CHIP Principal Investigators in the Spotlight

CHIP PI Linda Pescatello was featured in a Hartford Courant article, titled, “Do Our Genes Influence How We Respond To Exercise?” on August 1st, along with CHIP Affiliate Beth A. Taylor, CHIP Graduate Student Affiliate Garrett Ash, Amanda Zaleski, and CHIP Graduate Student Lauren Lamberti. The article describes the team’s efforts to raise money for their exercise genomics project, “A Prescription for Health and Fitness Based on Your Genes,” through the crowdfunding platform The project has until August 14th to meet a funding target of $6,000. So far, they have raised $5,029 with the help of 57 backers. An excerpt from the Courant piece:

Through Experiment’s platform, Dr. Linda Pescatello and their team are sharing progress reports in real-time. When backers give money to the project, they receive behind-the-scenes access to research updates, and recognition in the published results.

If fully funded, the researchers will analyze stored blood samples from the people that have previously completed their exercise studies. They will use the new technology of deep gene sequencing to find genes that predict who responds and who does not respond to exercise as antihypertensive lifestyle therapy. Their findings may enable them to create personalized exercise prescriptions to maximize the blood pressure lowering effects of exercise for people with hypertension.

CHIP PI Blair Johnson was quoted in an article in the Science Speaks blog, titled, “In treatment as prevention era, health communication plays new and critical role“:

“You don’t have to hit people over the head to get behavior change,” Blair Johnson, a professor of psychology at the University of Connecticut at Storrs said. He presented findings from a Meta-Review of Meta-Analyses of the effects of behavior intervention on HIV prevention outcomes. While efforts to change sexual behavior are among the least successful, the review found, many interventions are effective. That includes instruction on condom use for adolescents, which did not increase the odds those teenagers would be sexually active, Johnson noted, “instead it had the opposite effect.”