Alcorn’s Ravola and Roy to present research on economic impact of obesity and other health disparities at 4th Annual Advancing Mississippi Conference

Some of Alcorn State University’s brightest minds will explain how their scientific research could benefit Mississippi's economic growth at an upcoming conference.

Dr. Martha Ravola, interim chair and associate professor for the Department of Human Sciences and Dr. Debarshi Roy, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences joined by Sofia Ievleva, a sophomore biology student will present their research at the fourth annual Advancing Mississippi Conference Friday, Sept. 6 at the Mississippi Library Commission, located at 3881 Eastwood Drive in Jackson, Mississippi. The conference is hosted by the University Research Center (URC), a division of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning that focuses on conducting applied unbiased research on a variety of state and local issues for the State of Mississippi.

Ravola and Roy will present findings from two of their research areas, “A Systematic Analysis of the Economic Impact of Childhood Obesity” and “Health Disparity, Increased Obesity, and Cancer-Triggering Concerns for Mississippi.”

Combatting childhood obesity is at the center of Ravola’s work. She continues to find revolutionary methods to reverse the cycle of obesity so that children can become healthy and productive adults.

“The obesity epidemic among children in the United States and specifically in Mississippi continues to worsen, with notable racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities. Alcorn, as an institution of higher learning, has the responsibility of not just training professionals but also of providing pertinent solutions to the pressing health need of the state,” said Ravola. “Childhood obesity is a problem that needs to be addressed and I am hopeful that this presentation would inspire and motivate further efforts to address the issue, so our young ones are assured a bright and healthy future.”

The conference serves as an opportunity for scientists to display findings that would lead to a better world. For Roy, utilizing the platform to discuss the fight against cancer is ideal.

“This is a great opportunity for me to address solutions to health problems in the state of Mississippi,” said Roy. “My training is in cancer research, so I’m developing research that focuses on cancer as well as obesity and diabetes. The conference is a great platform to talk about these issues in front of state legislators, education officials, and other researchers. I look forward to sharing my understanding and how my research will be beneficial for this area.”

The two Alcorn faculty members are excited at the opportunity and believe that the conference is a giant step toward improving the quality of life for Mississippians.