Molly Waring focused on helping mothers manage their weight

By Megan Bard

UMass Medical School Communications

August 17, 2016

The Women in Science video series on UMassMedNow highlights the many areas of research conducted by women at UMass Medical School.

Molly Waring, PhD, knows that weight management during and after pregnancy can be difficult for many women.

“Coming into the hospital for a weekly group can be tough if you’re pregnant or have small children at home,” said Dr. Waring, assistant professor of quantitative health sciences and obstetrics & gynecology. “We’re looking to design programs that can be widely implemented. We want to bring effective weight management programs to women’s lives, instead of them bringing their lives to us.”

Waring is researching how technology can help mothers maintain a healthy weight and is developing ways to deliver weight management programs via social media.

“We want to design programs that not only work for helping women lose weight, but that fit into women’s busy schedules,” Waring said.

Waring earned undergraduate degrees in psychology and biology from Harvey Mudd College and worked as a research coordinator at Children’s Hospital Boston. Working in an academic medical center cemented her passion for clinical research and led her to pursue a PhD in epidemiology at Brown University. Upon graduation in 2009, Waring joined UMass Medical School.

She said she likes conducting research at UMMS because of the focus on team science and the collaborative atmosphere. Working with multidisciplinary teams of researchers and clinicians enables her to pursue research beyond what anyone could do alone, she said. Waring also studies lifestyle change and health promotion among adults with heart disease, with a focus on weight management, healthy diet, physical activity and patient-provider communication.

“I really want to have a positive impact on individual moms’ health and their children’s health, but also think larger on how we can help communities be healthier, help our population be healthier,” Waring said.

Women in Science videos:
MD/PhD student Miriam Madsen strives to improve communication for those in need
Katherine Fitzgerald focuses on novel discoveries in innate immunity

Related story on UMassMedNow:
UMMS researchers find Twitter an effective weight loss tool for users of social media

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