Lisa Chasan-Taber

University of Massachusetts Professor of Epidemiology Lisa Chasan-Taber
Phonetic pronunciation: LEE-suh CHAY-sun TAY-ber
Professor and Chair, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
401 Arnold House


University of Pennsylvania, 1987; M.P.H., University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1990; Sc.D., Harvard University, 1995; Postdoctoral, Harvard University

Area(s) of Specialization: 

physical activity epidemiology; reproductive & perinatal epidemiology; gestational diabetes mellitus; Hispanic women

Research Description: 

As the prevalence of diabetes continues to rise worldwide, it becomes increasingly important to identify high risk populations and to implement strategies to delay or prevent diabetes onset. Women diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus are at substantially increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity, currently at epidemic rates in the U.S. Although physical activity has been considered in previous studies of pregnancy outcome, their potential influence on gestational diabetes and subsequent onset of type 2 diabetes has not been elucidated. Hispanic women are 2-4 times more likely than non-Hispanic white women to be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

In light of these observations, my research has focused on 3 specific goals:

  1. Develop and Validate Physical Activity Assessment Tools: To create, validate, and promulgate tools designed to accurately measure physical activity in pregnant women of diverse backgrounds.
  2. Inform Clinical Practice by Identifying Modifiable Risk Factors: To determine the impact of modifiable risk factors such as physical activity on adverse maternal/fetal outcomes such as gestational diabetes in Hispanic women.
  3. Translate Findings into Public Health Strategies: To evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of high-reach, low-cost strategies for the adoption and maintenance of healthy behaviors during pregnancy among diverse populations.

Publication List: 

PubMed Search Link

Key Publications: 

New textbook: "Writing Dissertation and Grant Proposals: Epidemiology, Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics" available at the CRC Press website.

Key publications selected from over 100 peer-reviewed publications:

Hawkins, M., Chasan-Taber, L., Marcus, B. H., Stanek, E., Braun, B., Ciccolo, J. & Markenson, G. (2014). The impact of an exercise intervention on physical activity during pregnancy: The Behaviors Affecting Baby and You (B.A.B.Y.) Study. American Journal of Public Health, 104(10), 74-81. PMID: 25122031 PMCID: PMC4167076 [AJPH’s 2015 Editor’s Choice Awards for Best Paper of the Year]

Chasan-Taber L. Lifestyle Interventions to Reduce Risk of Diabetes among Women with Prior Gestational Diabetes [Review]. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2015 Jan;29(1):110-22. PMID:25220104 PMCID: PMC4282816

Nobles C, Marcus BH, Stanek E, Braun B, Whitcomb B, Solomon CG, Manson J, Markenson G, Chasan-Taber L. Effect of an Exercise Intervention on Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Obstet Gynecol2015 May;125(5):1195-204. PMID: 25932848 PMCID: PMC4418021

Evenson KR, Chasan-Taber L, Symons Downs D, and Pearce EE.  Review of self-reported physical activity assessments for pregnancy:  Summary of the evidence for validity and reliability.  Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2012 Sep;26(5):479-94. Review. PMID: 22882792 PMCID: PMC3419488

Chasan-Taber L, Silveira M, Lynch K, Solomon C, Pekow P, Markenson G. Physical Activity and Gestational Weight Gain Among Hispanic Women. Obesity (Silver Spring). Obesity (2014) 22, 909–918. PMID: 23804434 PMCID: PMC3823627

Chasan-Taber L, Schmidt MD, Roberts DE, Hosmer D, Markenson G, Freedson PS. Development and Validation of a Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2004 36(10):1750-1760. PMID: 15595297