
Associate Director; Professor, U-M Medical School
Specialty: Child Eating Behavior; Maternal Feeding; Stress Eating

Dr. Julie Lumeng is a developmental and behavioral pediatrician who studies how social influences on eating behavior and children’s cognitions around food may alter dietary composition and overweight risk, particularly in preschool-aged children and younger. She studies children’s eating behavior in Head Start settings, both through the direct observation of behavior during a natural meal and through the presentation of unique behavioral tasks to children that test their cognitions around food. Dr. Lumeng also examines the influences on young children’s overweight risk through the analysis of large data sets, with a particular focus on childcare experience and quality, as well as neighborhood characteristics. She earned an MD from the University of Michigan Medical School (1997).

Lindsey Mitchell, MPH More
Executive Director, Momentum Center
Specialty: School wellness; obesity prevention through policies and built environment; strategic planning

Lindsey Mitchell has extensive experience in health education and promotion in school and academic settings. She also has expertise in program development, implementation, coordination, evaluation, and strategic planning. Before coming to the School of Public Health, she spent 8 years working on school and community wellness with the Project Healthy Schools program and 5 years designing and implementing employee wellness programming at MHealthy. She earned both her undergraduate degree in elementary education and Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan.

Milton Curry, M. Arch More
Professor and Associate Dean, U-M A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

Milton Curry is an academic, designer, curator, and editor. He is founding editor of CriticalProductive, a peer-reviewed journal of architecture, urbanism, and cultural theory distributed globally by Disticor; principal of OrbitMCA designstudio; and Associate Dean at University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, where he also oversees Master of Urban Design and Master of Science degrees. He earned his BArch from Cornell University (1988) and his March from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (1992). Since then, Professor Curry has taught architecture at the University of Michigan, Cornell, Harvard, and Arizona State University, and was director of the Cornell Council for the Arts from 2002-08.

Jeffrey Horowitz, PhD More
Professor, U-M School of Kinesiology

Dr. Jeff Horowitz is a Professor in the University of Michigan’s School of Kinesiology, where he directs the Substrate Metabolism Laboratory. His laboratory studies the regulation of fat, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism in humans, with particular interest in how exercise and diet affect lipid metabolism and insulin resistance in obesity. Dr. Horowitz’s laboratory focuses on identifying adaptions (at the cellular, tissue, and whole-body level) in response to exercise and/or dietary intervention that may impact important clinical outcomes, which could lead to improved methods to treat chronic diseases. Dr. Horowitz earned a BSE in Biomedical Engineering from The University of Iowa (1989), as well as an MA (1992) and a PhD (1996) in Exercise Physiology (both from The University of Texas at Austin).

Joyce Lee, MD More
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Specialty: Obesity; Diabetes; Social Media; Mobile Health

Joyce Lee is a physician, researcher, and design thinker. She is one of the few individuals in the country with formal training in Pediatric Endocrinology and Health Services Research, and she holds a Master in Public Health from the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan. Dr. Lee is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School, with a joint appointment in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She conducts clinical and health services research in the areas of pediatric obesity and diabetes, and co-directs an emerging technologies program that uses mobile technology and data visualization to help children and families self-manage chronic diseases. She can be found on twitter (@joyclee) and at her website,

Alison Miller, PhD More
Associate Professor, U-M School of Public Health
Specialty: Child Development; Stress; Self-Regulation; Obesity

Alison Miller is a developmental psychologist who studies risk and resilience in children and families. She is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education (HBHE) at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and was previously in the Department of Psychiatry (Division of Child and Family Psychiatry) at Brown Medical School. Dr. Miller is affiliated with Michigan’s Center for Human Growth and Development. She received a BA in Psychology at Wesleyan University (1992), and earned two degrees at the University of Michigan, including an MA (1997) and a PhD (2000) in Developmental Psychology.

Edward Norton, PhD More
Professor of Health Management and Policy, Professor of Economics
Specialty: Health Economics

Edward C. Norton joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 2008 as a professor in both the SPH Department of Health Management and Policy and in the Department of Economics. He is the Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan, as well as a Research Affiliate of the Population Studies Center. In addition to his affiliations with the University of Michigan, Dr. Norton is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research in the Health Economics Program. Before coming to Michigan, he taught at UNC at Chapel Hill and Harvard Medical School. His research interests in health economics include long-term care, aging, and econometrics. He earned an AB in Economics at Princeton University (1986) and a PhD in Economics at MIT (1990).

Kenneth Resnicow, PhD More
Professor, U-M School of Public Health

Ken Resnicow is the Irwin M. Rosenstock Collegiate Professor of Public Health in the Health Behavior and Health Education department of the University of Michigan School of Public Health. He is internationally recognized for his design and evaluation of health promotion interventions and motivational interviewing, and is a leading expert in conceptualizing and designing culturally sensitive, community-based interventions for health promotion. Dr. Resnicow earned a BA in Psychology and Philosophy from Yeshiva College (1980) and a PhD in Health Psychology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (1985).

Peter Song, PhD More
Professor, U-M School of Public Health
Specialty: Design and Analysis of Longitudinal Data

Peter Song is a Professor of Biostatistics at the Department of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan. His research interests include bioinformatics, longitudinal data analysis, missing data problems in clinical trials, statistical genetics, and time series analysis. He is interested in methodological developments related to modeling, statistical inference, and applications in biomedical sciences. In particular, Dr. Song’s research projects are strongly motivated from real-world data analysis. He earned a BS in Statistics from Jilin University (1985) and a PhD in Statistics from the University of British Columbia (1996).

Susan Woolford, MD, MPH More
Assistant Professor, U-M Medical School
Specialty: Physician-Family Communication Using Mobile Technologies

Susan Woolford, MD, MPH, is the Medical Director of the Pediatric Comprehensive Weight Management Center and a Clinical Assistant Professor with the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) unit in the Division of General Pediatrics at the University of Michigan. Her research interests focus on the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity, with an emphasis on physician-patient communication related to behavior change. Dr. Woolford earned her medical degree at Michigan State University (1994), where she also completed her residency and chief residency.