WKU Researcher receives second consecutive NIGMS Supplement Funding

Funding supports development and testing of a mobile health app for physical activity and weight status during and after pregnancy

(Dec 4, 2020) In 2019, Dr. Rachel Tinius, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science at Western Kentucky University, received an award to address obesity and physical inactivity in pregnant and postpartum women. This one-year Administrative Supplement from the NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) was intended to foster collaborations between INBRE and COBRE researchers. Dr. Tinius collaborated with Dr. Nancy Schoenberg from a University of Kentucky COBRE program to develop and test a mobile health application to increase physical activity and improve weight status during and after pregnancy.

Dr. Tinius was recently awarded a second consecutive supplement through the NIGMS Administrative Supplements for Research on Womens Health in the IDeA States program. This award will allow her to take her previous year’s research to the next level.

Read more from Dr. Tinius:
Together with my wonderful KY INBRE collaborators, I recently received an NIH supplemental grant. The project will pilot test a mobile health app, called BumptUp, which is designed to help pregnant and postpartum women increase physical activity levels. The mobile app contains features that were designed specifically to meet the needs of women in rural communities and overcome many current barriers to exercise during and after pregnancy. Physical activity during and after pregnancy has well-established benefits for mothers and babies; however, the quality and quantity of evidence-based information available to women, particularly in rural areas, is lacking. We hope this app will positively influence exercise behaviors by giving women the resources they need and desire, all from the convenience (and safety) of their phone. As a result, we hope improve outcomes for mothers and babies here in Kentucky, and eventually across the US.

I am particularly grateful and honored to be part of the KY INBRE network. They have been instrumental in every step of my career, including obtaining this exciting new grant NIH grant. I would not be able to balance the work-life demands of being an early-stage investigator without their continued support! It has been especially fun over the past several years to witness my professional interests – exercise during pregnancy – intersect with my own personal life! My personal experience has only fueled my passion and excitement for this topic; I am as motivated as ever to do everything I can to help encourage pregnant and postpartum women to become and stay active! And for anyone asking, I do practice what I preach! I still run 5 miles per day at 34 weeks gestation!

Rachel Tinius and family

Rachel Tinius is shown here with her husband (Casey), son (Riley, 2), daughter (Lainey, 4) and baby #3 due in a few weeks.