Lorena S. Pacheco, MPH, RDN, CPH, current epidemiology doctoral student at the UC San Diego-SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health, was selected as an awardee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) Journal’s 2017 Student Research Paper Contest. The journal received a record 70 submissions this year in, with only 5 papers selected as winners by the review panel.
Her research focused on the relationship between the obesity early in life and metabolic syndrome risk in adolescence. Of particular interest is the research team and cohort Lorena worked with in order to assess her research question and hypothesis. She is part of the Santiago Longitudinal Study research team, led by Principal Investigator and mentor Dr. Sheila Gahagan, in which a cohort of infants from Santiago, Chile, have been followed from age 4 to 6 months to young adulthood. This observational longitudinal study focuses on the biopsychosocial determinants of obesity and cardiovascular risk. Lorena worked with the Santiago Longitudinal Study team as part of her 2nd year doctoral practicum coursework at UC San Diego, yet she remains a research collaborator.