Jaci VanHeest, PhD

Associate Professor (PI)

Department of Educational Psychology

Department of Kinesiology

University Teaching Fellow
Faculty Director Public Health Learning Community

Research Overview

Dr. Jaci L. VanHeest is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, NEAG School of Education, at the University of Connecticut. She currently holds a joint appointment in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut. Dr. VanHeest’s specialization is in the area of endocrine control of body weight and metabolism. Her two primary research arms are in the areas of overweight children and exercise and bioenergetic demands and endocrine function in elite female athletes. Dr. VanHeest has written several book chapters and articles on women, children, performance and obesity. Her before school physical activity program for overweight children called PawPALS is currently in its 4th year. Her program has gained local and national recognition in the Hartford Courant, Sports Illustrated, NBC Nightly News, and MS NBC.


Doctoral degree, Michigan State University, 1993 (exercise endocrinology)
NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Cincinnati (physiology and biophysics)
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Colorado (pediatrics)
Master’s degree, Michigan State University, 1985 (exercise physiology)
College degree, Hope College, 1980 (physical education)

Recent/Selected Publications

Google Scholar

Contact Information
Phone(860) 486 5123
Mailing Address249 Glenbrook Road
Unit 3064
Storrs, CT 06269