Momentum Center | Driving Discovery to End Childhood Obesity

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Katherine Bauer, PhD More
Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences
Specialty: Social and behavioral influences on child nutrition and weight

Dr. Bauer is an epidemiologist whose research focuses on the social and behavioral determinants of obesity among children and adolescents. She is particularly interested the role of parents and families in children’s dietary intake and other weight-related behaviors, as well as how socio-ecologic stressors affect weight-related parenting, the family environment, and child behavior and weight. Dr. Bauer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the U-M School of Public Health. She earned a PhD in behavioral epidemiology from the University of Minnesota (2010), a Master’s of Science in Health and Social Behavior from the Harvard School of Public Health (2002), and a BA with High Honors in Psychology from Oberlin College (1998).

Dr. Bauer’s faculty profile

Ana Baylin, MD, MPH More
Associate Professor of Nutritional Sciences; Epidemiology; Global Public Health
Specialty: Nutritional Epidemiology

Ana Baylin is currently an Associate Professor in the Departments of Nutritional Sciences and Epidemiology, and an Associate Professor of Global Health at the U-M School of Public Health. She is primarily interested in the emerging burden of chronic disease in developing countries, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Her current research focuses on the interaction between genes and diet and their influence on the risk of myocardial infarction. Dr. Baylin received both her MS in Epidemiology and DrPH in Nutritional Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. She received her MPH from the National School of Public Health in Madrid, Spain, and her MD from the University of Alcala de Henares, also in Madrid, Spain.

Dr. Baylin’s faculty profile

Dave Bridges, PhD More
Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences
Specialty: Nutrient Homeostasis and Obesity

Dr. Bridges is a biologist whose research focuses on nutrient homeostasis and obesity. His team is investigating the factors which cause obesity, the mechanisms by which this happens and how interventions in this pathway can alleviate obesity or its associated diseases. In particular, his lab is interested in mTORC1 signaling and the connections between intracellular and extracellular signaling pathways. Dr. Bridges is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the U-M School of Public Health. He earned a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Calgary (2005) and a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Calgary (2000).

Dr. Bridges’ faculty profile

Dana Dolinoy, PhD More
Professor and Chair of Environmental Health Sciences; Professor of Nutritional Sciences
Specialty: Epigenetics and the Developmental Origins of Disease

“The university-wide community cultivated by the Momentum Center has opened up new avenues of collaboration for my laboratory to translate basic science and epigenetic research to translational activities aimed at reversing trends related to childhood obesity.”

Dr. Dana C. Dolinoy serves as Professor and NSF International Department Chair of Environmental Health Sciences and Professor of Nutritional Sciences at the U-M School of Public Health. There, she leads the Environmental Epigenetics and Nutrition Laboratory, which investigates how nutritional and environmental factors interact with epigenetic gene regulation to shape health and disease. Dr. Dolinoy serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry; is an active member of the Society of Toxicology and the American Society for Nutrition; and served as Chair of the 2015 Gordon Research Conference in Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Toxicity. She earned an MSc in Environmental Sciences and Engineering from the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as a PhD in Genetics and Genomics and Integrated Toxicology from Duke University.

Dr. Dolinoy’s faculty profile

Andrew Jones, PhD More
Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences
Specialty: Maternal and Child Nutrition

Andrew Jones, John G. Searle Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences at the U-M School of Public Health, is a public health nutritionist interested in understanding the influence of agriculture and food systems on the food security of households and the nutritional status of women, young children, and adolescents in low-income settings. He is especially interested in understanding the pathways through which macro socio-environmental trends — including climate change, urbanization, and globalization — interact with food systems to impact nutrition outcomes. His research includes a strong focus on the evaluation of programs and policies that aim to improve maternal and child nutrition, especially through agriculture and food systems-based approaches. He received a BA in both Geography and Film Production from The Pennsylvania State University (2002) and a PhD in International Nutrition from Cornell University (2011).

Dr. Jones’ faculty profile

Cindy Leung, ScD More
Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences
Specialty: Food insecurity; Stress; Obesity; Food policy

Dr. Leung is a nutritional epidemiologist who studies diet and health disparities in vulnerable populations. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, and received her BA in Molecular & Cell Biology and English as well as her MPH in Public Health Nutrition from UC Berkeley, while her ScD in Nutrition and Epidemiology is from the Harvard School of Public Health. Her research interests include childhood obesity, food insecurity, federal food assistance program participation, diet quality, psychological stress, cognitive development, and health disparities.

Dr. Leung’s faculty profile

Alison Miller, PhD More
Associate Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education
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 Associate Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the U-M 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 also a Research Associate Professor in the University of 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.

Dr. Miller’s faculty profile

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

“As an economist, I enjoy working with researchers from other disciplines because we all bring different perspectives to the table.”

Edward C. Norton joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 2008 as a professor in both the U-M 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).

Dr. Norton’s faculty profile

Wei Perng, PhD More
Adjunct Research Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences; Research Assistant Professor of Epidemiology
Specialty: Maternal and Child Nutrition, Childhood Obesity and Cardiometabolic Risk

Dr. Perng is an Adjunct Research Assistant Professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Nutritional Sciences at the U-M School of Public Health. She is also an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Assistant Director of the Lifecourse Epidemiology of Adiposity and Diabetes (LEAD) Center at the Colorado School of Public Health. She is a nutritional epidemiologist who focuses on maternal and child health. Her research interests include early-life determinants of childhood obesity, identifying biological pathways that underlie excess weight gain during early life, and understanding how maternal condition predicts future cardiovascular and metabolic health. She earned a BS in Brain Behavior & Cognitive Science, an MPH in Epidemiology, and a PhD in Epidemiological Science from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Perng’s faculty profile

Karen E. Peterson, ScD More
Professor and Chair of Nutritional Sciences
Specialty: Child Growth, Obesity, and Metabolic Homeostasis

Dr. Karen Peterson is the Stanley M. Garn Collegiate Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Chair of the Department of Nutritional Sciences, and Professor of Global Public Health at the U-M 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.

Dr. Peterson’s faculty profile

Thomas Reischl, PhD More
Associate Research Scientist of Health Behavior and Health Education
Specialty: Evaluating Community-Based Public Health Programs

Dr. Reischl’s research interests focus on the development and evaluation of community-based public health programs, violence prevention programs, family support programs, and consumer-controlled (self/mutual help) programs. He is interested in conducting process and outcome evaluation studies that are collaborative, responsive, and client-centered. He earned a BA in Psychology at St. Olaf College, and an MA and PhD in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

Dr. Reischl’s faculty profile

Kenneth Resnicow, PhD More
Professor of Health Behavior & Health Education
Specialty: Health promotion programs for special populations; Understanding the relationship between ethnicity and health behaviors

Ken Resnicow is the Irwin M. Rosenstock Collegiate Professor of Public Health in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the U-M 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).

Dr. Resnicow’s faculty profile

Peter Song, PhD More
Professor of Biostatistics
Specialty: Design and Analysis of Longitudinal Data

Peter Song is a Professor in the Department of Biostatistics at the U-M School of Public Health. His research interests include bioinformatics, design and analysis of longitudinal studies, missing data problems in clinical trials, spatio-temporal data analysis, and statistical genetics. He is interested in innovative statistical modeling and applications in medical and health sciences. He earned a BS in Statistics from Jilin University (1985) and a PhD in Statistics from the University of British Columbia (1996).

Dr. Song’s faculty profile

Kendrin Sonneville, ScD, RD More
Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences
Specialty: Binge Eating, Disordered Eating, and Body Dissatisfaction

Kendrin Sonneville is a behavioral scientist and registered dietitian with more than 10 years of clinical experience working with children, adolescents, and young adults with obesity and/or disordered eating. Her research program is focused on identifying modifiable risk factors and intervention targets for the onset and maintenance of binge eating behaviors among youth and understanding how to minimize unintended consequences (e.g. disordered eating and body dissatisfaction) of strategies to address obesity. Dr. Sonneville is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences. She received a BS in Nutritional Sciences and a BS in Dietetics from Michigan State University (2000), an MS in Human Nutrition from Tufts University (2002), and a ScD in Public Health Nutrition from Harvard School of Public Health (2010).

Dr. Sonneville’s faculty profile

Julia Wolfson, PhD, MPP More
Assistant Professor of Health Management and Policy
Specialty: Food Policy and Obesity Prevention; Cooking Practices and Public Health; Food Environments and Eating Behavior

Dr. Wolfson is a mixed-methods health policy researcher whose work focuses on health and social policies related to food and beverage choices, diet quality, and obesity. She is particularly interested in the role of cooking for healthy eating, school and community cooking and nutrition education, and school and community food environments. Current research focuses on the measurement and definition of cooking skills and behavior, implementation of cooking skills education, and changes to the restaurant environment related to menu labeling regulations. Dr. Wolfson is committed to translating research findings to the public in a way that generates actionable recommendations for both health behavior and public policy. After a career as a professional chef in fine dining restaurants, Dr. Wolfson earned her Master’s of Public Policy from the University of Southern California (2012) and PhD in health policy from Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health (2016).

Dr. Wolfson’s faculty profile