Community, City and Crossing Borders: Moving with the UH Texas Obesity Research Center

The Texas Obesity Research Center  (TORC) promotes interdisciplinary research, education and training to combat the global epidemic of obesity.  Please consider these stories from TORC.

  • TORC and the CDC:  Recently awarded more than $4 million dollars over four years from the Center for Disease Control, the Texas Obesity Research Center has developed a research group to create a comprehensive evaluation system to examine three childhood obesity programs.  One effort encompasses the MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do It!) and CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) programs in Houston and Austin.  For more information contact Dan O’Conner, principal investigator and UH associate professor, at 713-743-2377 or


  • International TORC: Scientists from across the U.S. and Canada will come together with the University of Guadalajara to develop a long-term collaborative agenda focusing on the problem of physical inactivity in Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. The “Multinational Collaboration to Increase Physical Activity in Hispanics” Spring Conference will take place March 26-27, 2012 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.  TORC was awarded $100,000 by the National Cancer Institute to establish a multinational strategy to combat physical inactivity in Hispanics.  For more information contact Rebecca Lee, TORC director, at or 713-743-1183.   


  • TORC serves as Evaluation Center for Aetna Grant: TORC is teaming up with Icon Outreach Center Inc. to implement and evaluate Next Level Fitness after-school and summer programs to increase physical activity among low-income children ages 10-14 attending two Houston elementary and middle schools. Icon Outreach Center Inc. received $50,000 to implement the program and is subcontracting with the TORC to complete assessments and evaluate the program to increase opportunities for children to participate in recreation activities. For more information, contact Rebecca Lee, TORC director and principal investigator at UH, at or 713-743-1183.


  • Partnering with the Community to End Obesity: The “Science & Community” project is entering its third year of funding and is continuing to address the problem of obesity among adults, children and minorities through community-based participatory research methods, including community advisory meetings and semiannual symposia. TORC was award $90,000 by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver  National Institute of Child Health & Human Development to partner with the community to improve health and end obesity. For more information about the spring symposium, contact Rebecca Lee, TORC director and principal investigator, at or 713-743-1183.


  • 2012 TORC Conference: TORC will hold its 2012 conference Nov. 5-6 at the University of Houston. This year’s conference, titled “2012 Texas Obesity Research Center Conference: Time for a transcultural, transdisciplinary, transformational approach to end obesity,” will showcase interdisciplinary, translational obesity research in Texas and beyond. The TORC conference links local, national and international scientists, practitioners and funding agencies to foster collaborations on projects related to obesity. For more information, contact the Texas Obesity Research Center at or 713-743-9310.