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NIFA-Nominated Scientist wins Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Media Contact: Scott Elliott, (202) 720-7185

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2011 – Colorado State University researcher Laura Bellows received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) today for her research in childhood obesity prevention, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

Bellows was honored for her outstanding work in understanding how healthy eating habits and physical activity patterns established in preschool are maintained over time to reduce childhood obesity. 

“With the rate of childhood obesity rising, we know that the preschool years are critical for prevention efforts. This is the age when children establish healthy eating habits and physical activity patterns,” said Chavonda Jacobs-Young, acting NIFA director. “Dr. Bellows’ integrated research, education and extension project will allow us to develop prevention methods that will help our children start off on the right track to a lifetime of healthy choices.”

PECASE nominees are selected for their innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology. Nominees show exceptional potential to shape the future through intellectual and inspired leadership. Educational activities reflect a spirit of community service to help understand the nature and implications of scientific research.

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting daily lives and the nation's future. For more information, visit


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