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Colorado School of Public Health


About Us

Welcome - From the Director

Colorado’s recognition as the skinniest state sadly obscures a dangerous realty. Our state’s residents, both children and adults are growing more obese each year. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes have increased exponentially in our nation’s youth over the last decade. 

This is why our research focuses on all human developmental periods:

- in utero (during pregnancy),

- neonatal (newborn to one year of age), and

- early childhood.

We are examining how environmental factors such as diet, smoking, physical activity, or chemical exposures may be possible culprits for the rapid increase in diabetes in our communities.

In order to better investigate and understand the complex interplay of developmental exposure(s), genetic and epigenetic processes, and critical developmental periods over the lifecourse, the Colorado School of Public Health has partnered with the Department of Pediatrics in the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado to create the Lifecourse Epidemiology of Adiposity and Diabetes (LEAD) center. We are a powerhouse of scientists working across disciplines who are working to better understand the causes and to identify population approaches to preventing obesity and diabetes.

I hope this website introduces you to the exciting research and transformative training occurring at the LEAD Center! 

Dana Dabelea, MD, PhD​
Director, LEAD Center

The Director

Dana Dabelea, MD, PhD, the Conrad M. Riley Endowed Professor in Epidemiology at ColoradoSPH, is the LEAD Center’s director. She is also the principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on multiple new and existing National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grants totaling more than $16.5 million that were brought together under the center’s umbrella. 

Our Partners

​​The LEAD Center is a collaborative effort of several partners that have pledged funds to support our efforts. The overall goal of our partners is to grow their research, education and service programs addressing the issues of adiposity, diabetes, and related problems among children and youth.

Partners include:


Colorado School of Public Health

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Aurora, CO 80045


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