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The overarching goal of the Body Composition and Metabolism Laboratory (BCML), under the direction of Ellen M. Evans, is to create and disseminate knowledge regarding the importance of habitual physical activity/exercise and appropriate nutrition for optimal body composition as it relates to health status, with a special interest in aging and women's health across the lifespan.

Her research paradigm has been framed using a 3-component model of body composition (fat, bone, lean/muscle). In this context, there are three intersecting research themes on her body composition and health research agenda:

  1. Examining the relationships among physical activity/fitness and bone dependent (e.g., bone mineral mass and density) and bone independent (e.g., muscle strength, physical function) risk factors for fracture
  2. Investigating the relationships among physical activity/fitness, adiposity and health status
  3. Determining the effectiveness of community-based sustainable interventions to reduce risk for body composition related diseases.

The translational clinical research program of Ellen Evans is interdisciplinary and evaluates body composition outcomes as both independent and dependent variables. Her research program frequently involves collaborations with experts in nutrition, the behavioral sciences, and biomedical imaging.

Equipment and space to support the research within her program is provided through the Center for Physical Activity and Health with primary equipment including a DXA, metabolic carts, centrifuge/freezers, strength assessment equipment, and dietary analysis software.