The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


Message from the CEO - The Future of Wellness Since 1970.

Posted in

Monday, Nov 23, 2020

In March 2020, I doubt any of us thought that we would still be struggling with the impact of COVID-19 this fall – social distancing, wearing masks, extra handwashing, working from home, and students doing both online and in-person learning. Yet, here we are and even with these challenges, The Cooper Institute has carried on its important work on healthy living through research and education.


Our youth team continues to provide online physical activity and fitness assessment resources for students, teachers, parents and their respective communities. In fact, the youth team is in the process of developing exciting new videos geared towards educators,  so they can teach their students the importance of health-related fitness and physical activity. In addition, in collaboration with Hip Hop Public Health, we are developing a fun fitness video that will keep kids moving in new and innovative ways. 

These videos and a physical activity tracker app will be available in January 2021! More on these exciting additions in the next newsletter. 

Through our youth programs, NFL Play 60 FitnessGram Project and Healthy Zone School Program, we provided schools with support for pandemic-related needs (e.g., technology, food, household essentials, and opportunities for safe exercise) regardless of school environment — in-person, remote, or hybrid.

It is now more important than ever to ensure that our youth are getting adequate physical activity!


As we celebrate our 50-year history of ground-breaking research, the research team continues to explore the many benefits of preventive medicine and physical activity. With the retirement of Benjamin Willis, MD in September, we have welcomed two new researchers to the team. First, Kerem Shuval PhD, MPH serves as the Executive Director of Epidemiology. Dr. Shuval was previously on faculty at two Schools of Public Health (University of Haifa and University of Texas), and was the Director of Physical Activity & Nutrition Research at American Cancer Society’s Economic and Health Policy Research Program. His research focuses on ways to modify lifestyle behaviors, primarily physical activity, diet, and smoking, as they relate to chronic disease prevention, while integrating insights from public health and behavioral economics. 

In addition, David Leonard, PhD comes to us from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and serves as the Director of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He is a trained scientist and statistician with expertise in the design and analysis of observational studies in cardiology and preventive medicine.  Finally, we are proud to announce that Beth Wright, PhD (aka Carolyn Barlow) has been promoted to the Director of the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study – our renown research study. With our exceptional research team hard at work, keep your eyes open for exciting new research that will impact the next 50 years of living Well. Into the Future.  

Thank you for your commitment to The Cooper Institute. Be safe and wash your hands! 

  Read: Cooper Quarterly Newsletter - Fall Edition 2020