Graduate Advisor: Lisa Cadmus Bertram, Ph.D.
Synopsis: Physical activity epidemiology deals with the frequency and patterns of physical activity in the population and the relationship between physical activity and health and disease. The graduate program in physical activity epidemiology is intended to provide students with advanced study in physical activity measurement issues, study design, and relationships of physical activity with specific health and disease states. Graduate study in this area will cover both advanced exercise physiology for grounding in the biology of exercise, as well as epidemiologic and relevant statistical courses that provide background in population-level study design and analysis.
Purpose of Graduate Study: The MS degree with a specialization in Physical Activity Epidemiology is designed to:
- Introduce the beginning graduate student to population-based studies of physical activity and health and disease outcomes.
- Prepare students for advanced Ph.D. level work.
The Ph.D. degree is designed to prepare students for scholarly research and teaching in this area. Students obtaining a Ph.D. will be expected to go on for post-doctoral work prior to establishing independent research programs. The flexible curriculum in this program area will be tailored to individual students, with courses selected from exercise physiology, exercise psychology, biostatistics, epidemiology and population health, biochemistry, nutrition, or other areas deemed to provide a solid grounding sufficient to understand and conduct research in this area.
Laboratory Facilities and Experimental Approaches: The Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory is housed in the Unit II Gymnasium. Research efforts in this laboratory are directed at validating the measurement of physical activity in populations, the associations between a physically active lifestyle and various biomarkers of aging and cancer, and the associations between activity and health outcomes such as incident cancer, cancer recurrence, functional status in the elderly, and various health behaviors. The laboratory houses space for the interviewing of study subjects as well as computers for the collection and storage of study data.