InCHIP director search down to three finalists

 The search committee is comprised of professors from several UConn departments and the Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. (Twitter/@UCONNInChip)

The search committee is comprised of professors from several UConn departments and the Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. (Twitter/@UCONNInChip)

The University of Connecticut Institute of Collaboration on Health, Intervention and Policy (InCHIP) is currently choosing between three finalists for a new director.

InCHIP, a research institute focused on producing and disseminating scientific knowledge on health behavior and behavior change, is choosing between Dr. Kim Gans, Dr. Amy Gorin and Dr. Nancy Petry. The three candidates declined to comment.

Gans is a professor in UConn’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Her research focuses on using interventions to improve eating habits, increase physical activity and prevent and control obesity in diverse communities, according to the inCHIP website.

“(Gans) has created innovative health communication technologies to change behavior,” the website says. “She studies interventions to improve home, work and neighborhood environments and how these interventions interface with behavior change interventions to enhance obesity prevention.”

Gorin is currently the Associate Director of InCHIP and an associate professor of psychological sciences. Her research focuses on developing treatment strategies to improve long-term weight loss and maintenance with an emphasis on motivational and environmental processes that affect weight control.

“(Gorin) has been...funded to examine the ‘ripple effect’ of a weight loss program- what happens to an untreated partner when one partner is enrolled in an intensive weight loss program,” the website says.

Petry is the Director of Behavioral Cardiovascular Prevention and a professor of medicine in the Calhoun Cardiology Center.

“Dr. Petry conducts research on the treatment of addictive disorders, ranging from substance use disorders to pathological gambling,” the website says. “Her two primary lines of research involve contingency management interventions for the treatment of substance use disorders and psychotherapies for the treatment of the problem and pathological gambling.”

The search committee is comprised of professors from several UConn departments and the Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. It is being led by Human Development and Family Studies Department head Eva Lefkowitz, who also declined to comment.

“The InCHIP Director will serve as the University’s representative for over 400 faculty and affiliates who are members of InCHIP’s large network of researchers, mostly from UConn or UConn Health but also well-known scholars from more than 50 other research institutions in the United States and around the world,” the InCHIP job posting said.

The InCHIP Director will also establish, maintain and enhance InCHIP’s collaborations with University entities and other research partners and expand the impact InCHIP research has on United States and global health policy.

“In addition to seeking new collaborate opportunities and research partnerships and enhancing InCHIP’s reputation, research and external funding portfolio, the Director will be responsible for supporting and evaluating activities involving InCHIP’s resources to ensure they are used as productively as possible, and for designing and implementing innovative new initiatives,” the posting said.

The Director will supervise InCHIP’s administrative and research staff and work in partnership with the Deans and department heads/chairs of related school and colleges at UConn’s Storrs campus as well as with UConn Health to facilitate collaborations between the two campuses and other institutions.


Gabriella DeBenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at gabriella.debenedictis@uconn.edu.