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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Preventive Medicine
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Spring Lab

SpringLab, led by Bonnie Spring, PhD, develops and tests interventions to achieve weight loss, multiple healthy diet and physical activity changes, and smoking cessation using wearable devices and apps. We aim to reduce risk factors for chronic disease by optimizing innovative technology-supported interventions to catalyze healthy behavior change.

Dr. Spring is now accepting applications for the The Behavioral and Psychosocial Research Training Program in Cancer Prevention and Control for 2021.

 

New, Remote Weight-Loss Method Helped Slash Pounds

Read about the new Northwestern Opt-IN remote weight loss program that slashed pounds. You can also read the full publication hereFor more information and to express an interest in signing up, visit the Opt-IN program website.

 

Ongoing Studies

 

SMART is an adaptive (stepped care) trial to optimize obesity treatment by using both mHealth and traditional weight loss treatment components (read about the SMART study design).  The study follows our Opt-IN factorial obesity treatment trial, designed to assemble components into a treatment package that achieves maximal weight loss attainable for least cost (read about the Opt-IN study). A trial expected to launch soon is an RCT of Opt-IN’s least resource-intensive treatment package. ENGAGED and +Mobile are prior obesity trials from SpringLab.   

Make Better Choices 1 and 2 (MBC1, MBC2) were prior trials of mHealth-supported interventions to produce multiple behavior changes in diet and physical activity. A study expected to launch soon will trial the MBC2 intervention in Appalachia.    

The Sense2Stop study, performed in collaboration with the 11-university NIH Center of Excellence on Mobile Sensor Data-to-Knowledge (MD2K), evaluates the use of an app and worn sensors to help smokers quit and not relapse. Tests are ongoing to evaluate predictive models and a Just-in-Time Adaptive Intervention (JITAI). 

Team Science and its sister project Evidence-Based Behavioral Practice (EBBP) are free online learning modules. Teamscience.net offers experiential learning for interdisciplinary scientific teams (read about teamscience.net). EBBP.org offers didactic and experiential modules for health professionals from different disciplines about how to find, evaluate, and implement evidence-based interventions for health.   

Our Team

Faculty

Bonnie J. Spring, PhD

Bonnie J. Spring, PhD

Director, Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM) - Center for Behavior and Health Chief, Division of Behavioral Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine

Professor of Preventive Medicine (Behavioral Medicine), Psychology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Co-Program Leader, Cancer Prevention, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center

Team Science Director, Northwestern University Clinical Translational Science Institute

Angela Pfammatter, PhD

Angela Pfammatter, PhD

Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine (Behavioral Medicine)

Graduate Student

Sara Hoffman Marchese, MS

Sara Hoffman Marchese, MS

Sara graduated from Grinnell College (IA) in 2012 with a degree in psychology. She joined the Spring Laboratory as a research assistant in 2013, and in fall 2015 was accepted into Northwestern Feinberg's Clinical Psychology PhD program. Ms. Hoffman is currently a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology, and is a Fall 2018 recipient of a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (Parent F31) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Her research interests include obesity and weight loss, social influences on health behavior change, technology-supported interventions and optimization of behavioral interventions. Sara will be on internship at Rush University (Health Psychology Track) from 2020-2021.

Sam Battalio

Sam Battalio

Sam graduated from Seattle University in 2015 with a B.S. in psychology. After graduating, Sam worked for four years as a Research Coordinator in Dr. Mark Jensen’s lab at the University of Washington, studying self-management interventions for symptom management and health promotion in adults with chronic physical disabilities. Sam was accepted into the Clinical Psychology PhD program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Fall 2019, under the mentorship of Dr. Bonnie Spring and Dr. Angela Pfammatter. Sam’s research interests include evaluating and optimizing technology-supported multiple health behavior change interventions, leveraging mHealth interventions to address health disparities, and longitudinal data analysis.

Research Program Management

Leland Bardsley, MS

Leland Bardsley, MS

Leland coordinates and supports the team science program's efforts to advance transdisciplinary science by studying and training diverse research teams. Previously, he provided health coaching to participants in the SMART and Sense2Stop studies in the Spring Lab at Northwestern University. He has over 15 years of experience in a broad array of health and behavioral research. A graduate of Cornell University, he majored in human development and family studies as an undergraduate. He went on to receive an MS in psychology as well as additional graduate training in clinical psychology from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Elyse Daly

Elyse Daly

Elyse Daly graduated from Lawrence University where she received a BA in psychology and a minor in anthropology. During her time at Lawrence, she worked under Dr. Beth A. Haines, studying the effects of after-school programming on self-efficacy. She is currently a research study coordinator in the Spring Lab, for the Sense2Stop study, part of the Center of Excellence on Mobile Sensor Data-to-Knowledge (MD2K). Previously, Elyse worked with the Spring Lab as a research assistant on several other health behavior change studies. Her primary interests are health management and health behavior change.

Laura Scanlan

Laura Scanlan

Laura is currently a research project manager with the Spring Lab, working primarily on the SMART Study. She graduated from Princeton University in 2011 with a BA in ecology and evolutionary biology and has a certificate in neuroscience; she also completed an MA in global health at Northwestern University. Her primary interests are health management, human behaviors and brain health.

Data Manager

Gene McFadden

Gene McFadden

H. Gene McFadden has been data manager for Spring Lab since 2006, contributing to each of the lab’s R01-funded randomized clinical trials during that time. Gene’s research interests include health and behavioral analytics, psychometrics and assessment. Prior to coming to Spring Lab, Gene did teratology research in the Developmental Neuropsychology Laboratory of Dr. William Pizzi at Northeastern Illinois University.

Research Study Assistants

Ruchi Patel

Ruchi Patel

Ruchi received a BA in Public Health and a minor in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). During her time at UIC, Ruchi was an undergraduate research assistant at the Institute for Health Research and Policy for the Promoting Seniors' Health with Home Care Aides study. Throughout the study, she learned more about physical activity promotion for home-bound seniors, in order to maintain the well-being of home-care clients. Ruchi is currently a research study assistant for both the M-POWER and SMART studies. 

Margaret DeZelar

Margaret DeZelar

Margaret graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a BS in psychology and a minor in women’s studies and gender studies. During her time at Loyola, she worked with Dr. Amy Bohnert and the Activity Matters Lab, focusing on body image and self-worth among low-income, urban, ethnic minority girls. Currently, she is working on the Opt-IN Study as a lifestyle coach where she can pursue her interest in behavior change.

Frank Granata IV, MS

Frank Granata IV, MS

Frank joined the Spring Lab in the fall of 2018 as a research study assistant for the SMART and M-POWER studies and is responsible for co-managing our NCI T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cancer Prevention and Control. Prior to coming to Northwestern, Frankie received a BS in integrative biology and psychology with a minor in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a MS in biomedical informatics from The University of Chicago. During his undergraduate career, Frank worked in the Exercise Neuroscience Research Lab as an undergraduate research assistant to better understand the role exercise plays in a treatment regimen for Multiple Sclerosis. Frank has other experiences in research stemming from roles in projects based out of the School of Integrative Biology at UIUC and the Urology department at UChicago Medicine. Frank has the aspirations of one day attending medical school and pursuing a career in emergency medicine or psychiatry
Hannah Rumsey

Hannah Rumsey

Hannah received a BS in psychology and a BA in music from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014. She previously worked as a research coordinator/assistant at VCU, studying the biological and subjective effects of cigarettes and e-cigarettes. She also conducted her own research study on anxiety’s effect on muscle activation and fatigue in trumpet players, which was published in the Medical Problems of Performing Artists research journal. Currently, she works as a research study assistant for the SMART study in the Spring Lab. 

Jon Patrick Williams

Jon Patrick Williams

Patrick is currently a research study assistant for both the SMART and M-POWER studies. He received a BS in psychology and cognitive neuroscience from DePaul University in 2014. As an undergraduate, Patrick worked on the DePaul Cities Project studying stress and coping mechanisms in underprivileged adolescents. Prior to joining the Spring Lab, Patrick worked as a research assistant on the CHEERS study for Dr. Kiarri Kershaw.

Tech Team

Gleb Iakovlev

Gleb Iakovlev

Gleb is the lead software engineer, with a background in both medicine and engineering. Currently, he is involved with architecting, developing and prototyping of web, Android and iOS applications for multiple behavioral intervention studies in the Spring Lab. He graduated from Russian State Medical University, Medical Cybernetics Department with a combined track in medicine and engineering. Previously, he was involved in the research and development of an early diagnostic tool for Parkinson's disease patients at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab using mobile devices and wireless sensors. In addition, he had three years of industry experience working as a software engineer/system analyst at the Healthcare IT department at Croc Inc., the top IT integrator company in Russia.

Megha Patel

Megha Patel

Megha recently graduated from The University of Michigan with a BSE in Computer Science and Engineering. Megha joined the Spring Lab in April as a Developer and is currently working on the technical aspects of the Team Science Program and also on the COACH app.
Joseph C. Subida

Joseph C. Subida

J.C. is a software developer with a bachelor's of science in computer science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. While there, he worked on a human-computer interaction research study focused on measuring a user's perceived application utility. Currently, he is contributing to the NUYou, SMART and K07 studies.

Volunteer Opportunities

We are currently seeking volunteers to engage in a variety of research experiences within our multidisciplinary lab. Visit the Global & Research Opportunities page for the volunteer positions available, prerequisites and requirements and contact information.

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