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Global Obesity Prevention Center

Jocelyn Dunstan, PhD, MSc

Research Fellow, Education and Training Program
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Epidemiology

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Jocelyn received her PhD in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics from the University of Cambridge in the UK, and holds a Masters in Physics from the University of Chile. During her Masters and PhD, she studied the fluid-mediated interaction between bacterial populations and their environment.

Jocelyn is motivated to apply her background to public health, and as a postdoctoral fellow at the GOPC, she’s currently working on three projects. The first is guided by Professor Thomas Glass and aims to find which food categories best predict the obesity prevalence among countries. The consumption data comes from the Euromonitor database and it will be analyzed using Machine Learning methods.

For the second project, mentored by Professor Brian Schwartz, Jocelyn is studying the relation between obesity and epigenetics. The data was collected as part of the Pennsylvania project, and includes saliva samples from 430 children to measure the degree of methylation in five candidate genes, body measurements and interviews with parents and children about food and physical activity habits.

Lastly, guided by Professor Jessica Jones-Smith, Jocelyn is studying the relation between childhood obesity, at the county level, and the distribution of healthy versus unhealthy food establishments in the state of California. 

Using her background in quantitative sciences, Jocelyn wants to work on modeling obesity at the population level as well as predicting the outcome of public health interventions. In addition, from her experience working with bacteria, she is very interested in the connection between obesity and changes in the microbiome.