MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia Prevention Research Center (WVPRC) was awarded $750,000 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct disease prevention research in West Virginia. This award is for the first year of a five-year funding period. The WVPRC is one of 26 academic institutions nationally and the only one in the state to receive this funding.

The award will support a five-year childhood obesity project. Researchers will partner with the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department and West Virginia elementary schools to test school- and family-based interventions that promote physical activity in middle school children. Study findings will be used to inform state and local physical activity policies.  

“This funding reinforces the CDC’s support for our mission — to engage public health and education partners, community members, providers, and researchers in innovative applied research that improves Appalachian health and vitality for years to come,” Geri Dino, Ph.D., who serves as co-director of the WVPRC with Lesley Cottrell, Ph.D., said.

In addition to the CDC award, the WVPRC will receive support from the West Virginia University Research Corporation and the WVU Health Sciences Center.

“It is great news that the West Virginia Prevention Research Center has received additional funding, which will enable the Center to sustain focus on some of the state’s most critical health issues,” Glenn H. Dillon, Ph.D., vice president for WVU Health Sciences Research and Graduate Education and interim director of the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute, said. “Their work has helped to synergize statewide clinical and translational research efforts, and it is exciting to see that work continue.”

The WVPRC has been nationally recognized for its longstanding partnerships with the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health’s Division of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease and the Division of Tobacco Prevention and its statewide Community Partnership Board. Applicants for the CDC award were required to demonstrate working relationships with state and local health departments, giving West Virginia a decided advantage.

“Working with the West Virginia Prevention Research Center has provided valuable consultation and expertise in leadership, change management, evaluation, and so much more. Being a public health professional when we all are doing more with less – innovation and enthusiasm are key to making it through these trying times,” Jessica Wright, R.N., M.P.H., of the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, Division of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease, said.

The Prevention Research Center at WVU is a member of the Prevention Research Centers Program, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cooperative agreement number IU48DP005004-001. For more information about the WVPRC, visit

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services. For more information about CDC and its programs, visit

For more information: Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
lc: 06-11-14