Jun Ma, MD, PhD, FAHA, FABMR
Professor of Medicine
Division of Academic Internal Medicine and Geriatrics
Director, Center for Health Behavior Research
What was your training path?
I trained at the West China University of Medical Sciences in Chengdu, China, with a concentration in preventive medicine. Then I completed my doctorate in nutritional sciences, with a minor in biometry. This transdisciplinary training background formed the foundation for my research pursuits in preventive medicine, translational behavioral medicine, and experimental and implementation studies of lifestyle interventions.
What are your research interests?
I’m keenly interested in multi-behavior change interventions for the prevention and control of multimorbidity (i.e., two or more chronic conditions). My research broadly seeks to address seemingly intractable health-compromising lifestyle behaviors and chronic conditions as well as their associated health disparities in racially/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse adult populations. The primary foci are on the development and implementation of pragmatic behavioral interventions in primary care, and their effects on lifestyle behaviors, patient and system outcomes, and neuropsychological and biophysiological mechanisms. I have led transdisciplinary teams from multiple institutions across the country that have conducted numerous efficacy and practical clinical trials of integrated multi-behavior interventions targeting weight management, healthy eating, physical activity, and emotional health in multiple clinical areas. These span metabolic (e.g., obesity, prediabetes, metabolic syndrome), cardiovascular (e.g., coronary heart disease, hypertension), pulmonary (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and psychological (e.g., depression) conditions.
How does being a physician-scientist inform your work?
My medical training and ongoing, close collaborations with clinician colleagues across disciplines have been critical to the development of research ideas of clinical importance and translational potential.
What do you think is special about UIC?
UIC is special because it offers a vibrant setting for important clinical and translational research in racially/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse patient populations.