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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Washington: New Working Group of Researchers Aims to Boost Obesity Efforts

A new research working group at the University of Washington School of Public Health, formed by Dr. Jesse Jones-Smith, associate professor of health services, aims to identify innovative solutions to prevent obesity and promote healthy eating and active living.

[Photo: Dr. Jesse Jones-Smith]

The Obesity, Food and Physical Activity Working Group will convene researchers from across the UW and at partner organizations who work on related complex issues. The group provides an opportunity for researchers to network around developing grant ideas and submitting grant proposals.

“Specifically, these meetings would be a venue for us to get to know one another’s areas of expertise, discuss grant ideas, discuss funding opportunities, provide a forum for feedback on grant proposals and share pearls of wisdom,” said Dr. Jones-Smith. “My vision is that, eventually, new ideas and grants will be spawned from these meetings and we will all strengthen and expand our network of colleagues, friends and potential collaborators.”

Dr. Jones-Smith, also a core faculty member in the Nutritional Sciences Program, was hired to lead efforts addressing obesity, food, physical activity and health – one of six emerging challenges identified in the School’s strategic plan.

Dr. Jones-Smith primarily investigates socioeconomic causes of obesity risk in children and adults in high-, middle- and low-income countries. The first lunch meeting will take place on Jan. 31. About 20 researchers from the UW, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Children’s Research Institute and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are expected to attend.

“The global obesity epidemic has proven to be extremely difficult to reverse,” Dr. Jones-Smith said. “By bringing UW researchers together and fostering collaboration, my hope is that this working group will lead to innovative solutions for the prevention of obesity and the promotion of healthy eating and active living for all populations.”