Associate Professor

Contact Information:

Medical Towers 616
1717 11th Avenue South
Birmingham, Alabama 35205
Phone: (205) 934-7609
Fax: (205)934-7959

Research Interests

Dr. Salvy is Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology Summa cum laude at the University of Quebec in Montreal and completed her clinical internship in Clinical and Pediatric Psychology at the Columbus Children’s Hospital in Ohio. She was then a postdoctoral fellow in Social Psychology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Salvy subsequently held faculty positions in Pediatrics at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, at the University of Southern California and at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California.

Dr. Salvy’s work focuses on social determinants of health and obesity, as well as social regulation of behavioral, metabolic, and inflammatory markers of obesity in children, adolescents and adults. Her additional research interests focus on the mechanisms of intergenerational transmission of obesity, and on implementation science in developing scalable, sustainable and cost effective models of obesity prevention implemented in infancy.

Educational Background

  • 2003-2005 Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Toronto
  • 2002-2003 Clinical Internship in Clinical and Pediatric Psychology, Columbus Children’s hospital, The Ohio State University.
  • 1999-2003 Ph.D. Clinical Psychology University of Quebec in Montreal.
  • 1996-1999 Bachelor in Science (Psychology) University of Quebec in Montreal



  • R01HD092483-A1 (Salvy & De la Haye) 07/01/17 – 06/30/22
    NICHD $2,478,651
    Obesity prevention for infants through maternal and social interaction
    This proposed study tests the sustained effectiveness of delivering in-home obesity prevention on infants and mothers’ obesity risks. This model of implementation further provides a unique opportunity to test the meditational effects of maternal and social mechanisms on infants’ obesity risk.
    Role: MPI
  • U54MD000502 (Fouad/Allison/Scarinci) 09/01/17 – 08/31/22
    NIH/NIMHD $950,000 (Salvy/Dutton, PIs – Project #2)
    Obesity Health Disparities Research Center (OHDRC)
    The Obesity Health Disparities Research Center (OHDRC) focuses on the theme of obesity and obesity-related health disparities across the Life Course. The overall goal of this center is to reduce the disparities in obesity between African Americans and Whites and among low-income mothers, thereby reducing related health disparities in prevalent chronic diseases. To achieve this, we support transdisciplinary, multi-level, multi-domain research on obesity-related health disparities to understand the complex contributors to obesity and how they vary at critical periods across the life course. Project 2 addresses obesity and health-related disparities among socioeconomically disadvantaged mothers and their young children enrolled in federally-funded maternal-child health services.
    Role: MPI
  • R01 MD010358-A1 (Goran & Allayee) 04/01/16-3/31/19
    NIH/NIMHD $1,918,308
    Nutrigenetic Intervention to Reduce Liver Fat in Hispanics
    The goals of this project are to carry out a nutrigenetic clinical trial and determine whether dietary sugar reduction will reduce liver fat content in Hispanic pediatric patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as a function of genotype.
    Role: Co-I
  • 1R01DK103106-01 (Goran) 07/01/16-06/30/21
    NIDDK $2,584,133
    Home intervention for reducing sugary drinks & obesity in Hispanic women-infants
    The goal of this project is to examine the hypothesis that SSB/juice reduction is effective to reduce/prevent obesity in low-income Hispanic mothers and their infants.
    Role: Co-I


  • 5U54HD070725 (De la Haye) 09/02/14-04/30/16
    NICHD Johns Hopkins Global Obesity Prevention Center Pilot Study Project $35,000
    Health Support Networks for Preventing Childhood Obesity in Home Visitation Programs
    This study capitalizes on the implementation of childhood obesity prevention as part of home visitation services, to evaluate the multidimensional features of the “health support networks” of low-income mothers enrolled in the program.
    Role: Co-I
  • 8UL1TR000130 SC CTSI (Salvy) 07/01/14-06/30/15
    Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute $35,000
    Integrating Childhood Obesity Prevention into Home Visitation Programs
    This translational study assesses the feasibility, initial efficacy and cost-benefit of delivering a nutrition and physical activity module that we call COPE (Childhood Obesity Prevention at homE) as an add-on to an established HVP curriculum.
    Role: PI
  • R01HD064958 NIH (Roemmich) 05/01/10-02/28/14
    NICHD $1,570,863
    Non-Shared Environments and Discordance of Obesity in Adolescent Siblings
    This research will employ detailed behavioral phenotyping of adiposity-discordant sibling pair responses to obesogenic experiences to provide important data for understanding which experiences are not shared within discordant siblings.
    Role: Co-I
  • R01 HD057190-01 NIH (Salvy) 04/01/08-03/31/12
    NICHD $1,470,863
    The Role of Peer Relations on Youth Eating and Choices of Activities
    This series of studies assess whether specific characteristics and qualities of peer relations and friendship can promote changes in food intake and choice activities.
    Role: PI
  • R03 HD056059-01 NIH (Salvy) 09/25/07-08/31/09
    NICHD $209,478
    Peer Influence on Eating Behavior in Overweight and Normal Weight Youths
    This study assesses the effects of peers on food intake and food choices in overweight and normal weight youths. The prediction is that both the social condition and the peer weight status will have an impact on overweight participants’ food selection and food consumption.
    Role: PI
  • 38846 Healthy Living Foundation (Epstein) 10/01/07-09/30/09
    Healthy Living Foundation $50,000
    Cost-Effectiveness of Family-Based Pediatric Obesity Treatment
    To compare the cost-effectiveness of treating multiple family members in an integrated treatment program rather than treating each family member separately.
    Role: Co-I
  • 39297 University at Buffalo (Salvy) 07/01/07-07/01/08
    University at Buffalo Foundation $35,000
    Effects of Social-Skills Training on Recreational Activities in Youths
    This research assesses whether a validated social-skills training intervention increases overweight youths’ social involvement and, as a result, increases their time allocation to physically active leisure activities.
    Role: PI

Selected Recent Publications

  • Salvy, S. J. & Feda, D., Epstein, L. N. & Roemmich J. R. (2017). The social context moderates the relationship between neighborhood safety and youths' activities. Preventive Medicine Reports; 6: 355-360.
  • Salvy, S. J. & Feda, D., Epstein, L. N. & Roemmich J. R. (2017). Non-shared social environment on obesity and health behaviors in weight-discordant siblings. International Journal of Obesity; 41: 569-575.
  • Salvy SJ, de la Haye K, Galama T, Goran MI. (2017). Home visitation programs: An untapped opportunity to address childhood obesity prevention. Obesity Reviews; 18: 149-163.
  • Salvy SJ, Miles JNV, Shi R, Tucker JS, D’Amico EJ. (2016). Neighborhood, family and peer-level predictors of obesity-related health behaviors among middle-school adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Psychology; 42:153-161.
  • Salvy SJ, De la Haye K, Bowker JC, Hermans RCJ. (2012). Influence of Peers and Friends on Children’s and Adolescents’ Eating and Activity Behaviors. Physiology & Behavior; 106:369-78.


  • 2011
    Most Promising Young Investigator
    Exceptional Scholar Program, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
  • 2004
    Outstanding Dissertation Award
    American Psychological Association, Experimental Psychology (Division 25)
  • 2004-2006
    Merit-based postdoctoral fellowship ($75 000)
    Canadian Social Sciences Humanities Research Council
  • 2001-2004
    Merit-based doctoral scholarship ($21 800)
    Formation de Chercheurs et l’Aide à la Recherche
  • 2001-2003
    Merit-based doctoral scholarship ($38 200)
    Canadian National Sciences Engineering Research Council