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Summer 2018 Newsletter

Summer News Letter Header

Letter from the Director

Hearty greetings to all!
In exciting news, our center was recently renamed the Center for Health Research. Our mission and vision remain unchanged, facilitating interdisciplinary research that leads to improved health outcomes in diverse populations across the lifespan.
To that end, we are gearing up for a healthy and productive summer. In one project, staff and student health ambassadors will be launching our highly anticipated mobile health unit in Santa Maria and Guadalupe. Students, staff and faculty will also be working on dozens of new studies this year, from understanding metabolomic processes to creating augmented reality to improve food choices. The Center for Health Research (CHR) will also be revamping our website and rolling out a new, engaging seminar series focusing on the science of health disparities.
In one of our recent studies, kinesiology and public health senior Kaitlin Stabbert found that proximity to green space was related to improved mood, lower stress and healthier eating and activity habits. So, take time to seek out and explore green spaces this summer. If you are near campus, stop by and visit us on the third floor of Building 43A or message me an email at sphelan@calpoly.edu. We welcome and appreciate your collaboration and wish you a pleasant, active summer indoors and out.
Suzanne Phelan, Director of Center for Health Research



Pilot Study Explores Relationship Between Cavities and Obesity

With a little saliva and the photos of some pearly whites, researchers in a new pilot study hope to find out whether cavities and obesity are related. Knowing whether the two are linked could help prevent dental and medical problems often faced by toddlers who have cavities.


Read more about the oral health study ›

New Mobile Health Coordinator to Lead Soft Launch

The Center for Health Research will begin offering free medical screenings and referrals for pregnant women and their newborns on its mobile health unit this summer. These services are part of a soft launch and will allow staff to spread the word about the free prenatal and newborn care that will be offered beginning in fall 2018.

Read more about the mobile health unit ›


Family Health Research Welcomes New Staff 


Full Time Phlebotomist Joins Research Team

For the first time in its 10-year history, Center for Health Research has a full-time phlebotomist working on its clinical trials. Marcos Pena joined the team in May 2018 as a research assistant phlebotomist. In addition to taking participants’ blood, he oversees the lab and assists the other research assistants with screenings, assessments, data entry and patient surveys.

Read more about the new staff member ›


Faculty & Student Research


Faculty and Students Engage in Summer Research

Professors and affiliates across the university are engaged in summer research with students. In the Kinesiology and Public Health Department, the Frost Summer Research Program will pay stipends to several students working on real-world research.

Read more about summer research ›






Faculty Showcase Work at Research Gathering

Professors from all six Cal Poly colleges showcased their obesity and health research findings at the annual Center for Health Research symposium in May. The event, sponsored by the Center’s executive board and held at French Hospital Medical Center, brought together professors and community members to discuss possible collaborations.

Read more about the research symposium ›




Students, Faculty Honored for Service and Scholarship


Senior Kinesiology & Public Health Major Named Department Outstanding Citizen

In addition to working with the Center for Health Research for the last two years, senior kinesiology major Stephanie Gomez-Rubalcava delivered food baskets to underserved local families, taught line dancing and basketball to teenagers with cognitive disabilities, served as an executive member on a Cal Poly club for first generation college students, and spent her summers in Mexico volunteering. Gomez-Rubalcava, who was the first in her family to graduate from college, was honored with the Kinesiology and Public Health Department’s Outstanding Citizen Award at the College of Science and Mathematics’ awards banquet in May

Read more about service award ›


Phelan Receives CSU Award for Excellence in Research

Cal Poly kinesiology and public health Professor Suzanne Phelan has received the $20,000 Wang Family Excellence Award for outstanding commitment to student achievement and scientific contributions.

Read more about the CSU award ›





Center for Health Research Students Participate in Statewide Competition

Julian Martinez, a Kinesiology & Public Health senior, represented the Department and Center for Health Research at the 32nd annual California State Research Competition in May. The competition allows students to showcase the research that they have been doing; professional juries rank students.

Read more about the statewide competition ›






Study of Immigrant Health Funded by $3 Million Grant

Kinesiology and Public Health Professor Marilyn Tseng received a $3.3 million grant to study health trajectories among Chinese immigrants. Funded by the National Institutes on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the study includes the development of appropriate interventions to reduce cardiometabolic risk and health disparities in these communities. Carolyn Fang at the Fox Chase Cancer Center is a co-investigator on the grant, and the two will be collaborating with investigators at Dartmouth and Drexel. 

Read more about Professor Tseng ›





More News


Upcoming Grants

Check out upcoming grant opportunities in health research:

Discover upcoming grant opportunities ›


Spring Publication Highlights

Center affiliates are active in their fields, publishing papers on topics including prenatal food preferences and the relationship between ethnic density and cancer. Please see the publication summary below:

Read the publication summary ›



The Center for Health Research newsletter was written and edited by Casey Heaney, Elly Halladay, Susan Staub and Suzanne Phelan

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