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Photo of Ma, Jun


Beth Fowler Vitoux and George Vitoux Distinguished Professor in Geriatrics

Associate Head of Scholarly Activity in the Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine, Division of Academic Internal Medicine and Geriatrics


Building & Room:

University of Illinois at Chicago


586 Westside Research Office Bldg. 1747 West Roosevelt Road Chicago, IL 60608

CV Download:



Dr. Jun Ma is the Beth Fowler Vitoux and George Vitoux Distinguished Professor in Geriatrics the Division of Academic Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and Associate Head of Scholarly Activity in the Department of Medicine. She directs the Vitoux Program on Aging and Prevention. Dr. Ma’s research broadly seeks to address highly intractable health problems and disparities among racially/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse adult populations. Dr. Ma is particularly interested in effective prevention and control of debilitating and costly chronic conditions through comprehensive, mechanism-driven lifestyle interventions. Dr. Ma has directed the development and publication of new randomization methods and software programs. In addition to her extensive experience leading rigorous experiments ranging from pilot randomized studies to multicenter pragmatic trials, she has also published frequently on national patterns of outpatient care quality and health disparities in lifestyle-related physical and mental health disorders using complex population survey datasets.

Of central relevance to the PREMIER training program is Dr. Ma’s belief that for established scientists, mentoring is an obligation, not a choice – and for her personally, mentoring is a passion. She has substantial experience as a reviewer of T and K series grants for NIH, as a mentor of MD and/or PhD postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty in her previous and current appointments. Dr. Ma’s Center for Health Behavior Research hosts two weekly 1.5-hour meetings on Wednesdays, the Sunrise Meeting with Mentees and the afternoon Lifestyle Research Collaboratory, both of which will be open to all PREMIER fellows. The regular attendees include junior faculty, postdoctoral research professionals, PhD and Masters’ students. These meetings serve as a forum for collaborative grant development and for providing consultations and grant reviews to junior investigators.

Research Projects:

“Engaging Self-Regulation Targets to Understand the Mechanisms of Behavior Change and Improve Mood and Weight Outcomes (ENGAGE-2)” aims to leverage a recent two-year randomized controlled trial of a first-ever integrated treatment for comorbid obesity and depression in primary care that uniquely combines two nationally recognized behavioral interventions. This project is funded by a NIH Common Fund UH3.

“Precision Lifestyle Medicine and Translation Research (PREMIER)” aims to provide postdoctoral fellows who aspire to be both independent investigators and team scientists in lifestyle medicine the opportunity to develop expertise in translational research for the prevention and control of cardiovascular and respiratory chronic conditions. This project is funded by a NIH T32.

“INtervention Study In overweiGHT patients with COPD (INSIGHT COPD)” aims to conduct a multicenter, patient-level randomized, pragmatic clinical trial to investigate the effectiveness of a self-directed lifestyle intervention targeting weight loss and increased physical activity among patients with obesity and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This project is funded by a NIH U01.

“Culturally-Adapted DPP Intervention for Mexican Americans in Primary Care” aims to evaluate the effectiveness and potential generalizability of a culturally adapted, technology-supported intervention directed at weight management in primary care for overweight or obese Latinos at high risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This project is funded by an AHRQ R01.

“Randomized Control Trial on Co-management of Obesity, Depression, and Elevated CVD Risk in Primary Care” aims to evaluate the clinical and cost effectiveness, and the “real-world” implementation potential, of a novel intervention that integrates a behavioral weight-loss program and a collaborative stepped-care program for depression, incorporates conventional clinic- and home-based modes of care delivery and leverages low-cost, wide-reach health information technologies. This project is funded by a NIH R01.


Medical School: West China University of Medical Sciences (Preventive Medicine), P.R. China
Graduate Schools: University of Nebraska in Lincoln (MS – Nutritional Sciences), University of Nebraska in Lincoln (PhD – Major: Nutritional Sciences; Minor: Biometry)