Professional News

Clasey Honored by the Louisville Science Center


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2012) — A growing health concern in the United States is the increased numbers of children who are categorized as obese. In Kentucky, Jody Clasey has been fighting the war on obesity as director of the Pediatric Exercise Physiology Lab (PEP-Lab) housed in the UK College of Education. Through this work, her involvement with the Louisville Science Center (LSC), and her commitment to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, Clasey was honored as a 2011 Ambassador of Science Literacy by the LSC in January.

"I was absolutely honored," said Clasey, an associate professor in the UK Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion. "I love collaborating with the LSC. It not only gives me a chance to share in the development of new ideas to prevent and combat obesity and its co-morbidities, but it is also a very important dissemination venue."

The LSC chose Clasey as one of this year's honorees "for her dedication to science education and commitment to improving the lives of Kentucky’s youth through her work around prevention and intervention strategies related to childhood obesity. Her efforts are critical in redirecting and enhancing health lifestyle behaviors among so many throughout Kentucky."

One of Clasey’s top contributions has been to LSC's Kentucky Health Education Rural Outreach Scientists (KY – H.E.R.O.S.). This program, which is funded by a Science Education Partnership Award from the National Center for Research Resources, National Institutes of Health, highlights researchers’ work that touches the lives of all Kentucky citizens. In the BioLab portion of KY – H.E.R.O.S., Clasey's work in obesity is presented to LSC visitors and to rural teachers and school groups through LSC’s distance learning programs. As part of this program, Clasey has made appearances at LSC to discuss her work with medical personnel, teachers, parents and children.

The UK PEP-Lab was created in 2004 to address the Centers for Disease Control's declaration that obesity was an epidemic in the U.S. and to the fact that there were a growing number of children and teens who were diagnosed as clinically obese. More disturbing was the discovery of a rise in the numbers of children and teens developing Type 2 diabetes, previously known as "adult onset" diabetes. Catering to pediatrics clients, the PEP-Lab is one of just a few in the world designed specifically to serve the needs of this population. The fitness testing and training equipment in the lab looks like any found in a fitness center or club, but it is sized to fit pediatric clients.

For more information about the UK College of Education’s PEP-Lab, visit For more information about the Louisville Science Center, visit