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Assistant professor receives Outstanding Research Award

Samantha Hahn recieves award for her research on understanding disparities in eating disorders and what influences ED risk among young people.

| Author: Conner Leslie | Media Contact: Kara Owens

Samantha Hahn, PhD, MPH, RD, an assistant professor in the College of Medicine, has received the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity. This award can only be won once in a professor’s career at CMU and celebrates the success a junior faculty member has had throughout their time here.  

This is Hahn’s second year as a faculty member at CMU and her research focuses on understanding disparities in eating disorders and what influences eating disorder risk among young people.  

Hahn’s research on eating disorder prevention has found that weight stigma and weight-based discrimination is common among rural adolescents; in fact, weight-based discrimination was found to be much more common than other forms of discrimination based on gender, sexuality, and even race/ethnicity. These findings come from an ongoing project studying weight stigma in rural adolescents over 18 months. This project, along with others, allowed many students to be involved in psychology and medicine. Hahn’s research introduces many students and other individuals into eating disorders prevention and health disparities research. 

A few fellow CMU faculty and students that Hahn has worked with have been Beth Bailey, PhD, Professor and Director of Population Health Research, as well as doctoral student Gloria Rojas who has received a grant to fund the final year of her PhD on Hahn’s weight stigma grant. 

Hahn has published dozens of peer-reviewed manuscripts covering her research in eating disorder prevention, including, “Disorder Eating Risk in Rural Adolescents, What do we Know and Where do we go?”  which informed the work she is currently doing in rural adolescents. 
Along with the work outlined above, Hahn has many achievements such as: 

  • Two American Heart Association grants 

  • FRCE grant for research 

  • Numerous other external grants 

  •  Leadership positions in international eating disorder organizations 

Hahn plans to continue her research, broadening the scope to all of rural Michigan and she hopes to be able to quantify the prevalence of disordered eating in rural populations. Her ultimate goal is to get a better understanding on what influences disordered eating in vulnerable populations, in order to be able to inform targeted treatment and interventions and reduce eating disorder disparities in at-risk populations. 

This story is brought to you by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

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