health assesment lab: woman hooked up to sensors walking and being monitored by computer

Current Projects


Hand grip test

Below are the current research projects occurring the Health Assessment Lab (HAL).

  • Assistant Professors Sabrina Noel and Boce Zhang of the Department of Biomedical and Nutritional Sciences, Co-Director Robin Toof of the Center for Community Research and Engagement, Research Professor David Turcotte of the Economics Department and Assistant Professor Sherman Bigornia of the University of New Hampshire are working with community partners to gain a deeper understanding of the dietary quality of Cambodian adults aged 45-64 y, as well as access to healthy, culturally-relavent foods, including frequented food outlets, access to safe foods (food handling and practices), and use of community-based resources. The specific aims of this project are to characterize the dietary patterns including healthy components, key food sources, and perceived community-based resources of Cambodian adults living in the Greater Lowell area, as well as identify existing community-level resources and gaps in the food environment. This work is funded by the Greater Lowell Health Alliance. 
  • Assistant Professor Sabrina Noel of the Department of Biomedical and Nutritional Sciences, Associate Professor Ivy Ho of the Department of Psychology and UNH Assistant Professor Sherman Bigornia are characterizing the overall dietary quality of 1.t5 and second generation Cambodian adults (ages 18-40 y) living in the Greater Lowell Area and examining the nature of the relationship of Khmer and U.S, acculturation with dietary quality. Knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding dietary quality, access to healthy, culturally-relevant foods and health in this growing segment of the Cambodian community will also be studied. 
  • Professor SoJung Kim of the Department of Physical Therapy is currently conducting research investigating whether certain types of physical activity can affect bone and artery health in college-aged students. In a separate study, Dr. Kim is also investigating the effects of a 12-week, home-home based yoga intervention on bone metabolism and cardiovascular health in healthy premenopausal women. Yoga is a non-traditional form of exercise that has been shown to have positive effects on various health components. However, it is not yet clear whether yoga can elicit sufficient intensity to improve bone and cardiovascular health. 
Skin fold calipers


  • Professor Kyle Coffey utilizes the metabolic monitoring equipment with students in his Exercise Physiology courses to learn hands-on, practical skills that are used by today's industry leaders. Students also have the chance to assist faculty with physiological testing of the University's athletes.
  • The MPH in Dietetics' Course "Nutrition Assessment," led by Professor Kelsey Mangano, is using HAL for hands on laboratory experiences testing validated and reliable nutrition assessment tools.
  • Professor Mary Kate Keyes will be using the HAL to align the skills of our students with the needs of the University. Graduate students in the MPH Coordinated Program will, as part of their coursework in Advanced Clinical Nutrition, counsel the sophomore cadets of the ROTC Air Force program. This six-week intensive counseling program aims to enhance the counseling skills of the graduate students while improving the health and nutrition knowledge of the cadets.