Casey Durand, PhD

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Assistant Professor, Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

Trained as a behavioral scientist, Casey Durand received his PhD in Preventive Medicine from the University of Southern California, and completed an NCI Cancer Education and Career Development Program Post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health.

His primary research interests concern the effects of the built environment and public policy on health behaviors, including physical activity and diet.  He also has methodological interests in power analyses, interaction/moderation effects, and statistical programming. His primary research project is the Houston TRAIN (Travel Related Activity In Neighborhoods) Study, the goal of which is to understand how new light rail infrastructure affects transportation patterns and physical activity in low-income, primarily minority neighborhoods of Houston.  He is currently working on a new proposal to understand how special taxing districts could be leveraged as a means to decrease inequalities in the built environment across Houston.

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Current Projects

STREETS (Safe TRavel Environment Evaluation in Texas Schools)

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The STREETS Study (Safe TRavel Environment Evaluation in Texas Schools) is a five-year (2018 – 2023) natural experiment that will evaluate the City of Austin Safe Routes to School program.

Houston TRAIN Study

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The Houston TRAIN (Transportation Related Activity in Neighborhoods) Study will examine the short and long-term effect of a new light rail transit (LRT) system on adults’ physical activity in Houston, Texas.

Recent Publications

Foot-based audit of streets adjacent to new light rail stations in Houston, Texas: Measurement of health-related characteristics of the built environment for physical activity research.

(Oluyomi AO*, Knell G, Durand CP*, Mercader C, Salvo D*, Sener IN, Gabriel K, Hoelscher DM, Kohl HW. BMC Public Health. 2019, 19:238.)

Prevalence and likelihood of meeting sleep, physical activity, and screen-time guidelines among US youth

(Knell G, Durand CP, Kohl III HW, Wu I, Gabriel KP. JAMA Pediatrics. 2019 February; PMID: 30715096. PMCID: PMC6450269. DOI: doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.4847)

Urban-Rural Differences in Aerobic Physical Activity, Muscle Strengthening Exercise, and Screen-time Sedentary Behavior

(Robertson MC, Song J, Taylor WC, Durand CP, Basen-Engquist KM; J Rural Health; 2018)

If you build it, will they come? A quasi-experimental evaluation of sidewalk improvements and changes in physical activity

(Knell G, Durand CP, Shuval K, Kohl HW 3rd, Salvo D, Olyuomi A, Gabriel KP; Transl J Am Coll Sports Med.; 2018)

Examining the Influence of a New Light Rail Line on the Health of a Demographically Diverse and Understudied Population within the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area: A Protocol for a Natural Experiment Study

(Roberts JD, Hu M, Saksvig BI, Brachman ML, Durand CP; Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health; 2018)