All posts by Sally Miles

Michael Oakes, Interim Vice President for Research

Michael Oakes, PhD (HWRC Affiliate Faculty) was named interim vice president for research in June, following previous VP Chris Cramer’s departure earlier this year. In the position, he oversees the institution’s $1+ billion research enterprise across all campuses and facilities. He also directly manages units responsible for sponsored projects, research and regulatory compliance, and technology commercialization, as well as 10 interdisciplinary academic centers and institutes.
Faculty & Staff SPHere: 09/07/21

Wearable fitness trackers are highly effective in weight loss efforts

“Wearable fitness trackers represent a practical option for people who are overweight or obese and who have weight-related conditions. They allow users to set and track physical activity and provide constant reminders to get up and move—which promotes self-monitoring and self-regulation,” says corresponding author Dr. Zan Gao (HWRC Affiliate Faculty) in a statement per South West News Service.
StudyFinds 8/9/2021

Announcement—New: Social Determinants of Health data set

The Healthcare Delivery Research Program of the National Cancer Institute is excited to share the Social Determinants of Health data set.

Request the data set and documentation at

This data set includes, for each US census tract (defined using 2010 census tract boundaries), certain social determinants of health data elements, including race/ethnicity, education, poverty, urban/rural, socioeconomic status, and racial residential segregation indices defined using 2008-2012 American Community Survey data and 2010 definitions of rural urban commuting areas.

The Social Determinants of Health data set is publicly available, pending an application and data use agreement.

The Social Determinants of Health data set was created as part of research activities of the NCI-funded Population-based Research to Optimize the Screening Process (PROSPR) network.

For questions regarding this new data set, please contact

Designing online grocery stores to support those striving to eat healthy for weight loss

With the rapid growth in online grocery shopping, researchers at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health (study lead and HWRC co-director, Lisa Harnack) sought to identify design features online grocery stores should consider to support the increasing number of Americans striving to eat healthy for weight loss. Their findings were recently published in the journal Public Health Nutrition.
—Read more: UMN News and Events 7/13/21, Grocery Dive Brief 7/26/21

New McKnight Presidential Fellows named

Emilyn Alejadro, assistant professor in the Department of Integrative Biology & Physiology and HWRC Affiliate Faculty, is one of eight faculty named as a new McKnight Presidential Fellow. The McKnight Presidential Fellows Program gives three-year awards to exceptional faculty who have been newly granted tenure and promotion to associate professor. The program recognizes their excellence in research and scholarship, leadership, potential to build top-tier programs, and ability to advance University of Minnesota priorities. 
Brief 05/12/2021

Prestigious NIH Clinical Trial Awarded to Reduce Childhood Obesity Disparities Using mHealth and Video Feedback Technology

A new NIH/NHLBI clinical trial entitled “Reducing Childhood Obesity Using Ecological Momentary Intervention (EMI) and Video Feedback at Family Meals,” was awarded to Jerica Berge, professor in the Department of Family Medicine & Community Health and HWRC Affiliated Faculty. The main objective of the proposed study is to utilize state-of-the-art intervention methods including ecological momentary intervention (EMI, i.e., mHealth), video feedback, and home visiting methods in partnership with community health workers (CHWs) to examine whether increasing the quality and quantity of family meals reduces childhood obesity disparities
FMCH News & Events 5/3/2021
The Minnesota Daily 6/21/2021

The Minnesota Obesity Prevention Training (MnOPT) Program is recruiting for one predoctoral fellowship position

The Minnesota Obesity Prevention Training (MnOPT) Program is recruiting for one predoctoral fellowship position. Trainee will engage in research that focuses on the biology of obesity, clinical research on human obesity, and/or applied studies of treatment and prevention in community settings. Central to the MnOPT mission is having a strong mentoring environment for trainees organized around two training tracks: 1) epidemiology/ behavioral research and 2) basic sciences/ clinical studies.

The deadline for applications is 4pm on Friday, June 11, 2021For details and application:

Note, there are NO postdoctoral positions open at this time.