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American Cancer Society awards Dr. Elizabeth Lyons $712,000 grant

Elizabeth Lyons, PhD, MPH

During the summer semester, we hold two-weeks of pro bono clinics for people in the community with rehab needs. It was during the 2014 neuro clinic that we came to know Mr. P and his family. He'd had a spinal cord injury, and unfortunately, he was sent home with no equipment, no potential for f/u therapy, and no real instruction for the family. His team of student physical therapists did a great job of getting him on his way to better function and provided his family with a great deal of valuable education. We were able to get him plugged in to some community resources for some additional pro bono therapy and equipment assessment.

Elizabeth Lyons, PhD, MPH, was awarded a total of $712,000 for her five-year project entitled, "Self-Monitoring Activity: A Randomized Trial of Game-Oriented Applications."

Though habitual physical activity has been associated with a decrease in the risk of multiple negative health outcomes, including breast cancer recurrence and mortality, most breast cancer survivors do not engage in sufficient exercise. In this project, Dr. Lyons and her team will study a novel intervention that uses narrative-based active video games to encourage uptake and maintenance of habitual physical activity among postmenopausal women breast cancer survivors. The results of Dr. Lyons' innovative research could potentially be used on a widespread basis in clinical and community settings.

Assistant Professor in our Department of Nutrition and Metabolism, Dr. Lyons earned both her Master of Public Health and her Doctor of Philosophy in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She went on to complete predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center before joining UTMB in 2011. A member of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, the Obesity Society and the American Heart Association, she is on the Editorial Board for Games for Health Journal.