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Melissa Olfert, DrPH, MS, RDN

Research focusing on the prevention of chronic disease (obesity, diabetes, PCOS, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer) through lifestyle intervention approaches, is what Melissa Olfert targets in collaboration with a multi-state team to target children, adolescents, and young adults, including assessing how the environment influences their health behaviors through barriers and facilitators. In West Virginia, Melissa works with multi-disciplinary colleagues in translational research across one’s lifespan using the community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach specifically targeting multiple generations of individuals from underserved, socioeconomically disadvantaged, and rural areas. Melissa is a tenured, Professor at West Virginia University with over 130 peer-reviewed publications in high-impact, evidence-based journals. Melissa began her journey at Walla Walla University in Washington, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, followed by a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Illinois in Chicago before making her way to California to earn a Doctor of Public Health in the Preventive Care of Chronic Disease from Loma Linda University and received her Registered Dietitian Nutritionist training. She holds numerous certifications and licenses in dietetics, exercise physiology, physical fitness, prevention education, public health, and implementation science.