Nicole Spartano, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in Endocrinology, Diabetes, Nutrition and Weight Management at the Boston University School of Medicine. 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. Most recently, Dr. Spartano also received an R01 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to use continuous glucose monitors in a non-diabetic population to measure glucose patterns that may predict the development of diabetes.
She 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: https://www.mass.gov/how-to/apply-to-become-a-dcf-foster-parent
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
Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research
Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
Boston University 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 Diseases1R01DK129305-01
The Longitudinal Influence of Midlife Physical Activity and Sedentary Time on Vascular Brain Injury
07/01/2016 - 06/30/2019 (PI)American Heart Association
Physical Inactivity, Epigenetic Aging, and Preclinical Dementia
12/01/2018 - 11/30/2021 (PI)
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other
sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can
to make corrections and additions.
Showing 10 of 49 results.
Almohamad M, Krall Kaye E, Mofleh D, Spartano NL. The association of sedentary behaviour and physical activity with periodontal disease in NHANES 2011-2012. J Clin Periodontol. 2022 May 30. PMID: 35634657
Kaplan RC, Song RJ, Lin J, Xanthakis V, Hua S, Chernofsky A, Evenson KR, Walker ME, Cuthbertson C, Murabito JM, Cordero C, Daviglus M, Perreira KM, Gellman M, Sotres-Alvarez D, Vasan RS, Xue X, Spartano NL, Mossavar-Rahmani Y. Predictors of incident diabetes in two populations: framingham heart study and hispanic community health study / study of latinos. BMC Public Health. 2022 May 26; 22(1):1053.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35619100; PMCID: PMC9137165; DOI: 10.1186/s12889-022-13463-8;
Nayor M, Chernofsky A, Miller PE, Spartano NL, Murthy VL, Malhotra R, Houstis NE, Murabito JM, Clish CB, Larson MG, Vasan RS, Shah RV, Lewis GD. Integrative Analysis of Circulating Metabolite Levels That Correlate With Physical Activity and Cardiorespiratory Fitness. Circ Genom Precis Med. 2022 Jun; 15(3):e003592.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35536222
Hammond MM, Zhang Y, Pathiravasan CH, Lin H, Sardana M, Trinquart L, Benjamin EJ, Borrelli B, Manders ES, Fusco K, Kornej J, Spartano NL, Kheterpal V, Nowak C, McManus DD, Liu C, Murabito JM. Relations Between BMI Trajectories and Habitual Physical Activity Measured by a Smartwatch in the Electronic Cohort of the Framingham Heart Study: Cohort Study. JMIR Cardio. 2022 Apr 27; 6(1):e32348.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35476038; PMCID: PMC9096636; DOI: 10.2196/32348;
Paluch AE, Bajpai S, Bassett DR, Carnethon MR, Ekelund U, Evenson KR, Galuska DA, Jefferis BJ, Kraus WE, Lee IM, Matthews CE, Omura JD, Patel AV, Pieper CF, Rees-Punia E, Dallmeier D, Klenk J, Whincup PH, Dooley EE, Pettee Gabriel K, Palta P, Pompeii LA, Chernofsky A, Larson MG, Vasan RS, Spartano N, Ballin M, Nordström P, Nordström A, Anderssen SA, Hansen BH, Cochrane JA, Dwyer T, Wang J, Ferrucci L, Liu F, Schrack J, Urbanek J, Saint-Maurice PF, Yamamoto N, Yoshitake Y, Newton RL, Yang S, Shiroma EJ, Fulton JE. Daily steps and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis of 15 international cohorts. Lancet Public Health. 2022 03; 7(3):e219-e228.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35247352
Zhang Y, Pathiravasan CH, Hammond MM, Liu H, Lin H, Sardana M, Trinquart L, Borrelli B, Manders ES, Kornej J, Spartano NL, Nowak C, Kheterpal V, Benjamin EJ, McManus DD, Murabito JM, Liu C. Comparison of Daily Routines Between Middle-aged and Older Participants With and Those Without Diabetes in the Electronic Framingham Heart Study: Cohort Study. JMIR Diabetes. 2022 Jan 07; 7(1):e29107.View Related Profiles. PMID: 34994694; PMCID: PMC8783285; DOI: 10.2196/29107;
Spartano NL, Himali JJ, Trinquart L, Yang Q, Weinstein G, Satizabal CL, Dukes KA, Beiser AS, Murabito JM, Vasan RS, Seshadri S. Accelerometer-Measured, Habitual Physical Activity and Circulating Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor: A Cross-Sectional Study. J Alzheimers Dis. 2022; 85(2):805-814.View Related Profiles. PMID: 34864673; DOI: 10.3233/JAD-215109;
Tarp J, Fagerland MW, Dalene KE, Johannessen JS, Hansen BH, Jefferis BJ, Whincup PH, Diaz KM, Hooker S, Howard VJ, Chernofsky A, Larson MG, Spartano NL, Vasan RS, Dohrn IM, Hagströmer M, Edwardson C, Yates T, Shiroma EJ, Dempsey PC, Wijndaele K, Anderssen SA, Lee IM, Ekelund U. Device-measured physical activity, adiposity and mortality: a harmonised meta-analysis of eight prospective cohort studies. Br J Sports Med. 2022 Jul; 56(13):725-732.View Related Profiles. PMID: 34876405
Kornej J, Murabito JM, Zhang Y, Liu C, Trinquart L, Sardana M, Manders ES, Hammond MM, Spartano NL, Pathiravasan CH, Wang X, Borrelli B, McManus DD, Benjamin EJ, Lin H. No evidence of association between habitual physical activity and ECG traits: Insights from the electronic Framingham Heart Study. Cardiovasc Digit Health J. 2022 Feb; 3(1):56-58.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35265935; PMCID: PMC8890067; DOI: 10.1016/j.cvdhj.2021.11.004;
Nayor M, Chernofsky A, Spartano NL, Tanguay M, Blodgett JB, Murthy VL, Malhotra R, Houstis NE, Velagaleti RS, Murabito JM, Larson MG, Vasan RS, Shah RV, Lewis GD. Physical activity and fitness in the community: the Framingham Heart Study. Eur Heart J. 2021 11 21; 42(44):4565-4575.View Related Profiles. PMID: 34436560; PMCID: PMC8633734; DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehab580;
This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown,
or last author.
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:
Postdoctoral Training Grant award
Pre-doctoral Training Grant award
2007-2009 Tufts University:
Friedman School of Nutrition Scholarship
2006 Syracuse University:
Biology Award for Research Excellence