Momentum Center | Driving Discovery to End Childhood Obesity

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WEIYUN CHEN, PHD More
Associate Professor of Kinesiology
Specialty: Innovative curricular, motor skill, and fitness assessments; physical activity

Dr. Chen is Associate Professor of Health and Fitness and Director of the Physical Activity and Health Laboratory at the U-M School of Kinesiology. Her research primarily focuses on developing innovative and effective school-based physical activity intervention strategies for promoting daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, health-related physical fitness, motor skill competency, and intrinsic motivation for physical activity. She also focuses on identifying behavioral and psychosocial mechanisms of promoting and maintaining physically active habits and healthy weight in youth. She has been the principal investigator of two three-year U.S. Department of Education Carol White Physical Education Program (PEP) grant projects, which examined how school-based comprehensive physical activity programs facilitated elementary school students in developing healthy habits. She earned a PhD in Physical Education Pedagogy at the University of Alabama.

Dr. Chen’s faculty profile

NATALIE COLABIANCHI, PHD More
Associate Professor of Kinesiology; Research Associate Professor, Survey Research Center, U-M Institute for Social Research
Specialty: Environmental effects (e.g., neighborhoods, schools) on physical activity

Natalie Colabianchi is Chair and Associate Professor of Applied Exercise Science, and Director of the Environment and Policy Lab at the U-M School of Kinesiology. She has been the principal investigator of five NIH grants and two Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Active Living Research grants, and is a co-investigator on five grants. All of these grants focus on physical activity, nutrition, obesity and/or the built environment. Dr. Colabianchi was the chair for the Environmental and Contextual Factors in Health and Behavior Change section for the Society of Behavioral Medicine. A social epidemiologist by training, Colabianchi earned a MA in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and a PhD in Epidemiology at Case Western Reserve University.

Dr. Colabianchi’s faculty profile

REBECCA HASSON, PHD More
Associate Professor of Kinesiology; Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences, U-M School of Public Health
Specialty: Child Health Disparities

Rebecca Hasson is an Associate Professor of Applied Exercise Science and Movement Science, and Director of the Childhood Diaparities Research Laboratory at the U-M School of Kinesiology. She also holds an appointment in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the U-M School of Public Health. Her research focuses on identifying the causes and consequences of pediatric obesity in multiethnic populations, and examining the social and behavioral determinants that contribute to ethnic differences in obesity-related disease risk. Dr. Hasson received her BA, MS, and PhD from the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. After graduating, she completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Southern California’s Childhood Obesity Research Center, and a second postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California at San Francisco’s Center on Social Disparities in Health as a W.K. Kellogg Health Scholar.

Dr. Hasson’s faculty profile

LEAH E. ROBINSON, PHD More
Associate Professor of Kinesiology
Specialty: Motor Development, Physical Activity and Health of Young Children

Leah Robinson is an Associate Professor of Movement Science and directs the Child Movement, Activity, and Developmental Health Lab at the U-M School of Kinesiology. Her research focuses on the assessment of motor performance and physical activity along with the implementation of evidence-based interventions to maximize physical activity, motor skills, and physical health and development in pediatric populations. She is also interested in the effect of evidence-based interventions on school/academic readiness and cognitive outcomes. Dr.Robinson received her BS from North Carolina Central University and her MS and PhD in Sport and Exercise Science from Ohio State University.

Dr. Robinson’s faculty profile

DALE ULRICH, PHD More
Professor of Kinesiology
Specialty: Motor Development, Physical Activity, and Young Children

“It is great hearing and discussing the results of research related to childhood obesity from such creative, cross-disciplinary researchers.”

Dale Ulrich is a Professor of Applied Exercise Science and Movement Science, as well as the Director of the Center on Physical Activity and Health in Pediatric Disabilities. His interests include motor behavior and development in infants and children with Down’s Syndrome and autism; assessment of motor behavior and performance in children; designing and testing interventions to maximize physical activity; and other related studies. He received a BS (1972) and MEd (1977) from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD in Kinesiology from Michigan State University (1981).

Dr. Ulrich’s faculty profile