residential environments shape the distribution of cardiovascular risk. She has also published on multilevel analysis and on the methodological challenges faced by epidemiology as it integrates population-level and individual-level determinants in understanding the causes of disease. Recent work also focuses on the role of air pollution exposures and psychosocial stress. Dr. Diez-Roux has been an international leader in the application of multilevel analysis in epidemiology and in the investigation of neighborhood health effects.


Joel Gittelsohn, Ph.D., is associate professor of international health at Johns Hopkins University. He is a medical anthropologist who specializes in the use of qualitative and quantitative information to design, implement, and evaluate health and nutrition intervention programs. Dr. Gittelsohn integrates both qualitative and quantitative approaches to better understand culture-based beliefs and behaviors regarding dietary patterns, and how these factors influence the success or failure of dietary and lifestyle modification strategies. He applies these methods and interventions for the prevention of obesity and diabetes among different indigenous and ethnic groups, to nutrient deficiencies of Nepalese children and women, and to improve infant feeding in diverse settings. He is currently working on chronic disease interventions among the White Mountain and San Carlos Apache (obesity prevention), the Ojibwa-Cree (diabetes prevention), African-American churchgoing women (cardiovascular disease prevention), and children and adults in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (prevention of obesity and undernutrition).


Barbara A. Laraia, M.P.H., Ph.D., R.D., is assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and co-director of COAST. Dr. Laraia is a public health nutrition investigator with a special interest in the relationships between food policy, the food environment, and health. She has expertise in qualitative methods, program evaluation, community-based research, and nutritional epidemiology. Her research focuses on household food security status and neighborhood effects on diet, weight, perinatal outcomes, and other maternal and child health issues, especially among vulnerable populations. Her current projects include measurement issues of the food and physical activity environments; influences of the food environment on diet and weight among postpartum women; and understanding the role that tiendas (Latino grocery stores) play in diet quality among Latinos.


Robin A. McKinnon, M.P.A., Ph.D., is health policy specialist at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. McKinnon works on activities intended to advance policy-relevant research on diet, physical activity, and weight.



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