EPARC comprises a team of interdisciplinary researchers with decades of experience in various domains, including preventive medicine, exercise science, and technology.
Job Godino, PhD. - Director
Dr. Godino is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UCSD and the Director of Applied Research and Technology at EPARC. His current research focuses on the development and evaluation of interventions that utilize mobile and wearable technology (e.g., smart phones, accelerometers, and heart rate monitors) to promote healthy changes in physical activity, sedentary behavior, and diet. Dr. Godino’s research is based in the Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems, which he joined in 2014 after completing a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Epidemiology and Biostatistics of Aging at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In 2013, he received his PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Cambridge, where he studied the effects of brief personalized information on objectively measured physical activity. Throughout Dr. Godino’s education and training, he acquired expertise in the objective measurement of physical activity, fitness, and function, and utilized a variety of accelerometers, heart rate monitors, and combined sensors; electrocardiographs and indirect calorimeters; and instruments for balance and gait assessment. He is actively engaged in the analysis of data derived from the aforementioned measurement tools, and he is currently leading studies on the validity of personal health data collected by consumer-level wearable devices.
Jeanne Nichols, PhD, FACSM - Chief Scientific Advisor
Dr. Nichols is Professor Emeritus in the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at San Diego State University (SDSU), and the Scientific Director of EPARC in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UCSD. Her broad research interest is in exercise and musculoskeletal health across the lifespan, in populations ranging from young female athletes at risk for energy deficiency, to frail elderly. She is the former Director of the SDSU Adult Fitness Program and on-going consultant to the San Diego County Aging and Independence Services, which is the federally designated Area Agency on Aging, where she advises on program implementation, evaluation, and instructor training on a County-wide exercise and fall prevention program for older adults, with the overall goal to prevent falls, fractures, and loss of independence. She was the 2009 recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award from the SDSU College of Professional Studies & Fine Arts, and the Excellence in Research Award in 2010 from the Sports Physical Therapy Section of the American Physical Therapy Association.
Ryan Moran, MD, MPH - Medical Director
Dr. Moran is an early-career investigator and Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and the Department of Medicine. Dr. Moran is a member of the Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems, and is the Medical Director for EPARC, and a core member of the DXA Training School, all based in the Qualcomm Institute. He sees primary care patients at La Jolla Internal Medicine at UCSD. He serves as the PI for the ongoing pilot that has developed the Strong Foundations curricula.
David Wing, MS, CPT, CBDT - Senior Manager
David is the Senior Manager of the Exercise and Physical Activity Resource Center at UCSD, where he oversees all aspects of its day-to-day operation and is involved in design, delivery and dissemination of multiple research studies and educational initiatives. Of particular note, he has made a substantial contribution to the curriculum of an Exercise Is Medicine® program in the UCSD medical school and residency program designed to include physical activity as a “vital sign” when assessing patient health status, and to prescribe exercise for primary and secondary prevention of chronic disease.
He began his professional career as a political consultant, working on public health initiatives designed to reduce smoking in public spaces and increase funding for state and national parks. A decade later he returned to academia and earned his M.S. in exercise physiology from SDSU. His research interests include the use of technology to provide scalable “just-in-time” interventions promoting physical activity, the development of functional exercise tests useful in clinical settings, and exploring the links between cognitive function and physical activity across the lifespan.
He is an avid exerciser and certified personal trainer who has worked with a large number of amateur and professional athletes as well as special populations including individuals with type 2 diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and multiple sclerosis.
MAÍRA TRISTÃO PARRA, SCD, MS, MPH - ASSISTANT MANAGER
Maíra holds a BS degree in Sports Sciences from Londrina State University, Brazil. She continued her studies in the UK, where she received her Master of Sciences degree in Sports & Health Sciences at the University of Exeter. Her Doctoral training was housed in the Evidence-based Health Graduate Program at the Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil, where she gained expertise in research methods, with an emphasis on systematic reviews for interventions. Maíra completed her post-doctoral training in Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and a Master in Public Health at UC San Diego. Her research interests are the prevention of cardiovascular diseases by promoting active lifestyles in various ways, integrative health as a way to promote well-being, validation of devices (wearables and other health-related technologies), and evidence synthesis methodology. In her spare time, Maíra enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, the outdoors, traveling, and trying different cuisines.
Michael Higgins, M.S. - Research Associate
Michael holds a master’s degree in exercise physiology from San Diego State University, and is a Measurement Specialist at EPARC focused on coordinating the dissemination and aggregation of large-scale actigraphy studies, the development of best practices for wrist worn accelerometry, and is a key member of the EPARC team that is exploring the potential of commercial devices for large scale research and clinical practice. He is also the study coordinator for Dr. Eric Hekler’s YourMove study which is a personalized digital health study designed to improve well-being by encouraging physical activity. His research interests include evaluating and validating new wearable devices for assessing physical activity, and the psychosocial aspects of exercise and training. In his free time, Michael enjoys the beach, biking, relaxing by the pool, and lately has been enjoying the kid-friendly activities of San Diego with his wife and kids.
DANIEL MORENO, MS - RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, MEASUREMENT SPECIALIST
Daniel is a Measurement Specialist and a Certified Phlebotomist at EPARC. He received his master’s degree in exercise physiology from San Diego State University in 2018. He is responsible for conducting the majority of in-lab measurements which range from anthropometric measurements, fitness testing, and bone densitometry. Daniel also holds an exercise physiologist and personal trainer license through the American College of Sports Medicine. Born in San Diego, but raised in Tijuana (Mexico), Daniel grew up with a passion for sports and fitness.
LAUREN CLARAVALL - RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR OF SCHOOL OF BONE DENSITOMETRY
Lauren Claravall graduated with a degree in Biology from UC San Diego (2010) and has worked for the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health (now the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health) ever since. She began as a research assistant for various multi-site research studies at UCSD, including the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study and the Testosterone Trials, performing both measurement collection and administrative assistance. Lauren joined the EPARC team in 2018 as the Administrative Coordinator for the School of Bone Densitometry while also assisting in measurement collection for various EPARC projects. In addition to her work with EPARC, she is also the study coordinator for the MrOS (Osteoporotic Fractures in Men) Study at UCSD – a multi-site study with over 280 local participants who have been followed for over 20 years – and the Study of Hip Fracture Pathology in CKD Patients.
ANNA O’BRIEN - RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, RECRUITMENT SPECIALIST
Anna grew up in Northern California and graduated from San Diego State University with a B.S. in Kinesiology in May of 2020. She began as an intern for the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Health Education and Exercise (MEDEX) Study with the EPARC team and was brought on as a part time research/laboratory assistant after the end of her internship. Anna is now a key member in charge of recruitment and also aids with data collection and administrative tasks in relation to multiple studies EPARC is involved in. She also works closely with interns that come through EPARC to help them develop Zoom-based exercise classes for special populations (such as cancer survivors and those concerned with bone health). She is passionate about exercise, nutrition, and other aspects of public health and is therefore very excited to be involved with the various projects at EPARC. She joins the whole team in looking forward to working with you in order to help you achieve your goals!
EPARCers for Life
Kevin Patrick, MD, MS - Co-Founding Director
Dr. Patrick is Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UCSD, Director and co-founder of EPARC and the Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems at Calit2, and past Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and. His research focuses on the use of information and telecommunications technology to measure and improve health-related behaviors of individuals and populations. He is a Senior Advisor to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Active Living Research program and a member of the National Advisory Committee of the RWJF Health Games Research initiative. He has served on the Secretary’s Council for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention of the US Department of Health and Human Services and on the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board. Dr. Patrick is Co-founder of Santech, Inc. of San Diego, California, which is developing web and mobile systems for health promotion and wellness.
Linda Hill, MD, MPH - Former Clinical Director
Dr. Hill is Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UCSD, and the Medical Director and co-founder of EPARC. She is also Director of the UCSD/SDSU General Preventive Medicine Residency. San Diego Family Care, a Federal 330 Community Health Center, is the site of her clinical activities, as Medical Director from 1980 to 2001, and Senior Staff Physician since 2001. She is the Medical Director of the UCSD Training, Research and Education for Driving Safety (treds.ucsd.edu) and Co-Director of the UCSD Injury Epidemiology and Prevention Research Center. She is engaged in prevention research and teaching with current/past support from the NIH, the California Office of Traffic Safety, Robert Wood Johnson, American Cancer Society, and Health Services Resource Administration, and the AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety, including research in injury prevention, driving safety, obesity, decision making, compliance, physician training, physical activity, and refugee health. Her hobbies include classical piano and ocean sports.