Dr. Wan-chin Kuo Awarded Grant to Study Environmental Determinants of Premature Aging

Wan Chin KuoDrs. Wan-chin Kuo and Tony Mcdonald (co-PI, Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering) were awarded a pilot grant to support the study Environmental Determinants of Premature Aging in Transportation and Construction Workforce. The study is funded by the Center for Demography of Health and Aging at UW-Madison. The primary research aim is to examine the environmental determinants of cognitive and cardiovascular aging and the interaction effects with 24-hour activities in the transportation and construction workforce. The investigative team includes Drs. Wan-chin Kuo (PI) and Tony McDonald, James Schauer (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering) and Roger Brown (School of Nursing). The total award is $46,832.

Dr. Kuo’s research utilizes social and behavioral data from population-based longitudinal studies to examine how social determinants of health interact with individual behaviors and shape disparities in cardiometabolic outcomes. Much of her work in this area has used systematic review, meta-analysis, and quasi-experimental research designs to investigate: (1) adults’ behavioral and cardiometabolic adaptation under stressful environments, (2) the role of online information manipulation in cardiometabolic health disparities, and (3) effects of 24-hour activity cycle and chrononutrition on lipid phenotyping. Her recent findings highlight the behavioral adaptation in older adults living with financial disadvantages during the COVID-19 pandemic and suggest that optimizing sleep-wake cycle and physical activities is a crucial step to alleviate stress-driven metabolic health disparities in the post-COVID-19 era.