SPOKANE — Ruth Bindler, professor for the College of Nursing at WSU, will now have additional time to focus on her research on childhood obesity thanks to the receipt of WSU’s Cougar Gold Scholar Award. The new award program, established by the Office of the Provost, gives leading scholars the opportunity for extended and concentrated scholarly work over a period of three academic years.

“The activities Dr. Bindler has proposed will foster the development of a multidisciplinary approach to treating and preventing adolescent obesity,” said John Roll, associate dean for research for the College of Nursing.

Bindler will be released of half of the usual obligations of teaching, advising and service in order to devote more time to her research. For nearly two years, she has led a multidisciplinary team of WSU researchers in a fight against childhood obesity with a grant awarded from the USDA/CSREES (Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service). This project, scheduled for completion in February 2011, will be one of many she hopes to focus on during her award period.

“I feel very privileged and excited to have the university support to focus on partnerships that will enable WSU and communities in Washington to apply strategies to address a significant public health issue,” said Bindler.

In addition to the finalizing the above named project, Bindler plans to lead the establishment of an interdisciplinary partnership of university and community health science professionals who will define collaborative topics and interventions in the area of pediatric obesity. Joint establishment of individualized and population-based approaches will result in submission of grants to test strategies for improved health in children and families. Biological, medical and psychosocial approaches for prevention and treatment will be identified and tested. WSU and the surrounding health care community will thereby establish synergy to address the public health issue of youth obesity.

“Dr. Bindler’s research style is a lot like her; it is highly collaborative, visionary and solution focused,” said Patricia Butterfield, dean for the College of Nursing. “Her research will help yield answers about the best ways to prevent and minimize obesity in the next generation of American school children.”

Web sites:
Bindler’s Research: http://www.wsunews.wsu.edu/pages/publications.asp?Action=Detail&PublicationID=10919
Interview with Comcast Local Edition:  http://www.spokane.wsu.edu/campusresources/aboutwsuspokane/news_events/news/bulletins/2007/Feb14.asp#comcast
Office of the Provost Faculty Awards Program:  http://provost.wsu.edu/awards_program/