Pilot Projects

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Featured Investigators

David R. Dolbow, PhD, DPT, RKTdolbow.jpg
Assistant Professor
University of Southern Mississippi

Electrically Induced Cycling and Nutritional Counseling for Counteracting Obesity after SCI

Dr. Dolbow's research focus is on the use of activity-based restorative therapies to reverse unhealthy body composition changes and the increased cardiometabolic disease risk that take place after spinal cord injury. Specifically, decreasing body fat, increasing skeletal muscle, improving vascular health and circulation, and improving blood lipid and and glucose profiles. Restoration of body composition to healthy proportions of muscle and fat and enhancing peripheral vascular health is important for improving mobility and decreasing cardiometabolic disease risk. 

Dr. Dolbow has developed a resistance-guided high intensity interval training functional electrical stimulation cycling protocol, which has been been shown in preliminary studies, to increase muscle mass in paralzed legs, while improving cardiometabolic health markers in obese individuals with spinal cord injury. The research aim for Dr. Dolbow’s group will be to determine preliminary efficacy of the new electrically induced cycling protocol combined with nutritional counseling in obese adults with chronic spinal cord injury. Positive results in this pilot study may help provide a new direction for weight control and cardiometabolic health programs and basis for developing evidence-based practice information for clinicians and those with paralytic conditions.


Brad Dufrene, PhD
University of Southern Mississippi

Mechanisms of change in parenting programs to prevent childhood obesity

Dr. Dufrene's project focuses on parental influences of children’s health. He aims to test the effects of modified Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) on health measures of behaviors that tend to cause obesity, determine agents of change that may explain the PCIT’s influence on behaviors that tend to cause obesity, and evaluate the social validity of PCIT using rating scales completed by parents and interviews using qualitative analytic methods.

The overall goal of the project is to obtain a better understanding of why evidence-based parenting programs impact negative health behaviors related to obesity and disentangle the relationships among these potential mechanisms of change.


Meagen Rosenthal, PhD
Pharmacy Administration
University of Mississippi (Oxford Campus)   

Patient Perceptions of and Attitudes toward a Weight Management Program Offered by Community Pharmacies

Dr. Rosenthal’s project aims to determine the weight management knowledge, and design, of a weight management program to be delivered in a community pharmacies in Mississippi. Patients’ perspectives will be obtained through five focus group interviews with 50 patients from four communities in northern and central Mississippi. The proposed study will provide a list of weight management program characteristics including kinds of advice and program design components that are currently unavailable in the weight management literature.