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Rachel Tabak received her doctorate in nutrition from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in May and recently began her new career as a post-doctoral research scientist.

However, her new work should seem familiar, as she is leaving the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP) for the Prevention Research Center in St. Louis (PRC-StL). Both centers are part of the Prevention Research Center program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tabak’s research at HPDP focused on nutrition and physical activity in very young children and their families. She was part of the team for Parenting SOS (Healthy Child Weight through Improved Parent Practices and Environmental Chance) and HomeSTEAD (Home Self-Administered Tool for Environmental Assessment of Activity and Diet) where she helped develop a tool to measure how homelife relates to environment and activity for families.  Both projects are led by Dianne Ward, a UNC professor of nutrition and HPDP research fellow.

“It’s been a wonderful group of people to work with,” Tabak said.  “I got to meet all the families [for Parenting SOS] and we had a lot of fun.”

Tabak said the most valuable part of working for HPDP was that she cared so much about the work she was doing.

Tabak grew up in St. Louis and said she was looking forward to returning to her roots and to her new research.  She is working with Dr. Ross Brownson at the PRC-StL, which is jointly led by Washington University and Saint Louis University.

Tabak will continue to work in the areas of nutrition and physical activity at the PRC-StL. Her work will focus on policy and community effects on promotion of healthy diets and physical activity.

Tabak said that while she looks forward to her new work, she will also miss her HPDP research team.

“I want to thank everyone, especially Dianne and Amber (Vaughn, the project director for Tabak’s projects),” she said.  “Everyone has been so great.”

Becky Bush
Communications Intern

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