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Two New Endowed Chair Appointments

Tanja Kral, PhD, has been named the Ellen and Robert Kapito Endowed Professor in Nursing Science; and Jianghong Liu, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been named the Marjorie O. Rendell Endowed Professor in Healthy Transitions.

Kral is Professor of Nutrition Science and Associate Program Director of the Graduate Nutrition Certificate, with a secondary appointment as Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine. One of our multi-disciplinary faculty in the Penn Nursing family, she is a nutrition scientist with training in the study of human ingestive behavior. Her research focuses on the cognitive, sensory, and nutritional controls of appetite and eating in children and adults and their relevance to obesity. In predominantly minority children from low-resource environments, Kral studies protective factors within families for mitigating behavioral and socioeconomic risk factors for obesity development. She has a strong record of funding and publication. Currently, she is Chair of the PhD Progressions Committee and Chair-Elect of our Graduate Group. Career highlights include recipient of the Alan Epstein Research Award, Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB); Executive Editor, Appetite journal; and recipient of the Dean’s Award for Undergraduate Scholarly Mentorship, School of Nursing. She is an Associate Fellow, Center for Public Health Initiatives and a Member of the Interdisciplinary Research Network “Promoting Healthy Weight Among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Special Health Care Needs,” E. K. Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Liu is Professor of Nursing, Co-director of the Global Health Minor at Penn Nursing, and the Associate Editor of Research in Nursing and Health. She uses her training in maternal-child nursing, environmental health, and psychology to explore early health factors that affect children and adolescent’s cognitive and emotional/behavioral development. Her research integrates population-based epidemiological analyses with laboratory tests of cognition and psychophysiology to understand the mechanisms driving behaviors and emotions. As director of the NIH-funded China Jintan Child Health Project, Liu is following more than 1,000 children in Jintan city, China from pre-school into adolescence to understand the influence of exposure to environmental lead, nutrition, and psychosocial factors on their behavior. She mentors and advises doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate nursing students as well as students studying across multiple majors, including medicine, public health, education, business, engineering, and visiting scholars from China. Liu has a strong record of funding and publication. Career highlights include recipient of the NIH Independent Scientist Award, the Trustees Council of Penn Women Award for Undergraduate Advising, Dean’s Teaching Award for Undergraduate Scholarly Mentorship, and Barbara J. Lowery Doctoral Student Organization (DSO) Faculty Award for Mentorship. She is a senior fellow at both the Penn Center for Public Health initiatives and the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program.