Research Areas

TIGOR faculty conduct research on a broad range of topics within the areas of basic science; clinical studies and behavior change; communities and interventions; technology, artificial intelligence and modeling; policy and econometrics; and epidemiology and population studies.

Basic Science

From the regulation of fat cell metabolism to the cellular and molecular mechanisms of synaptic transmission in the brain, advances in basic science are paving the way for next-generation understanding of how obesity influences health and well-being—and how to better create interventions that are effective and sustainable.

Clinical Studies and Behavior Change

The rapidly increasing rates of obesity in childhood, young adults and old age throughout the world has created a crisis in global health that will only be solved with better clinical management of individuals with obesity, and more effective behavior change interventions to support people in their journey to lose weight and keep it off. Using advanced science to create effective behavior change interventions to support healthy weight management from birth to old age is a major focus of TIGOR research.

Communities and Interventions

Working with community partners to implement multiple-level interventions targeting families and systems is increasingly recognized as an essential component of reducing obesity in the U.S and worldwide. TIGOR scientists are using interdisciplinary ‘system science’ that harnesses the power of interrelationships between societal factors, biology, culture, politics and the environment to make a difference in communities throughout America, with a major focus on addressing health inequities and disparities.

Technology, Artificial Intelligence and Modeling

The complexity of understand and solving for obesity requires harnessing the power of big data. From merging large international datasets to collecting real time, accurate data on movement, dietary intake, and sleep to processing individual behavior patterns and feeding back guidance, technology can assist with groundbreaking interventions to improve health.

Policy and Economics

Preventing and reversing obesity requires large-scale, population-based solutions with cost and return on investment modeled into decision making. Policy strategies are critical as they benefit all who are exposed rather than simply attempting to reach individuals through direct contact. Research focused on SNAP, WIC, School meals, Safe Routes to School, Food recovery, and Food as Medicine efforts are all part of the research strategy of TIGOR.

Epidemiology and Population Studies

Obesity is caused by a complex interaction between the environment, genetic predisposition, and human behavior. Understanding worldwide trends in obesity and related behaviors is critical to developing solutions to reverse the epidemic.  Studies that examine global prevalence, secular trends, risk factors, and burden of illness related to obesity are part of TIGOR’s research agenda.