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Students/Faculty News Jessica Jernigan June 22, 2022

Camille Worthington, PhD, RDN, LDN, has been selected as the 2022 Named New Investigator by the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC). 

Worthington, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, aims to collect necessary preliminary data to assess the applicability of various circadian meal timing-based approaches (e.g., chrononutrition) for managing cardiometabolic health postpartum and to inform the development of a chrononutrition intervention adapted for postpartum women to be tested as part of a subsequent grant application. The pilot project titled "Timing of Energy Intake and Associations with Adiposity among Postpartum Women" is the first study of its kind for postpartum women to:

  1. Characterize patterns of meal timing postpartum.
  2. Assess associations between misaligned eating patterns (e.g., late-night intake) and postpartum adiposity.
  3. Explore factors associated with meal timing via qualitative interviews, which will be used to identify relevant targets for adapting existing chrononutrition interventions for the target population.

As such, the preliminary data obtained from this grant would support various future external grant proposals to advance several areas of investigation. 

Created in 2001, the NORC Named New Investigator award is selected by NORC leadership from funded pilot/feasibility recipients and then receives approval from the UAB NORC External Advisory Committee. The distinction is significant for an early career scientist, providing $45,000 toward salary and protecting effort dedicated toward their pilot project.

Worthington joined UAB in 2012 to complete her dietetic internship and doctoral degree in the Department of Nutrition Sciences. As a graduate student, she was supported by a NORC pre-doctoral fellowship funded through the NIH T32 grant (T32HL105349) awarded by the Heart, Lung and Blood Disease Institute (NHLBI). Upon completing her PhD in 2019, she transitioned to a postdoctoral training position in the UAB Division of Preventive Medicine. Her primary research focuses on the role of modifiable prenatal and early postnatal maternal factors (e.g., weight gain, diet, physical activity) on short- and long-term maternal health and the developmental origins of childhood obesity and cardiometabolic disease.

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