Assistant professor of kinesiology Lanay Kazmirzack (nee Mudd) is one of four scholars selected this year to participate in a Michigan State University program focused on supporting women’s health research. The Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) program provides faculty members with partial salary coverage and $25,000 worth of research and training activities for each of two years. The program is funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Kazmirzack, whose research focuses on physical activity and pregnancy, plans to use the funding to develop an intervention program to improve the health-related behaviors of low-income pregnant women in particular. She joined the MSU College of Education faculty in fall 2012.
“We know that being active and eating right during pregnancy can improve maternal health and birth outcomes, yet there have been very few interventions that try to improve these health behaviors among low-income pregnant women,” Kazmirzack said.
Kazmirazack will start by conducting focus groups to determine what kind of dietary and physical activities would be of interest to women while pregnant – she will then use those results to design a program.
She will be learning skills for qualitative research and intervention development along the way. Her faculty mentors for BIRCWH are Barbara Given of the College of Nursing and Anne Bogat of the Department of Psychology.
“The purpose of the program is to help young faculty develop a broad interdisciplinary network,” Kazmirzack said. “So, one of one of my goals is to make contacts across campus in various departments and build a team to do future research focused on improving health of pregnant women.”