Melissa Napolitano is a Professor in the Department of Prevention and Community Health. She also holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences.
Dr. Napolitano uses behavioral science principles and communication techniques to develop, implement and evaluate physical activity and weight management programs for delivery via digital strategies. Her work focuses across the lifespan, including pregnancy and young adulthood. She is interested in the developmental life stage of emerging adulthood and understanding the formation of positive eating and activity behaviors, as well as health-risk behaviors such as disordered eating and tobacco use. She has 90 peer reviewed publications and book chapters. Dr. Napolitano’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Napolitano was a Consultant to the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, specifically working with the Physical Activity Promotion Subcommittee. She has served in review and editorial capacities as a standing member of the NIH Psychosocial Risk and Disease Prevention Study Section and Senior Associate Editor of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. She is a current Fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) and is SBM’s representative to the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Prior to joining GWU in 2012, Dr. Napolitano was on the faculties of Brown Medical School and Temple University at which she was also a research scientist at the Center for Obesity Research and Education.