Saelens Lab

Current Studies

Family-Based Childhood Weight Management Studies


Seattle Children’s Research Institute is currently conducting the Brain Activation and Satiety in Children Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (BASIC fMRI) study which is funded by the National Institutes of Health. The goal of this study is to look at brain responses to food and family-based behavioral treatment in order to find better ways to help families maintain a healthy weight. Read more (PDF).


Success in Health: Impacting Families Together (SHIFT) is a research study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The goal of the SHIFT study is to find ways to make family weight management treatment available to more families using a peer-to-peer model.

Built Environment and Policy Studies

In addition to the studies described below, we are currently in the process of planning and securing funding for new projects that will focus on aspects of the neighborhood environment and related public policies that impact physical activity and eating behaviors.


Seattle Children's Research Institute and the University of Washington are conducting a research study, the Assessing Choices in Transportation in Our Neighborhoods (ACTION) Project. The goal of the ACTION Study is to learn more about how a person’s neighborhood, commuting and travel relate to their daily activities and overall well-being. This knowledge could help to inform policies to improve the health of communities.