Loretta DiPietro, Ph.D.

Exercise Science

Department Chair

Recognizing that many of today’s critical public health problems can be addressed, at least partly, through improved nutrition and physical activity, Professor Loretta DiPietro has built bridges between population-based public health and the clinical and physiological domains of exercise science. An accomplished and widely published researcher with particular interest in the role of physical activity in the health of older adults, she has been awarded grants from the National Institute on Aging and the American Cancer Society, and has lectured at medical schools, public health schools, and other organizations around the world.

Dr. DiPietro joined Milken Institute SPH in 2008 from Yale University School of Medicine, where she was associate professor of epidemiology and public health and a fellow at the John B. Pierce Laboratory, which studies how biological systems interact with the built environment and their influence on health. As chair of the Department of Exercise Science, Dr. DiPietro emphasizes the many collaborative research and educational opportunities that students can pursue across the GW Medical Center and the entire University.


Bachelor of Science (Health education), Southern Connecticut State University, 1979
Master of Science (Health education/Exercise science), Southern Connecticut State University, 1981
Master of Public Health, Yale University, 1985
Doctor of Philosophy (Epidemiology), Yale University, 1988


PUBH 6001 Biological Basis of Disease in Public Health
EXSC 6204 Biostatistical Methods and Research Design
EXSC 6206 Administration of Physical Activity and Health Programs
EXSC 6208 Physical Activity: Physiology and Epidemiology
EXSC 6998 Thesis Research


Dr. DiPietro’s research emphasizes the importance of exercise in older women, and the associations between physical activity and breast cancer, unhealthy weight gain and glucose regulation. She has examined how the functional changes traditionally associated with aging are in fact similar to those that occur with bedrest and low-gravity conditions (such as space flight). Dr. DiPietro is a permanent member of the National Institute on Aging’s Aging Systems and Geriatrics Study Section.

Community Service

Dr. DiPietro helped to develop the National Blueprint on Increasing Physical Activity Among Adults Age 50 and Over , a major planning document, and contributed to the Surgeon General’s Report on the Health Effects of Physical Activity. A dedicated teacher and coach, she donated her services to girl’s lacrosse and field hockey teams in the New Haven region, and was inducted into the Connecticut Field Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006.


  • Aging
  • Chronic Disease
  • Epidemiology