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

The Minnesota Obesity Prevention Training (MnOPT) Program is recruiting for 1 postdoctoral fellowship position that will begin on or after May 1, 2022. 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 Thursday, January 20, 2022.  For details and application:

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

U of M , Mayo Win $19.4 Million Grant to Study Heart Health Disparities

Center will address heart disease in Minnesota’s communities of color.
“We are looking at cardiovascular disease, hypertension and obesity as chronic diseases that disproportionately affect BIPOC communities,” said Dr. Michele Allen, an associate professor at the U Medical School’s Department of Family Medicine. “We are trying to understand as one of those key drivers is racism at multiple levels and how it plays out in the development of chronic diseases and outcomes.”
Star Tribune 10/19/2021

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