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ASU dietitian awarded prestigious NIH grant

Meg Bruening, Ph.D.
September 27, 2013

Meg Bruening, an assistant professor and registered dietitian at ASU’s School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, received a 2013 High Risk-High Reward grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Bruening was awarded one of 15 grants in the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award category. 

The $1.25 million grant, to be used over a five year period, will allow her to establish a research program to examine how friendship networks impact and predict eating, physical activity and weight among diverse youth in a college environment. Her findings will inform the development of interventions to improve the health of young people at a greater risk for weight-related problems.

“We are honored that Dr. Bruening received an award from NIH that furthers our ability to help people live healthy lifestyles," Linda Vaughan, director of the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, said. “We are proud of all our faculty and students who are passionate about making a positive difference in our communities.”

NIH issues 78 awards to support exceptional innovation in biomedical research. Awards are issued to scientists proposing highly innovative approaches to major contemporary challenges in biomedical research, under the High Risk-High Reward program supported by the National Institutes of Health Common Fund.

Bruening’s award category, the Early Independence Award, specifically encourages creative thinkers to pursue exciting and innovative ideas about biomedical and behavioral research. This particular award provides an opportunity for junior scientists, who have recently received their doctoral degree or finished medical residency, to skip traditional post-doctoral training and move immediately into independent research positions.

More information on the Early Independence Award, including links to the award program page  which contain information on current and past awardees and funding opportunities  is available at:

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