Research Lab

  • Data Coordinating Lab:  Fitness Registry and the Importance of Exercise National Database – FRIEND Registry
    The Fisher Institute of Health and Well-Being at Ball State University serves as the FRIEND Core Data Coordinating Center. Laboratories and Centers interested in contributing data to the FRIEND Registry, after obtaining Ethics Board approval to transfer the data from their institution to FRIEND, work directly with our staff to develop a dataset for submission to FRIEND.  These data undergo a quality assurance review prior to being submitting to the cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPX) Core Laboratory at University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC).
    Recently publications from the FRIEND Registry can be found on the Research Reports and Publications page.
  • Systems Modelling and Big Data Health Research Lab (In development)
    This lab hosts a high-density computational platform and provides cross-platform computational support for Mac, Windows and Unix environments for advanced statistical analysis, data storage, data visualization, spatial analysis, and systems and big data  modeling. This lab acquires big data from various sources such as health records, health providers, health insurance agencies, large health surveys (national, state, regional, community-based, school-based, etc), and from internet, sensors, mobile phones, and other new technologies, to enhance our systems-oriented health research on obesity, childhood obesity, non-communicable chronic diseases, and other urgent public health problems. This lab will also perform System Modeling work which, includes methodologies such as computational/mathematical modeling, agent-based modeling, dynamic modeling, and network analysis.

Project Center

  1. BSU-NASA Partnership on Childhood Obesity Prevention  Drs. Wang, Xue, and Min are working with the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as an official collaborative partner in its Global Mission X:  Train Like an Astronaut program, which at present covers 38 countries worldwide.
  2. Systems-oriented Global Childhood Obesity Intervention Program  This program aims to foster international and interdisciplinary collaborations among leading childhood obesity experts and researchers to develop innovative studies and find effective and sustainable solutions to fight the global obesity epidemic.
  3. NIH U54 Grant Funded Multi-level Systems — Oriented Childhood Obesity Study in China  This ongoing NIH-funded international collaborative project studies the impact of multiple factors including biological, behavioral, family and social contextual factors on childhood obesity and chronic diseases using an innovative, integrated conceptual framework, rich data, and novel statistical approaches, including systems analysis. Investigators from multiple institutions from several countries have participated in the study including the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and several top universities in China and Johns Hopkins University.
  4. NIH R01 Grant Funded US Nationwide Study — Causes and Interventions for Childhood Obesity:  Innovative Systems  This NIH-funded study uses innovative, integrated and conceptual frameworks, along with multi-level statistical analysis approaches, to examine the influences and interactions between individual, family and environmental factors on childhood obesity in the United States.
  5. AHRQ and NIH-funded Comprehensive Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs Conducted Worldwide Funded by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the NIH, we have been conducting systematic evaluation, e.g., via systematic reviews and meta-analysis, to assess the effectiveness of interventions that are directed at children and/or their families on childhood obesity and related health conditions such as lipid profile and blood pressure, and children's related knowledge, beliefs, and attitude.
  6. US CDC Community Preventive Services Task Force Community Guide on Childhood Obesity Prevention  The ongoing project started in 2015 is built upon the 835-page AHRQ report on childhood obesity prevention that Dr. Wang's team published in 2013 (https://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/ehc/products/330/1524/obesity-child-report-130610.pdf). Dr. Wang is a key team member working with the US CDC Community Preventive Services Task Force, to develop a Center for Disease Control (CDC) Community Guide on Childhood Obesity Prevention.
  7. NIH P60 Grant Funded Twin Study in China:  The Influence of Genetics and Dietary Intake on Child Growth and Health During Puberty  This program is a study of cohort twins in China that examines how genetics, dietary calcium intake and their interaction affect children's adiposity and health in South China.
  8. A Large School-based Childhood Obesity Prevention Study in China:  The Health Legacy Project of the 2nd International Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) held in Nanjing  The YOG project was designed to develop sustainable physical activity promotion programs and to examine its intervention effects on preventing childhood obesity. It included more than 10,000 students from 46 school in Nanjing City in China.