MOMFIT randomized clinical trial studies the prevention of excessive gestational weight gain among 300 overweight pregnant women.

MOMFIT Investigators


Principal Investigator:
Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD Department of Preventive Medicine

Dr. Van Horn is a Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University and a clinical nutrition epidemiologist, with many years of experience in multi-center, collaborative, clinical trials, as well as a nationally recognized expert in nutrition research. Dr. Van Horn has helped develop dietary assessment and dietary intervention protocols for MRFIT, CARDIA, DISC, WHI and other NIH funded trials. Her role is to oversee the study along with Dr. Peaceman, with a specific focus on the lifestyle intervention program and the study visits. She has collaborated with her nutrition colleagues Niki Gernhofer and Eileen Vincent on many clinical trials and she is eager to recruit interested participants for this important MOMFIT research.

Principal Investigator:
Alan Peaceman, MD Department of OBGYN

Dr. Peaceman is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and is Chief of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, caring for women with high risk pregnancies. He has been actively involved in clinical research pertaining to pregnancy for over two decades, and is engaged in national research collaborations which address the most important problems in the field. Obesity in pregnancy is one of his areas of interest, and he was the Medical Director for the Healthy for You, Healthy for Two Program at Northwestern for developing healthy lifestyles during pregnancy. His role in this project will be to oversee patient recruitment, ensure pregnancy safety, and participate in the analysis of data related to obstetric outcomes.

Bonnie Spring, PhD, ABPP Clinical Health Psychologist

Dr. Spring is a Clinical Health Psychologist and a Professor in Preventive Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. With more than 25 years of experience in studying behavioral interventions for health promotion, she has designed and led many clinical trials of weight loss and weight gain prevention. Dr. Spring and her colleagues in Behavior Medicine, Dr. Michael Coons and Dr. Joanna Buscemi, guide the behavioral aspects of the MOMFIT intervention. She will collaborate with Drs. Van Horn and Peaceman on study design and analyses.

Research Study Coordinator:
Niki Gernhofer, MS, RD

Niki is a master's level Registered Dietitian and Associate Director of Clinical Nutrition Research in the Department of Preventive Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine. She will oversee all aspects of the study day-to-day operations with particular focus on the study clinical data visits including body composition measurements, dietary assessment and physical activity assessment activities. Ms. Gernhofer has over 25 years of clinical trial research experience and has served as a study coordinator in several mutli-center collaborative trials, along with Ms. Vincent and Dr Van Horn. She is skilled in all aspects of clinical nutrition research including diet assessment and intervention methodology and she is trained in Motivational Interviewing. She will oversee study enrollment, randomization and conduct study visits.

MOMFIT Nutrition Director:
Eileen Vincent, MS, RD

Eileen is a masters-prepared Registered Dietitian who is the Assistant Director of Clinical Nutrition Research in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University. For the past 20 years, she has worked on several research projects targeting a wide variety of age groups: Women's Health Initiative (postmenopausal women), Dietary Intervention Study in Children (school-age children), Nutrition Academic Award (medical students), Diet & Hormone Study (premenopausal women) and Fit 4 Kids (school-age children). Eileen was an integral part of the curriculum development, counseling, facilitating group sessions and data management for these studies.
Eileen's current responsibilities as MOMFIT Nutrition Director include curriculum development, staff training, facilitator of individual/group sessions, quality control and data management. Her professional parenting skills training as well as personal experience raising her eight year old daughter have provided great insight to the challenges and solutions new moms and their families face with living a healthy lifestyle!