Press Articles


First NCCOR Connect & Explore webinar a success

March 3, 2014, NCCOR

In February the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) marked its five-year anniversary by launching Connect & Explore, an external webinar series for researchers, practitioners, and others interested in childhood obesity research. Engaging, informative, and timely, the Connect & Explore webinar was a success with over 180 participants tuning in to gain insight into NCCOR and watch the program!

The webinar featured background information on NCCOR, details on recent childhood obesity research highlights, and three NIH funding opportunities including the Institutes’ rapid response funding mechanism which NCCOR supported. A highlight of the webinar was the “One on One” session, a panel discussion moderated by Elaine Arkin, M.S., of the NCCOR Coordinating Center, and featuring speakers from the four NCCOR funders:

  • Laura Kettel Khan, M.I.M., Ph.D., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Robin McKinnon, M.P.A., Ph.D., National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Laura Leviton, Ph.D., Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)
  • Jay Variyam, Ph.D., U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

This segment provoked a robust discussion. The representatives spoke about NCCOR’s accomplishments and contributions to the field, new tools and resources available for researchers, and emerging opportunities for research.

The webinar “was a nice snapshot of what NCCOR has accomplished in a relatively short period of time, especially if you consider that three of the four partners are federal agencies,” said Kettel Khan, speaking about how the partnership leverages each funder’s expertise and priorities. “Having Robert Wood Johnson Foundation engaged in these relationships allows the federal agencies more flexibility than if we attempted these efforts on our own,” she added.

The new Connect & Explore webinar series provides a unique platform for participants to engage with NCCOR and find out “what is on the minds of the partnership,” continued Kettel Kahn. I’m hopeful it will encourage “presentations of hot topics in the field of obesity prevention… For example, the recently released data on significant declines in obesity among 2- to 5-year-olds would be a great topic for a board research and practitioner discussion,” she said.

This was the first of three Connect & Explore webinars this year. The next webinar will be held on Thursday, June 12, 2014, from 2-3 p.m. (EST). The Collaborative will solicit feedback after each webinar, inviting the field to provide their impressions, suggestions, and hopes for future NCCOR webinars and endeavors.

A recording of this webinar is available for download at