The Nutritional Sciences Program is pleased to welcome Dr. Jesse Jones-Smith, Associate Professor in Health Services, to our core faculty. Dr. Jones-Smith received her PhD in Nutrition Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill in 2010 and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California–San Francisco and University of California–Berkeley in 2012. She received her MPH in Public Health Nutrition from the University of California–Berkeley in 2007 and is a registered dietitian. Dr. Jones-Smith was most recently an Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Dr. Jones-Smith joins the School of Public Health to lead efforts addressing one of its key emerging challenges: obesity, food, physical activity, and health. Her work bridges nutrition, epidemiology, and public health with econometrics to investigate structural approaches for improving health and health equity.
A primary goal of her research agenda is to investigate the role of economic and community resources in risk for obesity in both children and adults. In recent work, she has evaluated the impact of increased economic resources stemming from Native American–owned casinos on obesity risk among Native American infants and children. She has also investigated the relationship between the Great Recession and obesity risk among children and between income gains early in life and concurrent changes in body mass index (BMI). A second key area of interest is the nutrition transition and increasing overweight and obesity in low- and middle-income countries. Her previous research in this realm has examined longitudinal time trends in overweight according to socioeconomic status among women in 37 low- and middle-income countries to determine how the relationship between socioeconomic status and overweight has changed in this context. In addition, Dr. Jones-Smith has investigated contextual correlates of obesity risk in both high- and low/middle-income countries. A third area of interest is early life risk factors for future obesity. [Research Publications]
Dr. Jones-Smith is the Early Career Representative for the Population Health and Epidemiology Section of the Obesity Society and the liaison to the Obesity Society for the Society for Epidemiology Research. She is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dr. Jones-Smith was previously the recipient of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center for Minority Health Loan Repayment Award. She was awarded the Advising, Mentoring and Teaching Award and received the Recognition for Outstanding Teaching by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health student body two years in a row (2014–2015 and 2015–2016).
Dr. Jones-Smith will teach NUTR 411 Diet in Health and Disease in the 2016–2017 Academic Year.