NCCOR External Scientific Panel

The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) has external advisers to enhance its programs and areas of expertise. Begun in 2012, the NCCOR External Scientific Panel (NESP) advises NCCOR on its future direction and provides guidance on specific projects or emerging work.

The Panel serves as a valuable liaison between NCCOR and the extramural community, informing the Collaborative on new science and ideas and on connections to extramural research, practice, and policy. Further, it contributes to the ongoing refinement of NCCOR's strategic plan, including helping to establish key performance indicators and other metrics associated with evaluating the impact of the Collaborative.

As part of its strategic planning efforts, NCCOR asked NESP members to provide input on how NCCOR can best accelerate progress in reducing childhood obesity. In its first two years, NESP worked to identify and hone recommendations or priority areas for impactful projects that NCCOR might undertake. Options for activities within each recommendation were presented to the NCCOR membership in fall 2013.

In 2014, through in-person brainstorming sessions and preparatory and follow-up work, NESP will help NCCOR think through projects the Collaborative can undertake through strategic alliances it forms with partners. All along, the Panel and NCCOR member liaisons to NESP ensure that work generated adheres to several guiding principles. As projects or initiatives are developed, it is critical to:

  • Leverage existing efforts and avoid duplication
  • Ensure that disparities are addressed in a concrete way
  • Incorporate training and tools, as appropriate
  • Leverage opportunities to bring in other sectors (education, transportation, environmental sustainability, etc.)

NESP is comprised of experts from a range of disciplines relevant to childhood obesity, and panel members were nominated and selected by the NCCOR funders because their respective expertise aligns with one or more of NCCOR's goals.

NESP Members


Ross C. Brownson, PhD

–Professor of Epidemiology
Prevention Research Center
Washington University in St. Louis

John Cawley

John Cawley, PhD

Department of Policy Analysis and Management
Department of Economics
Institute on Health Economics, Health Behaviors and Disparities
Cornell University

Frank Chaloupka, Ph.D.

Frank J. Chaloupka, PhD

—Distinguished Professor of Economics
—Distinguished Professor of Economics and Policy
University of Illinois at Chicago

Terry Huang, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Terry Huang, PhD, MPH

City University of New York (CUNY) School of Public Health

Shiriki Kumanyika, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH

–Professor of Epidemiology 
–Associate Dean for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
–President of American Public Health Association (APHA)

Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H.

Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH

–Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
–Founding Director
Institute for Health Promotion Research

Thomas N. Robinson, MD, MPH

Thomas N. Robinson, MD, MPH

–Irving Schulman, MD Endowed Professor in Child Health
–Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine
Stanford Prevention Research Center
Stanford University School of Medicine
–Director of the Center for Healthy Weight
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital

James F. Sallis, Ph.D.

James F. Sallis, PhD

–Distinguished Professor
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine
University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
Active Living Research (ALR)

Mary Story, Ph.D., R.D.

Mary Story, PhD, RD

–Professor of Global Health and Community and Family Medicine
Duke University
Healthy Eating Research (HER)

Elsie M. Taveras, MD, MPH

Elsie M. Taveras, MD, MPH

—Chief of the Division of General Academic Pediatrics
—Director of Pediatric Population Health Management Massachusetts General Hospital
—Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Population Medicine Harvard Medical School