KENT STATE PROFESSOR WINS AWARD FOR RESEARCH IN CLINICAL HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY
Kent State University Psychology Professor Joel Hughes strives to find treatments through his research in psychological factors and cardiovascular disease. Hughes was honored with a 2016 Outstanding Research and Scholarship Award, along with two other Kent State faculty members.
The 2016 Outstanding Research and Scholarship Award is sponsored by the University Research Council and Kent State’s Division of Research and Sponsored Programs. The award honors Kent State faculty members who have completed research and scholarship impacting society.
Hughes says he feels humbled that his last 15 years of research have been recognized, and knowing it will benefit others is the best part of his research.
“I was most touched by a gentleman who came up after the award ceremony and thanked me for doing work that applies to his situation,” Hughes says.
Hughes hopes to develop interventions and technology advances for heart failure, while also being able to understand the science of eating behaviors.
“Our team, made up of students and faculty investigators, is funded now to look at treatments for high blood pressure; those are behavioral and psychological treatments,” Hughes says.
His research has focused on the three factors linked to obesity: high blood pressure, heart disease and rehabilitation. Technological advances are needed to make rehabilitation effective in these three areas, he says, so he has been focusing a lot of mobile applications for tracking health.
People are often not able to go to a hospital or outpatient facility multiple times a week for a set amount of time. He says tracking this data with mobile health applications can help.
With funding from the National Institutes of Health and other grants, Hughes will continue to work with dozens of undergraduate and graduate students to develop technological advances with mobile health.
Through this, he hopes to create new treatments that will help eliminate the obesity epidemic.
“Whether it’s prevention or weight loss, no one has really cracked that nut yet in terms of finding out what would work for a lot of people,” Hughes says.