Nicole Spartano, PhD
Assistant Professor
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Endocrinology, Diabetes, Nutrition & Weight Management

PhD, Tufts University
MS, Tufts University
BS, Syracuse University

Nicole Spartano, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in Endocrinology, Diabetes, Nutrition and Weight Management at the Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine. She serves as the Director of the Glucose Monitoring Station at the Framingham Heart Study. This study is funded through an R01 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (Spartano, PI) to use continuous glucose monitors in a non-diabetic population to measure glucose patterns that may predict the development of diabetes. She also serves as the Co-Director of the Physical Activity Station at the Framingham Heart Study, overseeing data collection using accelerometers (fitness trackers). She has received funding from the American Heart Association and Alzheimer's Association to understand the impact of physical activity throughout the lifecourse on brain health and the risk for dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. Spartano also has a major research interest in using mobile health technology to improve health in underserved patient populations at Boston Medical Center. She is exploring the use of continuous glucose monitors as a tool for enhancing lifestyle interventions in patients with and without diabetes mellitus. She shares a MPI role on a Focused Research Project funded by Boston University’s Hariri Institute, which facilitates collaborations of clinical and computational investigators. This team is developing a software platform that can continuously collect mobile health data from research participants and patients. The goal of creating this platform is to address challenges in privacy and in providing timely communication to medically vulnerable patients.

Dr. Spartano also teaches courses for Boston University Graduate Medical Sciences, School of Public Health, and Sargent College of Health Sciences.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility

My experiences as a foster parent have provided a lens through which I recognize the impact of structural inequality and the potential power of public policies and programs that would help to stabilize and uplift marginalized people. What has been very clear through my experiences fostering children, is that biological families love their kids and most often want to keep their families intact. However, these parents are struggling and are not properly supported by a system that should be assisting them, but often offers inadequate care, especially for mental health and substance use disorders. Through this experience, I have learned that it is only by supporting underserved adults through policies and structures that we will truly support vulnerable children.

In my research using mobile health technology, I am working with the BU CTSI Community Engagement Program to develop strategies to use continuous glucose monitors as a tool for enhancing weight- and diabetes-management interventions in underserved patients. I serve as one of the PIs of a Focused Research Project, funded by the Hariri Institute, Application of machine learning approaches to continuously collected mobile health data among medically vulnerable patients and large cohort populations. One of the goals of this project is to identify challenges and strategies to implementing mobile health research in underrepresented and underserved populations. The promises of technology to improve healthcare are not now distributed equally among marginalized populations. Therefore, this work is important so that advances in health technology reach marginalized populations and do not, instead, worsen health disparities.

My eventual goal is to meld my personal interest in supporting families struggling with mental health disorders with my research using mobile health technology. I am slowly making progress toward that end and I am very interested in collaborating on this topic. In the classroom, I am committed to learning how best to teach lessons on health disparities by framing this topic with discussions about the influence of structural inequities and to support and mentor students who may have faced these inequities.

How to become a foster parent:
If you have ever thought about fostering, please feel free to reach out to me! The Department of Child and Family Services provides a training course to prepare you before you take a placement. You can start with minimal commitment to provide “respite” (short-term placements for a weekend or a few nights for a foster family that may have other commitments during that time). You can specify child ages that you are open to and you can always say “no” if you are not comfortable with a situation. If you live in MA, the website is here to learn more:

My partner and I chose this lifestyle because we felt it the best way we can serve our community, and as a way to teach our sons the value of supporting families at their most pivotal time of need. There are many flaws to the foster care system, but the most immediate problem is the extreme shortage of foster homes. Many children end up sleeping at the DCF offices, in the backseat of social worker’s cars, or worse, they are placed in group homes or medical facilities because there are not enough foster families. I hope that someone who stumbles onto this page may see foster care as an option for them.

Framingham Heart Study

Boston University
Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences

Continuous glucose monitoring: determinants and prediction of diabetes mellitus development in the Framingham Heart Study
04/01/2022 - 03/31/2027 (PI)
NIH/National Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases

The Longitudinal Influence of Midlife Physical Activity and Sedentary Time on Vascular Brain Injury
07/01/2016 - 06/30/2019 (PI)
American Heart Association

Massachusetts AI and Technology Center for Connected Care in Aging and Alzheimer's Disease
09/01/2023 - 05/31/2025 (PI)
University of Massachusetts / UMASS National Institute o

Physical Inactivity, Epigenetic Aging, and Preclinical Dementia
12/01/2020 - 05/31/2022 (PI)
Alzheimer’s Association


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Mossavar-Rahmani Y, Lin J, Pan S, Song RJ, Xue X, Spartano NL, Xanthakis V, Sotres-Alvarez D, Marquez DX, Daviglus M, Carlson JA, Parada H, Evenson KR, Talavera AC, Gellman M, Perreira KM, Gallo LC, Vasan RS, Kaplan RC. Characterizing longitudinal change in accelerometry-based moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos and the Framingham Heart Study. BMC Public Health. 2023 Aug 24; 23(1):1614.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37620824; PMCID: PMC10464120; DOI: 10.1186/s12889-023-16442-9;
  2. Wang X, Pathiravasan CH, Zhang Y, Trinquart L, Borrelli B, Spartano NL, Lin H, Nowak C, Kheterpal V, Benjamin EJ, McManus DD, Murabito JM, Liu C. Association of Depressive Symptom Trajectory With Physical Activity Collected by mHealth Devices in the Electronic Framingham Heart Study: Cohort Study. JMIR Ment Health. 2023 Jul 14; 10:e44529.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37450333; PMCID: PMC10382951; DOI: 10.2196/44529;
  3. Perry AS, Dooley EE, Master H, Spartano NL, Brittain EL, Pettee Gabriel K. Physical Activity Over the Lifecourse and Cardiovascular Disease. Circ Res. 2023 Jun 09; 132(12):1725-1740. PMID: 37289900; PMCID: PMC10254078; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.123.322121;
  4. Shapira-Daniels A, Kornej J, Spartano NL, Wang X, Zhang Y, Pathiravasan CH, Liu C, Trinquart L, Borrelli B, McManus DD, Murabito JM, Benjamin EJ, Lin H. Step Count, Self-reported Physical Activity, and Predicted 5-Year Risk of Atrial Fibrillation: Cross-sectional Analysis. J Med Internet Res. 2023 Mar 06; 25:e43123.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36877540; PMCID: PMC10028513; DOI: 10.2196/43123;
  5. Trinquart L, Liu C, McManus DD, Nowak C, Lin H, Spartano NL, Borrelli B, Benjamin EJ, Murabito JM. Increasing Engagement in the Electronic Framingham Heart Study: Factorial Randomized Controlled Trial. J Med Internet Res. 2023 Jan 20; 25:e40784.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36662544; PMCID: PMC9898831; DOI: 10.2196/40784;
  6. Spartano NL, Wang R, Yang Q, Chernofsky A, Murabito JM, Levy D, Vasan RS, DeCarli C, Maillard P, Seshadri S, Beiser AS. Association of Physical Inactivity with MRI Markers of Brain Aging: Assessing Mediation by Cardiometabolic and Epigenetic Factors. J Alzheimers Dis. 2023; 95(2):561-572.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37574733
  7. Pathiravasan CH, Zhang Y, Wang X, Trinquart L, Benjamin EJ, Borrelli B, McManus DD, Kheterpal V, Lin H, Spartano NL, Schramm E, Liu C, Murabito JM. Factors associated with long-term use of digital devices in the electronic Framingham Heart Study. NPJ Digit Med. 2022 Dec 27; 5(1):195.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36572707; PMCID: PMC9792462; DOI: 10.1038/s41746-022-00735-1;
  8. Paluch AE, Bajpai S, Ballin M, Bassett DR, Buford TW, Carnethon MR, Chernofsky A, Dooley EE, Ekelund U, Evenson KR, Galuska DA, Jefferis BJ, Kong L, Kraus WE, Larson MG, Lee IM, Matthews CE, Newton RL, Nordström A, Nordström P, Palta P, Patel AV, Pettee Gabriel K, Pieper CF, Pompeii L, Rees-Punia E, Spartano NL, Vasan RS, Whincup PH, Yang S, Fulton JE. Prospective Association of Daily Steps With Cardiovascular Disease: A Harmonized Meta-Analysis. Circulation. 2023 Jan 10; 147(2):122-131.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36537288; PMCID: PMC9839547; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.122.061288;
  9. Spartano NL, Wang R, Yang Q, Chernofsky A, Murabito JM, Vasan RS, Levy D, Beiser AS, Seshadri S. Association of Accelerometer-Measured Physical Activity and Sedentary Time with Epigenetic Markers of Aging. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2023 Feb 01; 55(2):264-272.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36107108; PMCID: PMC9840651; DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000003041;
  10. Walker ME, Spartano NL. Identifying Ultra-processed Foods in Nutrition Research: What a Proccess! Neurology. 2022 Jul 27.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35896435
Showing 10 of 61 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 61 publications over 11 distinct years, with a maximum of 13 publications in 2022


Reduce dementia risk with these food and activity choices

CNN 6/27/2022

How to improve your fitness if you sit down all day, according to experts

Stylist 11/1/2021

How many steps should you take a day? Hitting 7,000 may reduce risk of early death, study says

USA Today 9/16/2021

Taking 7,000 Steps Or More A Day May Lower Mortality Risk

South Florida Reporter 9/12/2021

How many steps a day should you take? Study finds 7,000 can go a long way

NBC News 9/12/2021

Secret Side Effects of Exercising Just 2 Hours Per Week, Says Science

Eat This, Not That 8/3/2021

Exercise at Midlife Linked to Better Brain Health in Late Life

Medscape 1/15/2021

Midlife Physical Activity Correlates With Late-Life Brain Structure

MedPage Today 1/6/2021

AHA News: 5 Easy Ways to Keep Tabs on Heart Health

U.S. News & World Report 7/29/2020

Even a Little Exercise May Bring a Brain Boost

U.S. News & World Report 11/6/2019

Even a Little Exercise May Bring a Brain Boost

Health Day 11/6/2019

Rethinking the approach to fighting Alzheimer’s disease

The Conversation 8/13/2019

Light physical activity might help keep the brain young

Reuters 5/15/2019

Light Physical Activity Associated With Increased Brain Volume

Healio 5/3/2019

Light Is Alright: Mild Physical Activity Comes With Larger Brain

Alzheimer’s Forum 4/26/2019

Light Intensity Physical Activity Promotes Healthy Brain Aging

Coastal Ledger 4/23/2019

Doing This For Just a Few Minutes Each Day Can Improve Your Brain and Body

Thrive Global 4/23/2019

Family Chores Can Maintain Your Mind Younger: Research

Infosurhoy 4/23/2019

Every Single Minute Of Physical Activity Helps Health, Study Shows

Mother Nature Network 4/22/2019

Even a Little More Exercise Might Help Your Brain Stay Young

HealthDay News 4/19/2019

Housework Could Keep Brain Young, Research Suggests

The Guardian 4/19/2019

Even a Little Bit of Exercise Can Keep Your Brain From Shrinking, Study Suggests

Gizmodo 4/19/2019

Light Activity And Even Housework Can Keep Our Brains Young, A New Study Suggests

The National 4/19/2019

Reducing Brain Aging May Be As Simple As Light Physical Activity

Slash Gear 4/19/2019

Want to Maintain Total Cerebral Brain Volume? Keep Walking

Psychology Today 4/19/2019

15 daily habits that might be ageing you prematurely

Reader's Digest Australia 4/16/2019

15 Daily Habits That Might Be Aging You Prematurely

Reader's Digest 11/6/2018

Even light exercise might lessen severity of a future stroke

Reuters 10/4/2018

Light to Moderate Physical Activity Can Lower Stroke Severity

Neurology Live 9/25/2018

Stroke severity reduced in those who walk regularly

Medical News Today 9/20/2018

First-Time Stroke Severity Tied Partly to Physical Activity

MedPage Today 9/19/2018

Weight loss wearables most effective alongside additional efforts, researchers explain

Mobi Health News 8/15/2018

44-Year Study Ties Midlife Fitness to Lower Dementia Risk

Alzforum 3/28/2018

2018 American Heart Association: Sandra A. Daugherty Award, Finalist
2017 American Heart Association Specialty Conferences : Best of American Heart Association Specialty Conferences
2016 American Heart Association: Early Investigator Travel Award
2015 American Heart Association Specialty Conferences: Best of American Heart Association Specialty Conferences
2015 Boston University Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs: Travel Award
2014-2016 NIH/NHLBI: Postdoctoral Training Grant award
2009-2012 NIH/NHLBI: Pre-doctoral Training Grant award
2007-2009 Tufts University: Friedman School of Nutrition Scholarship
2006 Syracuse University: Biology Award for Research Excellence
Contact for Mentoring:

75 E. Newton St

Spartano's Networks
Click the "See All" links for more information and interactive visualizations
Media Mentions
Similar People
Same Department