Obesity Research and Education Initiative

New Faculty Announcement - Lira & Frisvold

The Obesity Research and Education Initiative (OREI) is proud to announce two new faculty appointments in the OREI, Dr. Vitor Lira with the Department of Health and Human Physiology in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and Dr. David Frisvold with the Department of Economics in the Tippie College of Business. Find out more about Drs. Lira and Frisvold and their research below. With the appointment of Drs. Lira and Frisvold, in the past two years there have been 8 new faculty recruited by the OREI and departments in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of Public Health, Tippie College of Business and Carver College of Medicine and 5 other faculty involved in obesity research appointed in the Carver College of Medicine.

Lira 
Dr. Lira is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Human Physiology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a member of the Obesity Research and Education Initiative at the University of Iowa. He received his PhD in Exercise Physiology from the University of Florida in 2008. In Dr. David Criswell’s laboratory, his work centered on nitric oxide-dependent regulation of skeletal muscle metabolic phenotype. He was awarded a pre-doctoral grant from the American College of Sports Medicine and recieved the Patrick J. Bird Dissertation Research Award from the College of Health and Human Performance. Dr. Lira then pursued a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Zhen Yan at the University of Virginia Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center. In Dr. Yan’s laboratory he was awarded post-doctoral fellowships from both the American Physiological Society (Physiological Genomics) and the American Heart Association (declined in favor of APS fellowship) to study the role of autophagy in skeletal muscle adaptation to exercise. In the Department of Health and Human Physiology at The University of Iowa Dr. Lira plans to study the regulation of muscle autophagy during adaptive (e.g. exercise) and maladaptive conditions (e.g. obesity, diabetes and peripheral arterial disease). A major focus will be on the function of Ulk protein kinases in the autophagy process.

Frisvold 
David E. Frisvold is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics in the Tippie College of Business and a member of the Obesity Research and Education Initiative at the University of Iowa. Overall, Professor Frisvold’s research agenda explores the role for government policies to enhance education and health outcomes, with an emphasis on policies targeted towards low-income children and their influence on childhood obesity. His current and recent research projects include 1. the influence of the School Breakfast Program on nutrition, student achievement, food insecurity, and childhood obesity; 2. the influence of changes in the federal reimbursement rate on the nutritional content of school meals; 3. the influence of soft drink taxes; and 4. the impact of physical education and physical education policies on childhood obesity. Before joining the University of Iowa this year, he was a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Emory University. He received his B.S. in Mathematical Economics from Wake Forest University and his Ph.D. in Economics from Vanderbilt University.

Please join us in welcoming them to the University of Iowa!