April 9, 2018
Topic: Campus News
Julie Lumeng, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician, is the new director of the University of Michigan Center for Human Growth and Development.
Lumeng, professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases, joined the university faculty in 2003 and has worked closely with the center as a research professor, studying the prevention of childhood obesity. She also received her medical degree from U-M.
As director, Lumeng aims to bring together researchers from different disciplines in order to provide new insights into child development and behavior, leading to improvement in the lives of children and their families.
"This center has been around for more than 50 years, and I really want to see it continue to thrive," said Lumeng, who started in her new role April 1. "We are working to facilitate research across campus by helping people launch new ideas and implement their scholarly activity."
Interdisciplinary research remains a priority for the center, and so Lumeng and her team plan to expand their faculty affiliates program to include researchers from a wide range of schools and colleges across campus.
"In the field of child development and behavior, we are always working to address complicated problems, and you need the perspective of different disciplines to find solutions," she said.
As a service unit, Lumeng and her team plan to provide services to help researchers across campus analyze statistical data, recruit participants for research studies and code videos of child behavior — a time-consuming activity that factors into many child development and behavior projects.
The center also helps identify resources so researchers can translate the knowledge gained from their work into community-based interventions and policy-relevant recommendations that foster the healthy development of children, their families and communities.
"The Center for Human Growth and Development is a national leader in advancing research on children's development and behavior, and I am confident Professor Julie Lumeng will help further our reputation in this ever-important field," said S. Jack Hu, vice president for research.
Lumeng replaces Brenda Volling, who returned to her faculty role in the Department of Psychology after serving as the center's director for five years.
The Center for Human Growth and Development is a unit of the U-M Office of Research.