Research Overview

     Dr. Faghri is professor of Health Promotion Sciences in the Department of Allied Health Sciences as well as Biomedical Engineering Program, School of Engineering, and Department of Community Medicine and Health Care, School of Medicine, University of Connecticut. She is on the core faculty for PhD program in Public health at the Center for Public Health and Health policy. Professor Faghri is also the Director of the University of Connecticut Center for Environmental Health and Health Promotion.

     Professor Faghri’s health promotion research focuses on developing and evaluating cost effective health promotion interventions, and evaluation of worksite health promotion programs (more specifically in high-stress workplaces).  She has expertise in health behavior intervention strategies, behavioral economics and contingency management in obesity treatment and prevention, health promotion and secondary disability prevention in disabled and elderly populations, evaluation of social and environmental determinants of health, self-care, and self-awareness.

     Dr. Faghri developed and directed the Connecticut's state employee worksite health promotion program, "ConnectiFIT," as well as "Co-Optimal," a worksite health promotion program for small to mid-sized companies. She was co-investigator in a workplace health promotion study at the State's largest private sector employer. She was also the principal investigator in a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded research program to develop and test a successful and innovative approach in treating obesity in employees who were at high-risk for type 2 diabetes, utilizing contingency management and behavioral economics.  Presently, she is the Co-PI (Storrs) for the center of excellence funded by CDC and NIOSH: Center for Promoting Health in the New England Workplaces (CPH-NEW). This center is a collaborative research program between UMass Lowell, UConn Health Center and UConn Storrs. She is the team leader for health promotion methodology for the center.

     Professor Faghri is an active member of the Obesity Research Interest Group as well Occupation Obesity and Aging Research Group at the University of Connecticut Center for Health Intervention and Prevention (CHIP) and a research affiliate at the center.

     Professor Faghri’s biomedical research focuses on biomechanics  (kinematics and kinetics) of movement science in able-bodied and people with neurological disorders.  She is also preforming research on application of functional electrical stimulation (FES) for muscle activation and to induce function in people with disability and able-bodied individuals. Her Functional Performance Laboratory is equipped with video motion capture system, electromyography system, and force plates to collect kinetics and kinematics data during different activities. The lab is also equipped with cycle ergometers, as well as physiological measurement systems. She was one of the researchers involved in the development and testing of the original FES cycle ergometry system, which was later commercialized and is now being used in many rehabilitation settings. She is continuing her research to improve and optimize the FES induced cycling as an effective and efficient exercise system for people with spinal cord injury and other neurological disorders.  She is a holder of a patent for the prevention of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism utilizing FES. Presently, she is a co-investigator in a multicenter National Science Foundation grant funded as part of EFRI grants to evaluate the effect electrical stimulation in tissue regeneration.
     Dr. Faghri’s researches have been continuously funded by federal and private organizations. She is on the editorial boards and reviewer of major peer reviewed journals. She is Associate Editor of the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation (JNER) and Editor in Chief of Obesity–Open Access. She also serves as expert grant reviewer for major federal and private funding agencies.

Teaching Philosophy

     Professor Faghri’s teaching philosophy is based on the principle that we all are life long learners and teachers:

“As an educator, I see my role as providing a classroom environment that encourages and facilitates creativity and love of learning.  I trust and value that all students are capable of learning, and all students have something to contribute to the classroom environment. I appreciate and value diversity and believe that each student brings new insights regarding the subject matter to the classroom. I encourage exploring new ideas and maintain a positive attitude toward them. In this process, I value each student’s capabilities and apprehensions and deal with them with compassion and deference, realizing that each student has a different learning style. I believe patience and accommodations have to be part of an effective learning process and I am strong advocate for supporting and encouraging all of my students.Lastly but most importantly, I believe an effective teacher must be an active researcher and scholar in his or her field.  He or she must have a great understanding of the subject matter, by staying current in the filed of study, through active engagement in scholarly research, external funding and peer reviewed publications.” -Dr. Pouran Fagrhi

Teaching Activities


     Presently, Professor Faghri is the Director of the University of Connecticut Center for Environmental Health and Health Promotion. The mission of the center is to (i) provide an environment that is supportive of positive health practices, (ii) create, translate and disseminate scientific information related to the integration of the (built) environment, (iii) promote health, (iv) prevent disease, and (v) create effective interventions through collaborative research and evaluation. As part of that mission, she organized and chaired the first center-related conference at the University of Connecticut (entitled: Health, Workplace and Environment: Cultivating Connections) on October 17, 2013. The conference attracted more than 200 individuals from around the country, including individuals from academia, public health managers, the insurance industry, human resources, health promotion, and both undergraduate and graduate students. University of Connecticut President, Dr. Herbst, provided introductory remarks and introduced Dr. John Howard, the Director of NIOSH, who was the keynote speaker. 
     Dr. Faghri served as the Director of the Graduate Program in Allied Health from 2006-2014.  As Director of the Graduate Program, she chaired the Graduate Program Admission Committee and the Graduate faculty meetings and ensured the proper implementation of the graduate curriculum. Professor Faghri developed a Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion and Health Education, which was approved by the University of Connecticut’s Board of Trustees and the Department of Higher Education for implementation in Fall 2009. She proposed a change in the degree program from MS in Allied Health to MS in Health Promotion Sciences. The proposed change was approved by the University of Connecticut’s Board of Trustees and the Department of Higher Education for implementation in Fall 2011. These programs will prepare graduate students to meet the needs of the workforce in the area of health promotion program development, implementation, and evaluation.
     In the past, she served at the School of Allied Health as the Department Head of Health Promotion and Allied Health Sciences, Director of the Graduate Program in Allied Health, and Director of Core Programs.  She proposed and wrote the first PhD proposal in Health Promotion and Disability Prevention. She wrote 'An Instructor’s Procedures and Guidelines' for the School of Allied Health’s undergraduate core courses. 


M. S., Wright State University, 1987 
Postdoctoral study, Wright State University, 1983 
M.D., University of Isfahan, 1981


Allied Health Sciences - UCONN
Center for Health Intervention and Prevention (CHIP)
Center for Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace (CPH-NEW)
Biomedical Engineering
School of Medicine - Community Medicine & Health Care / PhD in Public Health
    > Faculty Profile : Pouran Faghri