The Division of Human Biology at Wright State University School of Medicine is moving from Yellow Springs to the Miami Valley Research Park in Kettering. The division includes eight scientists and 22 support staff.
The move will be made in two phases. Human Biology faculty and data analysts moved to 3171 Research Boulevard in Kettering in early February. The division's data collection operations for the Fels Longitudinal Study and other research projects will move to Research Park in late summer or early fall. Fels research participants who have questions about the move should call Merita Moffitt at 937/767-7324.
"We hope to make the transition as smooth as possible with no disruption to the regularly scheduled visits of Fels research participants," says Roger Siervogel, Ph.D., head of the Division of Human Biology in Wright State's Department of Community Health.
"The move to Research Park provides expanded facilities for the Division of Human Biology that will foster the growth of our research in the future," he adds.
Conducted by Wright State's Division of Human Biology, the Fels Longitudinal Study is the world's largest and longest-running study of human growth and body composition. It was launched in Yellow Springs in 1929. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has called the Fels study "a national treasure." Last year, the NIH awarded a five-year, $5.5-million grant to Wright State to continue Fels research on body composition, obesity and other risk factors for heart disease.
"Today, the Fels study aims to understand how changes in a person's body composition -- the amount of bone, muscle, and fat -- throughout the lifespan can be used to predict health outcomes such as osteoporosis, heart disease and hypertension as well as nutritional status and normal or abnormal growth," Siervogel explains.
Fels research participants are enrolled in the study at birth. Their body and lifestyle characteristics are measured every six months throughout childhood, then about every two years thereafter. Early Fels participants have been measured more than 50 times during their lives. In some cases, four generations of families have been Fels participants.
Today, the Fels study includes data from more than 1,100 research participants plus an even greater number of their relatives. Most of the participants lived in the Miami Valley region during childhood. About 25 percent of the adult participants now live outside Ohio.
Over the years, the Fels study has achieved an international reputation for the consistency of its methods for measuring people. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend the use of body measurement methods and growth charts developed by the Fels study for assessing growth and the nutritional status of special populations such as children and elderly people.