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General Information
Academic Advising

Healthy Lifestyles Research Center

The overarching goal of the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center (HLRC) is to facilitate interactions among faculty that promote collaborative research into diverse aspects of how daily lifestyle habits and actions impact both short and long term health, chronic disease risk, and quality of life.

The HLRC conducts a seminar series that allows attendees to participate in discussions and exchange ideas about research developments in exercise and wellness, nutrition, and kinesiology.


To be a national center of excellence for the study and promotion of healthy lifestyles in an effort to reduce the impact of chronic, lifestyle-related diseases on the US population.


To encompass basic science, clinical, behavioral and community research, the promotion of physical activity and healthy eating, the integration of transdisciplinary efforts, and the training of graduate students in healthy lifestyles research.


  • To significantly enhance the research capabilities of the programs in Exercise and Wellness, Nutrition, Health Sciences and Kinesiology.
  • To recruit leading researchers across a wide diversity of affiliated fields to become members of the HLRC team of investigators.
  • To provide opportunities for interdisciplinary research among faculty involved in the Interdisciplinary PhD program in Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Wellness.
  • To strengthen opportunities for researchers seeking external funding.
  • To recruit post-doctoral researchers and doctoral students.


The foundation of the HLRC is an integration of basic and translational research aimed at understanding the underlying causes for pathologies, correlates and behaviors associated with lifestyle choices, and implementing and evaluating health promotion programs in practice. From this foundation, which includes faculty from a diverse range of disciplines, arise a social ecological model of chronic disease prevention and health promotion.

The HLRC is guided by the social ecological model that identifies healthy lifestyles as interconnected among individual health status and behaviors, social interactions and cultural traditions, community and institutional resources, and policies and ordinance decisions that influence individual and community health.  The model allows for an inter-related connectedness of factors to be studied that influence lifestyle choices and health outcomes between levels of application from the individual to society as a whole.


The Associate Director of Exercise and Wellness for the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion will be responsible for the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center.

Core Faculty

Tenured and tenure-track faculty from the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion comprise the core faculty. The HLRC serves as their academic and scientific home with the aim of fostering transdisciplinary, high impact, basic, applied, and translational research activities. Current research projects include those at the individual level (translation 1) and at the community level (translation 2), reflecting the breadth of the social ecological model.

Examples of core faculty research:

  • Reduction in risk for coronary heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome
  • Functional foods
  • Prevention of falls in older adults
  • Physical activity and lifestyle assessment technologies
  • Dietary assessment
  • Weight management and energy balance
  • Joint and bone health, and strength training
  • Health behavior changes strategies
  • Worksite health promotion
  • Community health behavior change adoption processes

Affiliated Faculty

Affiliated faculty members are from academic units outside of the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion and engage in research relevant to the mission of the HLRC. Affiliated faculty members are transdisciplinary in their professional expertise and serve to enhance the capacity and relevance of the Center’s research activities. Affiliated faculty include researchers from other centers and programs such as Departments and Programs in Biology, Physical Education, Physiology, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Applied Psychology, Communications, Anthropology, Transportation Planning, Sociology, Business, Medicine, and Public Health. 

Community and Fee for Service Activities

The HLRC provides fee-for-service activities in physical activity, nutrition, health, and wellness area and provides a resource for community outreach projects.

Center Director

Glenn Gaesser, PhD
Arizona Biomedical Collaborative 425 N. 5th Street Phoenix, AZ 85004 Office: 227 Phone: (602) 827-2283