Shedra Amy Snipes, assistant professor of biobehavioral health in Penn State's College of Health and Human Development, is one of six researchers across the country selected to participate in the newly established Kaiser Permanente Burch Minority Leadership Development Awards program. The program supports junior minority researchers with two-year leadership development awards.
With the holiday season well on its way, research showing reduction of calories may increase life spans is not the most welcome of news. But if you ask Penn State researcher Roger McCarter how to live longer, he'll tell you just that -- consume fewer calories. McCarter has shown this in rat and mouse models (a 40 percent reduced-calorie diet leads to an approximately 40 percent longer life), and other researchers have duplicated this in spiders, yeast, flies, worms, rodents and humans. To fully take advantage of caloric restriction, McCarter, a professor of biobehavioral health in the College of Health and Human Development, and several other researchers around the world are trying to understand why eating less can lengthen a life span.
Penn State researcher Rob Turrisi is lending a hand to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in a new campaign called "Power of Parents, It's Your Influence," the goal of which is to prevent underage drinking and drunk driving.
Stress and its role in heart disease was the focus of a one-day conference developed by William Gerin, professor of biobehavioral health. "We're aware that stress has a lot to do with chronic illness. The question is why -- what are the biological, social, and environmental factors involved," said Gerin.
Many young adults who appear healthy are plagued by sleep issues at night, according to a new study conducted at Penn State. The study, led by Jennifer Graham, assistant professor of biobehavioral health, found chronic pain and use of alcohol or medications among the leading factors contributing to sleep disruptions for those in the study.
Beginning this fall, Penn State is offering a new minor, Global Health (GLBHL), which is designed to provide undergraduate students with a multidisciplinary background in the issues affecting the health of populations in various countries and regions of the world. Housed in the Department of Biobehavioral Health (BBH), the minor is open to students from all departments and units across the University Park campus. The application deadline for the first cohort is Oct. 22.
In fall 2010, Penn State undergraduate students can gain a better understanding of the nation's diabetes and obesity epidemics. In Strategies for Addressing the Obesity & Diabetes Epidemics, students will learn what role they can play in minimizing the effects of these diseases. The course is being offered through the Department of Biobehavioral Health in the College of Health and Human Development in collaboration with the Penn State Institute for Diabetes and Obesity (PSIDO).
Robert Turrisi, professor of biobehavioral health in Penn State's College of Health and Human Development, will present this year's Pattishall Research Lecture. His lecture, "High-Risk Student Drinking Prevention: Bridging the Gap Between Scientific Research on Student Drinking and Prevention Programming on College Campuses," will be given at 4 p.m. on Feb. 16, in the Bennett Pierce Living Center, room 110 of the Henderson Building on Penn State's University Park campus. The event, sponsored by the College of Health and Human Development, is free and open to the public.
The Gerontological Society of America presented distinguished awards to two Penn State faculty members at its annual conference, November 18 to 22, 2009, in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Steven Zarit, professor and head of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, received the organization's Distinguished Career Contribution Award. Dr. Gerald McClearn, Evan Pugh Professor of Health and Human Development, received its Robert W. Kleemeier Award. Both awards recognize outstanding research contributions.
Byron Jones starts his class off each semester by having his students read creation stories and myths: Prometheus stealing fire from the Greek Gods, Adam and Eve eating from the tree of knowledge in Eden. This isn't a comparative literature or a religious studies course, though. For Jones, the meaning of these stories lies in their ethical implications: whether or not pursuing knowledge is natural, and if so, are our current pursuits ethically sound?
In his class, Jones takes a number of approaches -- discussions, diaries and debates -- to underscore the far-reaching influence of bioethics.
Penn State researchers are examining how stress at work impacts employees and their families using a data collection method known as the "daily diary." Susan McHale, professor of human development and director of Penn State's Social Science Research Institute, and three other investigators on the multisite Work, Family & Health Network presented data at a congressional briefing in October. McHale's presentation focused on studying the effects of workplace stress using a daily diary.
Several upcoming fundraising events hosted by the College of Health and Human Development will benefit Penn State's Centre County United Way campaign. Events, which run from Oct. 28 to Nov. 2, include a sports items and memorabilia call-in auction, a silent auction of hotel and restaurant packages, and a coffee/baked goods shop that will accept donations.
Antioxidants are often touted for their anti-aging effects. However, little is known about how antioxidants from foods actually work inside the body. A new study being conducted in the College of Health and Human Development is testing how much our bodies actually benefit from eating one group of high-antioxidant foods: spices.
David A. Blizard, senior research associate in Penn State's Department of Biobehavioral Health, was presented the Dobzhansky Memorial Award from the Behavior Genetics Association at its 39th Annual Meeting held in Minneapolis, Minn., in June. The award, known to the international association as the "Doby," is awarded to a member for a lifetime of outstanding scholarship and achievement in behavioral genetic analysis.
Sarah Pugh, a junior in Biobehavioral Health, will undertake a research project to examine the relationship between cognition (mental ability) and exercise during pregnancy. Pugh is the recipient of an Undergraduate Discovery summer grant from Penn State.