2011 – Present Bone Health in Adolescence and the Influence of Diet and Exercise
Sport and Exercise Science Department: Gannon University
Title: Influence of Diet and Exercise on Adolescent Bone Health
Osteoporosis has been described as a “pediatric disease with geriatric consequences”. Lifestyle habits during childhood including diet are thought to impact the health and strength of bone in later life. In the current economy, many families turn to food banks to be able to provide meals for their families. It is often difficult for low-income families to provide complete, healthy meals from the foods available at food banks. Because of this, the best approach to measure bone density of adolescents from low-income families and control subjects is currently being investigated.
2009 – 2011: Investigation of Childhood Obesity in the Erie Area
Gannon University and Hamot Health Foundation
Title: Prevention of Childhood Obesity in Erie County
Select members of Gannon’s health professions faculty are working with the Hamot Health Foundation on a Erie Community Foundation Grant looking to reduce the incidence of childhood obesity in Erie County. Children ages nine to twelve who were in the eighty-fifth percentile and higher of body mass index (BMI) were recruited for the inaugural three day “Be Fit Get Healthy” camp held at Gannon University. The children were evaluated on various measures such as BMI, blood pressure, and a six-minute walk test. They were then exposed to various physical activities, and taught about healthy eating and lifestyle choices. Follow-up sessions to continue education and collect data are currently being conducted. Results will be submitted for publication after the concluding follow up session in the spring of 2011.
2004 – 2009: Doctoral Research
Biomechanics Laboratory: The Pennsylvania State University
Dissertation Supervisor: Dr. Neil A. Sharkey
Title: Age-Related Genetic Effects of Trabecular Bone Density and Architecture
Trabecular bone measurements of the proximal metaphysis of inbred strains of mice at three different ages were collected using micro-computed tomography and were analyzed with chromosomal mapping methods to determine the chromosomal regions influencing trabecular bone density and architecture across the life-span.
2002-2004: Master’s Research
The Center for Locomotion Studies: The Pennsylvania State University
Thesis Supervisor: Dr. Neil A. Sharkey
Title: Genetic Determinants of Trabecular Bone Density and Architecture
The proximal tibial metaphysis of 200 day old inbred mice were analyzed using micro-computed tomography to determine properties of trabecular bone. Data were analyzed with chromosomal mapping techniques to determine the regions most likely to be influencing trabecular bone quality in the “young adult” mouse.
2001-2002: Undergraduate Lab Assistant
Center for Locomotion Studies: The Pennsylvania State University
Undergraduate Supervisor: Dr. Dean H. Lang