Article outlines UO effort to boost research on obesity

Leslie Leve
Leslie Leve

The UO’s strong base in genetics might soon receive a boost that will help expand research into childhood obesity.

UO’s Prevention Science Institute is looking to hire five new assistant and associate professors as part of a Clusters of Excellence proposal to probe the genetic nature of obesity. The effort was highlighted in an article Monday, Sept. 8, in The Register-Guard

Obesity is a significant problem in the United States, with nearly two-thirds of all adults in the country affected by it, according to some experts. In addition, “this generation of children is predicted to live five years less because of obesity,” Beth Stormshak, director of the Prevention Science Institute, told the newspaper.

Beth Stormshak

Obesity is a hard to fightbecause the reasons for its prevalence are complicated. As UO psychology professor Leslie Leve said in the article, “It’s not as simple as just telling people to exercise, because if it were, we would have figured that out. It’s a lot more complex for most people.”

Among its planned new hires, the institute hopes to bring in a biologist who is also an expert in genetics to interpret genetic information and research how environmental and genetic factors affect obesity.

The Clusters of Excellence is a faculty hiring initiative aimed at boosting the UO’s research in areas where it already has a strong base and could move to the next level with increased funding. Ten proposals have been selected for the initial round of fundraising.