Cara L. Eckhardt is an associate professor in the School of Public Health and the Community Health PhD program director. Eckhardt teaches the doctoral seminar in the Community Health Ph.D. program as well as two undergraduate courses – Introduction to Epidemiology and Global Health.
Eckhardt’s research focus is the prevention of childhood obesity. Her research has included projects investigating the impact of maternal nutrition during pregnancy on childhood obesity risk, elucidating how maternal nutrition during pregnancy might affect infant growth patterns and subsequent obesity risk, linking infant feeding practices to infant growth patterns, improving early screening methods for identifying children at risk for obesity and evaluating interventions to improve the diets of young children.
After earning her doctorate degree, Eckhardt was a post-doctoral fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C. She returned to Oregon in 2008 and joined the PSU faculty in 2009.
B.A., Cornell University, 1995
M.P.H., Emory University 1999
Ph.D., University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, 2004
Awards and Honors
- 2016, Nick Norgan Award for Annals of Human Biology manuscript, Maternal vitamin D status and infant anthropometry in a US multi-centre cohort study, Eckhardt CL, Gernand AD, Roth DE, Bodnar LM, The Annals of Human Biology, 2015;42(3):215-22.
- 2011-2016, Outstanding Teacher of the Year nominee, PSU, for five years running
- 2003-2004, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dissertation Completion Fellowship
- 2002, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Institute of Nutrition Fellowship
- 2001, American Society of Nutritional Sciences NABISCO Predoctoral Fellowship Award
- R03 HD07584101A1 (ECKHARDT CL), NIH/NICHD, 2014-20106. Defining Infant Rapid Weight Gain to Best Predict Childhood Obesity. Role: Principal Investigator
- R01 NR014245 (BODNAR LM, HUTCHEON J), NIH/NINR, 2013-2017. Informing Evidence-based Maternal Weight Gain Guidelines for Twin Pregnancies. Role: Co-Investigator
- Meyer Memorial Trust Grant (IZUMI B), Meyer Memorial Trust, 2009-2015. Oregon farm-to-childcare for infants and toddlers. Role: Co-Investigator
- Kaiser Permanente Healthy Food Access Grant (IZUMI B), Kaiser Permanente, 2012-2013. Farm-to-Head Start: Increasing Children’s Access to Regionally Grown Fruits & Vegetables. Role: Co-Investigator
- R01 HD058061(STEVENS VJ), NIH/NICHD, 2010-2012. Weight Management for Improved Pregnancy Outcomes. Role: Funded via Administrative Supplement Grant under PA-08-191 for supplementary project: The Impact of Limiting Pregnancy Weight Gain Among Obese Mother
¹ CEPH Primary Instructional Faculty
² CEPH Non-Primary Instructional Faculty