David O. Garcia, PhD, assistant professor of health promotion sciences at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, has been named to the 2018 list of Tucson’s “40 Under 40”. The award recognizes young community leaders in Southwest Arizona for their professional and charitable work.
Dr. Garcia has extensive experience in short and long-term intervention trials in the areas of physical activity, diet, and weight management. This includes working as a lifestyle interventionist and exercise physiologist in several clinical trials with overweight and obese adults, morbidly obese adults, and individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Garcia's current research focuses on the development of gender and culturally-sensitive weight loss interventions for Hispanic males. To support this effort, Dr. Garcia recently established “Nosotros Comprometidos a Su Salud” (Committed to Your Health), a program developed to support research through community service and partnering with underserved Tucson residents.
He is currently testing targeted, tailored behavioral programs through on-going mixed method research among Hispanic males. The long-term vision of his research is to implement and evaluate large, multi-site trials to systematically influence community environments and eventually, policies in order to improve health among underserved populations.
As a member of the UA Cancer Center, Dr. Garcia is co-investigator of the largest diet and physical activity intervention conducted for ovarian cancer survivors. He is also working on the development of precision prevention lifestyle interventions to prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease to reduce the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of liver cancer, in Mexican-American men.