skip to content
 

Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, Ph.D.

Professor of Nutritional Sciences & Director, Center for Eliminating Health Disparities among Latinos

CEHDL Website: www.cehdl.uconn.edu
Email: rafael.perez-escamilla@uconn.edu
Click here for full CV. (pdf)

Bioparagraph

Dr. Pérez-Escamilla is an internationally recognized scholar in the areas of domestic and international community nutrition. He is currently leading or co-leading four interdisciplinary capacity building projects, two in Connecticut (Latino community nutrition (www.hispanichealth.com/pana.htm ), Latino Health Disparities (www.cehdl.uconn.edu), and one in Ghana (vertical transmission of HIV, www.fshn.hs.iastate.edu/riing/default.htm) and Brazil (national household food security measurement project). All four projects have research, teaching & training, and extension & outreach components. He has published 70 scientific research articles in peer reviewed journals and over 200 conference proceeding abstracts, book chapters, and technical reports. His breastfeeding, food security, nutrition education, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and food safety research work has taken him to Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Senegal, South Korea, Spain, and the USA. He has been the principal mentor to over 30 graduate students from all over the world who are currently working in prestigious positions in academia, government, international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), and industry. Dr. Pérez-Escamilla’s work has been continuously supported with over $15 million in extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and The Patrick & Catherine Weldon Donaghue Medical Research Foundation. He has been a senior scientific advisor to maternal-child health & nutrition projects funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), The World Bank, The World Health Organization (WHO), and USDA. Dr. Pérez-Escamilla has also been a senior advisor in food and nutrition policy to the governments of Mexico and Brazil. In 1999 he received the Ehrlich-Koldovski Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation (ISRHML), in 1999 he received the University of Connecticut College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Award (CANR) for Excellence in Research, in 2004 he received the CANR Award for Excellence in Outreach Education, and in 2006 he received the UConn Provost Diversity Award as well as the UConn Outstanding Engaged Scholar Award. He is currently the chair of the Community and Public Health Nutrition Research Interest Section of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences. Dr. Pérez-Escamilla is a former member of the Executive Committee of ISRHML. He is an advisory board member of the University of Texas-El Paso Hispanic Health Disparities Research Center, the Hispanic Health Council Strategic Planning Committee, the University of Connecticut Center for Health/HIV Prevention and Intervention (CHIP), the University of Connecticut Center for Health Communications, and the University of Connecticut Center for Public Health and Health Policy. He is also a member of the University of Connecticut-Storrs Human Subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB). He serves in the editorial boards of the Journal of Nutrition, the Journal of Human Lactation, and the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition. Dr. Pérez-Escamilla has served in Federal grant review panels and has been an ad-hoc reviewer for over 20 scientific journals in his field.   

Research Interests

  • Minority health, health disparities
  • Type 2 Diabetes peer counseling among Latinos
  • Breastfeeding determinants and interventions
  • Onset of human lactation
  • Household food security measurement and indicators
  • Food safety in low-income households
  • Food and nutrition social marketing among Latinos
  • Food assistance programs & child nutrition outcomes
  • Domestic and international community nutrition program design & evaluation

Education

  • B.S., 1983, Chemical Engineering, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City
  • M.S., 1985, Food Science, University of California at Davis
  • Ph.D., 1991, Nutrition, University of California at Davis

Academic Positions

  • Professor of Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, University of Connecticut, Storrs, 2006-date
  • Professor of Public Health, Department of Community Medicine and Health Care (joint appointment), University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, 2006-date
  • Extension Nutrition Scientist, Department of Nutrition, University of Connecticut, Storrs, 1995-date
  • Director,Connecticut NIH EXPORT Center for Eliminating Health Disparities among Latinos, University of Connecticut, Storrs, October 2005-present
  • Associate Professor and Extension Nutrition Specialist, Department of Nutrition, University of Connecticut, Storrs, August 2000-2006
  • Associate Professor of Public Health, Department of Community Medicine and Health Care (joint appointment), University of Connecticut, Farmington, 2002-2006
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition, University of Connecticut, Storrs, 1995-August 2000
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine and Health Care (joint appointment), University of Connecticut, Farmington, 1998-2002
  • Assistant Professor-In-Residence, Department of Nutrition, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Jan 1994-Dec 1994
  • Postgraduate researcher, University of California at Davis, 1991-1993
  • Teaching Assistant and Laboratory Instructor, University of California at Davis, 1988, 1990
  • Teaching Assistant and Laboratory Instructor, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, 1982

Courses Taught

  • Fundamentals of Nutrition (undergraduate)
  • Nutrition and Human Development (undergraduate)
  • Community Nutrition (graduate and undergraduate)
  • Assessment of Nutritional Status (graduate, dietary and anthropometric assessment)
  • Nutritional Epidemiology (graduate, international trainings)
  • Statistical Analyses of Demographic and Health Surveys (international intensive trainings)
  • Nutrition in Humanitarian Emergencies (graduate online course)

Selected Recent Publications

  • Maria de Fátima Archanjo Sampaio, Anne W. Kepple , Ana Maria Segall-Corrêa, Julieta T. A.de Oliveira, Giseli Panigassi, Lucia Kurdian Maranha, Letícia Marin-Leon, Sônia M. P. P. Bergamasco, Pérez Escamilla R. (In) Segurança Alimentar: experiência de grupos focais com populações rurais do Estado de São Paulo. Segur Alim Nutr (Campinas, Brazil) 2006;13:64-77
  • Chung HR, Hong MJ, Pérez Escamilla R, OH SY. Estimated iron intakes from simulated fortification to selected grain products in the Korea food supply. Korean J Community Nutrition 2006;11:808-813
  • Anderson AK, Damio G, Chapman DJ, Pérez-Escamilla R. Differential response to an exclusive breastfeeding peer counseling intervention: the role of ethnicity. J Hum Lact. 2007;23:16-23
  • Pérez-Escamilla R. Evidence based breast-feeding promotion: The baby-friendly hospital initiative. J Nutr. 2007;137:484-7
  • Melgar-Quiñonez H, Nord M, Pérez-Escamilla R, Segall-Correa AM. Psychometric Properties of a Modified US Household Food Security Survey Module in Campinas, Brazil. European J Clin Nutr 2007;(In Press)
  • Pérez-Escamilla R, Putnik P. The Role of Acculturation in Nutrition, Lifestyle, and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes among Latinos. J Nutr. 2007;137:860-870
  • Segall Corrêa AM, Marin L, Sampaio MFA, Panigassi G, Pérez-Escamilla R. Food insecurity in Brazil: From the development of a measuring tool to the first nationwide results [Published in Portuguese]. Avaliacao de Políticas e Programas do MDS-Resultados (Vautsman J and Paes-Sousa R eds.). Brasilia: Ministerio do Desenvolvimento Social e Combate a Fome 2007(1):385-409
  • Dharod J, Pérez-Escamilla R, Paciello S, Venkitanarayanan K, Bermúdez-Millán A, Damio G. Comparison Between Self-reported and Observed Food Handling Behaviors Among Latinas. J Food Prot 2007;70:1927-1932
  • Dharod JM, Pérez-Escamilla R, Paciello S, Venkitanarayanan K, Bermúdez-Millán A, Damio G. Critical Control Points for Home Prepared 'Chicken and Salad' in Puerto Rican Households. Food Protection Trends 2007;27:544-552
  • Segall-Corrêa AM, Pérez-Escamilla R, Marin-Leon L, Yuyama L, Rodrigo Pinheiro de Toledo Vianna RPT, Coitinho D, Sampaio MF, Panigassi G, Maranha LK, Gubert M, Leão MM, Vaz L, Montanari M. Evaluation of Household Food Insecurity in Brazil: Validity Assessment in Diverse Sociocultural Settings. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)(accepted)
  • Yuyama LKO, Aguiar JPL, Pantoja L, Maeda RN, Melo T, Alencar FH, Nascimento AMM, Negreiros NMA, Segall Corrêa AM, Pérez-Escamilla R. Segurança/insegurança alimentar em famílias urbanas e rurais no estado do Amazonas: I. Validação de metodologia e de instrumento de coleta de informação [Food security/insecurity in urban and rural families in the Amazon State: I. Methodology and survey validation]. Acta Amazonica 2007;37:247-252
  • Fitzgerald N, Segura-Perez S, Damio G, Pérez-Escamilla R. Nutrition knowledge, food label use, and food intake patterns among Latinas with and without type 2 diabetes. J American Dietetic Association (In Press)
  • Segall-Correa AM, Panigassi G, Sampaio MFA, Marin-León L, Pérez-Escamilla R. Validación de instrumento de medida de la inseguridad alimentaria y hambre, en el contexto de las políticas brasileñas de combate al hambre: Brasil 2003-2004 [validation of a food security measurement instrument within the context of the Brazilian hunger abatement policies: Brazil 2003-2004]. Perspectivas en Nutrición Humana (Colombia) 2007 (supplement):89-102
  • Melgar-Quiñonez H, Pérez-Escamilla R, Nord M, Alvarez Uribe MC, Segall-Correa AM. Análisis comparativo entre ítems de las escalas de seguridad alimentaria usadas en Brasil (PNAD 2004) y Colombia (ENSIN 2005) [Comparative analysis of food security scale items used in Brasil (PNAD 2004) and Colombia (ENSIN 2005)]. Perspectivas en Nutrición Humana (Colombia) 2007 (supplement):103-110
  • Pérez-Escamilla R, Melgar-Quiñonez H, Nord M, Alvarez Uribe MC, Segall-Correa AM. Escala Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Seguridad Alimentaria (ELCSA) [Latinamerican and Caribbean Food Security Scale]. Perspectivas en Nutrición Humana (Colombia) 2007 (supplement):117-134
News and Updates

Fall 2014 Seminar Series
A Seminar Series Presented by the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Connecticut
More Information

 

Scholarships

Please go to the CANR Scholarships and Financial Aid page for Scholarship information