The Arnold School of Public Health’s (University of South Carolina) Dr. Brie Turner-McGrievy, PhD, MS, RD, received both the Early Career Investigator Award and the Early Career Mentorship Award from the Society of Behavioral Medicine at their 2016 Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions in Washington D.C. The assistant professor of health promotion, education, and behavior (HPEB) received the awards in recognition of her total achievements made thus far during the early stage of her career as well as her dedication to mentoring graduate students.
[Photo: Dr. Brie Turner-McGrievy]
After her master’s program in nutrition (University of Alabama), Dr. Turner-McGrievy held roles as a clinical research coordinator and a registered dietitian. She decided to marry these two sets of experiences with a PhD in Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and then a Postdoctoral Fellowship in their Interdisciplinary Obesity Center. Both her dissertation and postdoctoral research focused on ways to deliver traditional face-to-face behavioral interventions using mobile technologies.
Dr. Turner-McGrievy joined the Arnold School of Public Health in 2011 and quickly established herself as an expert in discovering ways to help people eat healthier, lose weight and prevent chronic disease. In particular, her research explores ways to use emerging technology to assist with dietary self-monitoring and physical activity tracking (e.g., mobile apps, fitness trackers) as well as building social support through social media tools (e.g., Twitter) to aid these endeavors.
For example, she recently published a paper entitled, Tweet for Health, in Translational Behavioral Medicine that details a study through which Dr. Turner-McGrievy investigated weight-related behavior patterns in diet, fitness and health. Her widely-cited findings demonstrate that examining health-related patterns in social media could be a useful tool to time behavioral interventions when motivation for behavior change is high.
She also examines dietary approaches that do not require dietary self-monitoring, such as vegan and vegetarian diets. Because her research is widely relevant, she is often asked to comment on her published studies or provide her expert opinion in popular press (e.g., Wired, Huffington Post, Prevention) and broadcast media.
Through her Behavioral Research in Eating (BRIE) Lab, Dr. Turner-McGrievy and the lab’s project coordinators and doctoral students use innovative approaches to research poor nutrition and low levels of physical activity—public health issues that have plagued populations worldwide, but particularly in the United States, for decades. Her productive and inventive team members bring a range of backgrounds and perspectives to their work, which has helped contribute to their success.
In fact, one of Dr. Turner-McGrievy’s doctoral students and mentees, Ms. Danielle Schoffman (HPEB), won the Distinguished Student Award-Research Excellence from the Society for Behavioral Medicine last year. Another one of her students was also recognized this year. Ms. Caroline Dunn (HPEB) received both a Citation Abstract Award and a Meritorious Student Abstract Award for Excellence in Research.