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Suzanna Martinez, PhD Receives APA Young Investigator Award

On January 31, 2013, Suzanna Martinez, PhD, a first-year general pediatrics fellow, was named a recipient of the Academic Pediatric Association (APA) Young Investigator Award. Dr. Martinez was selected from over 100 candidates from around the country. The APA awardees will be honored at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in Washington, DC in May 2013. The APA Young Investigator Awards are designed to assist fellows and junior faculty establish their research programs focused on general pediatric issues. Previous APA Young Investigator Award winners from UCSF include Anisha Patel, MD, MSPH, Janet Coffman, PhD and Megumi Okumura, MD, MA.

Dr. Martinez’s study will examine the relationship between sleep hygiene in Latino patients and pediatric obesity. There is a growing literature showing that sleep deprivation is related to obesity. Despite this evidence, there is little known about sleep patterns (e.g., persistent adequate sleep) and correlates of nighttime sleep habits (e.g., bedtime routine) in Latino families. Such knowledge would inform interventions addressing and encouraging healthier sleep patterns. In this proposed study, Dr. Martinez will qualitatively assess the sleep habits of Latino parents of preschool-age children (2- to 5-years old) in the San Francisco Bay Area to identify correlates of optimal sleep duration and healthy sleep habits in their children. The study results will then be used to examine the link between sleep practices and obesity in Latino families.

Dr. Suzanna Martinez is a General Pediatrics Postdoctoral Scholar. She earned her PhD in Public Health (Health Behavior) from the Joint Doctoral Program at UCSD and San Diego State University. She also holds a MS in Nutrition Education, with a concentration in Health Communication from Columbia University. Dr. Martinez’s research focus is in the area of obesity-related health behaviors, health behavior theory, and multivariate statistics. For her dissertation, she estimated the prevalence and ability to meet the 2008 Physical Activity (PA) Guidelines for Americans among Latino adults in San Diego County. Dr. Martinez previously trained as a Postdoctoral Fellow at UC San Diego.

The Academic Pediatric Association was founded in 1960 is the professional home for general academic pediatrics.  The APA fosters the health of children, adolescents, and families by promoting generalism in academic pediatrics.

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