Professor Dana Dabelea is Professor with Tenure at Departments of Epidemiology and Pediatrics, Colorado School of Public Health & School of Medicine; Associate Dean at Faculty Affairs, Colorado School of Public Health; and Director of the Center for Lifecourse Epidemiology of Adiposity and Diabetes (LEAD).
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“My main research interest is the understanding of how early life risk factors, such as exposure to maternal diabetes and obesity during intrauterine life, other environmental exposures and behavioral factors operating during fetal or early post-natal life, and infant growth and feeding patterns, influence the development of childhood obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and diabetes (developmental origins of health and disease). My experience includes perinatal and childhood epidemiological studies with community-based and clinic-based sampling, longitudinal follow-up, and extensive sample collection and storage. I have conducted landmark studies on childhood type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and perinatal determinants on future risk among the Pima Indians of Arizona and among the Navajo Nation youth. At this time, I am Principal Investigator (PI) on the multi-center “SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study”, a multi-ethnic registry study of childhood diabetes conducting population-based ascertainment of diabetes in youth, which also has a longitudinal component. I also serve as Co-Chair of the SEARCH steering committee at national level. I am also PI of “Exploring Perinatal Outcomes among Children study” (EPOCH Study), which is exploring the long-term effects of exposure to diabetes in utero in children of different ethnicities. Between 2009 and 2014 I served as Principal Investigator for the Colorado Site of the National Children’s study, and also served on their Publication and Presentations Committee until 2015. In 2009, I have started a pre-birth cohort study, “Healthy Start”, which explores a timely public health problem by testing the hypothesis that maternal obesity programs neonatal growth, fatness and metabolism, and by identifying specific mediators of these effects that can be targeted by future interventions. This study has enrolled over 1400 mother-offspring dyads in Colorado and all children are now being followed up to ages 4-5 and 7-9 years. These studies provide an exceptionally rich resource for training and mentoring students, junior faculty, residents and fellows in clinical diabetes research, lifecourse research, perinatal and pediatric epidemiology.”