Faculty Spotlight - Dr. Jylana Sheats


Dr. Jylana L. Sheats, a behavioral scientist and educator, joined the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in October 2016. To address health disparities among racial/ethnic and vulnerable populations, Dr. Sheats develops and tests theoretically grounded community- and technology-based interventions. Within the broader fields of nutrition and physical activity, her research focuses on the examination of individual, social, contextual, environmental, and policy-related determinants of obesity and chronic diseases.

As a Tulane Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s (BIRCWH) Health Scholar, Dr. Sheats is developing and testing the acceptance and effectiveness of a culturally-informed, mobile phone-based intervention to improve the food-related behaviors of obese and overweight African American adults. It is through this work that she will also identify sex-differences related to the acceptance and effectiveness of the intervention as well.

Prior to Tulane, Dr. Sheats was a Social Science Research Associate at the Stanford Prevention Research Center’s Healthy Aging Research and Technology Solutions (HARTS) Lab in the Stanford School of Medicine. Utilizing her academic and research training in behavioral science from Spelman College, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Indiana University School of Public Health, and Stanford School of Medicine, she has experience as a public health practitioner and led and co-directed community and technology-based (i.e., embodied conversational agents, SMS, mobile apps, wireless and sensor-based devices) studies to promote health behavior change.