Daniel P. O'Connor, PhD

Professor & Department Chair

     Health and Human Performance

Associate Dean for Faculty and Research

     College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences                                                                                                                             

Faculty Senate President, 2018

Fellow, HEALTH Research Institute

University of Houston

3855 Holman St, GAR 104

Houston, TX 77204-6015



Twitter & Facebook: @DanOConnorPhD


Curriculum Vitae

PubMed Bibliography

Google Scholar Profile


Interdisciplinary Health Research

The most important scientific questions about health and wellness cannot be investigated adequately by a single discipline or academic department. I have collaborated on research studies, scientific articles, presentations, grants, and proposals with more than 100 investigators from many different institutions, scientific disciplines, and health professions. See my PubMed or Google Scholar profiles to see the scope of work and collaborators.

Specific areas of interest:

·        Evaluating and explaining individual variation in health outcomes and health-related quality of life.

·        Contextual effects: how characteristics of the social and physical environments and systems affect health.

·        Physical activity, exercise, anthropometry, obesity, surgery & rehabilitation outcomes, health and wellness, quality of life.


O’Connor Group

·        Dana Ortega, MS: Project Manager

Doctoral Students:

·        Che-young (Christine) Lee: Evaluating and explaining causes and prevention of obesity, investigating individual response variability to genetics, physiological factors, and physical activity.

·        Xue Zhao: Focus on evaluating physical performance and health outcomes, and promoting physical activity and obesity control.

I also serve on dissertation committees for PhD students from other departments at UH and other universities and work with orthopedic surgery residents and fellows from the University of Texas Medical School–Houston.


Externally Funded Research

As Principal Investigator I have been awarded $7.7 million in external funding since 2007 (8 awards), and I have participated as a co-investigator in research funded by an additional $9.8 million in external awards (20 awards) in that time. Sponsoring agencies have included CDC, NASA, NIH, U.S. Department of Education, and private and public foundations.

Current active projects include:

United Health Foundation

·        Co-Principal Investigator (with Ezemenari Obasi): A Community Collaborative for Preventing and Treating Obesity in Underserved Communities in Houston. January 2017 - December 2020. (co-Principal Investigator Ezemenari M. Obasi)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

·        Co-Investigator: CMV Infection and NK-Cell Therapy for Multiple Myeloma. (Principal Investigator Richard Simpson).

·        Co-Investigator: U-HAND (University of Houston /MD Anderson) Program to Reduce Cancer Disparities. (Principal Investigator Lorraine Reitzel).

·        Consultant: Food environment measurement with people with mobility impairments. (Principal Investigator Rebecca E. Lee).

Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)

·        Co-Investigator: Taking Texas Tobacco Free: Increasing Tobacco Cessation in Substance Use Treatment Centers via an Evidence-Based, Comprehensive Tobacco-Free Workplace Program. September 2017 to August 2020. (Principal Investigator Lorraine Reitzel).

William T. Grant Foundation

·        Co-Investigator: Can Food Scholarships Reduce Inequality by Improving College Persistence Among Community College Students?  (Principal Investigator Daphne Hernandez).



 Get moving!”

       —Andrew S. “Tony” Jackson