Jennifer Bea, PhD

Associate Professor, Research Scholar Track, Department of Medicine

Associate Research Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences

Dr. Bea is a physiological scientist with an emphasis on body composition and chronic disease research. Specific areas of expertise include cancer survivorship, obesity, osteoporosis, sarcopenia, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Cancer survivors are known to experience accelerated aging that may include deleterious alterations in bone, muscle, body fat, and metabolic function, depending on the cancer and treatment types. These changes ultimately affect morbidity, mortality, and quality of life.

Dr. Bea is well-versed in techniques to assess body composition, metabolic function, and quality of life, as well as factors that affect these parameters, and the ability to intervene to optimize them are essential to cancer survivorship research. She has studied healthy and chronically diseased populations across the lifespan utilizing both subjective and objective measures of diet, physical activity, body composition, blood biomarkers, and genetic variation for over 15 years.

Dr. Bea contributes additional technical expertise to the University of Arizona Cancer Center (UACC) in lifestyle intervention design; anthropometry; image analysis from DXA, CT, and MRI; muscle activation and strength via electromyography and dynamometry; and several bench techniques to assay circulating biomarkers and to determine genotypic variation. This scientific experience coupled with her prior experience in health care operations and evidence based guideline development allows her to develop and test behavioral lifestyle interventions well suited for translation into the medical setting, while her experience in Cooperative Extension allows her to design appropriate interventions for translation into community settings.

Dr. Bea will continue to support the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the UACC to advance research in cancer survivorship both collectively and individually. Her work to optimize body composition in youth and the general adult population will support primary prevention of obesity related cancers.

Research Information

Research Program: 

Cancer Prevention and Control

Selected Publications: 

Dr. Bea's NCBI bibliography

Academic Information


Physiological Sciences, University of Arizona

Master's Degree: 

Exercise Physiology, Oregon State University

Undergraduate School: 

Kinesiology, Occidental College