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Irene van Woerden, PhD

Assistant Professor/Biostatistician, Community and Public Health


Research Interests

Health behaviors and outcomes; in particular, I focus on social networks, food insecurity, and BMI

Sample Publications 

van Woerden I, Schaefer D, Hruschka D, Vega-Lopez S, Adams A, Bruening M. Similarity in meal plan use among first-year roommates. Appetite. 2020; 144:104482.

van Woerden I, Brewis A, Hruschka D, Dunton G, Adams MA, Bruening M. Young adults’ BMI and changes in romantic relationship status during the first semester of college. PloS ONE. 2020; 15(3).

van Woerden, I., Hruschka, D., Vega-Lόpez, S., Schaefer, D. R., Adams, M., & Bruening, M. (2019). Food Insecure College Students and Objective Measurements of Their Unused Meal Plans. Nutrients11(4), 904.

van Woerden, I., Hruschka, D., Schaefer, D. R., Fine, K. L., & Bruening, M. (2019). Evaluating Potential Behavioral Mediators for Increasing Similarity in Friends’ Body Size among College Students. Nutrients11(9), 1996.

Bruening, M., van Woerden, I., Schaefer, D. R., Hruschka, D., Brewis, A., Whisner, C. M., ... & Laska, M. N. (2018). Friendship as a social mechanism influencing body mass index (BMI) among emerging adults. PloS one13(12), e0208894.

van Woerden, I., Bruening, M., Montresor-López, J., & Payne-Sturges, D. C. (2019). Trends and disparities in urinary BPA concentrations among US emerging adults. Environmental research.


Dr. van Woerden is an Assistant Professor (Biostatistics) in the Department of Community and Public Health.She obtained her PhD from Arizona State University (ASU) with a focus on statistical analysis of college students food insecurity, roommates, and meal plan use in 2019. She did her masters in Statistics at ASU. She holds a second masters in Statistics as well as a Post-Graduate Diploma from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.  Dr. van Woerden Bachelors was in Statistics and Chemistry from the University of Waikato in New Zealand.

Dr. van Woerden’s research interests are health behaviors and outcomes, with a focus on social networks, food insecurity, and BMI. Dr. van Woerden has experience with a wide variety of analytical methods and datasets and has peer-reviewed publications in many areas, such as a validation study for physical activity measurements obtained using ecological momentary assessment (EMA), the association between emotions and food choices, how objective measures of GPA are associated with food insecurity, how environmental contaminants are associated with demographics and BMI, and why friends tend to have a similar BMI as each other.

Dr. van Woerden has three years of industry experience. As of July 2020 she has authored/co-authored 12 peer-reviewed publications.

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