By Ellen Moran
The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB) has re-funded the Healthy Weight Research Network (HWRN), a national research network coordinated by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center at UMass Medical School, with a $1.2 million, five-year grant. HWRN is directed by researchers at the Shriver Center and Tufts University School of Medicine.
HWRN was established in 2013 to help researchers and clinicians understand obesity in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities (DD), and to support the development of evidence-based interventions for achieving a healthy weight in these children
“We are delighted that the Healthy Weight Research Network has been re-funded. We are working to understand the unique factors that may contribute to obesity in children with ASD and DD so that strategies can be developed to help these children achieve a healthy weight and optimal health,” said Linda Bandini, PhD, RD, director of HWRN and associate professor in UMass Medical School’s Department of Pediatrics. Bandini also is director of nutrition in the Shriver Center’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program.
Carol Curtin, PhD, associate professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at UMass Medical School, co-directs HWRN with Dr. Bandini. She also is associate director of the Shriver Center and directs the LEND and UCEDD programs. Aviva Must, PhD, dean for Public Health and a professor and chair of Public Health & Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, also is a co-director of HWRN.