Tracy Nelson, PhD, MPH, has a background in Biobehavioral Health from The Pennsylvania State University as well as Cardiovascular Epidemiology from The University of North Carolina. Her research has primarily focused on genetic and environmental risk factors (e.g. diet, physical activity and inflammatory factors) and chronic disease outcomes including cardiovascular, diabetes and obesity. She has used both observational and experimental designs to answer questions related to this focus area, collaborating with faculty from Health and Exercise Science, Food Science and Human Nutrition, Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences as well as from the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical campus/Colorado School of Public Health. Most recently, Dr. Nelson has been collaborating with the Heart Center of the Rockies, a cardiology group that is now part of the University of Colorado Health System, analyzing data that has resulted from an ongoing (20 year) community screening program among 4th graders in Northern Colorado. She is also involved with designing interventions for high risk children that have participated in these screenings.
Dr. Nelson currently teaches an undergraduate Population Health and Disease Prevention course for juniors and seniors. This class introduces students to epidemiology and public health. She also teaches a graduate Chronic Disease Epidemiology.
Dr. Nelson has been involved with the Colorado School of Public Health since early discussions began in 2006. She became the Associate Director of the Colorado School of Public Health at Colorado State University in the Fall of 2011 and has been the lead faculty member for the Physical Activity and Healthy Lifestyles focus area since 2008.