Jacob Kigo Kariuki

Jacob Kigo Kariuki

Associate Professor, tenure track, Assistant Director for Global Research


Dr. Kariuki is an Associate Professor and the Assistant Director for Research at the Lillian Carter Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility. Most recently, he served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing where he also coordinated the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program. His BSN is from the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton; His MSN, Post-master’s Certificate (AGNP) and PhD are from the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Dr. Kariuki’s program of research focuses on prevention of cardiometabolic diseases in high risk and underserved communities. His doctoral research focused on making cardiovascular risk assessment more accessible in underserved communities by validating and demonstrating the cost-effectiveness of a resource efficient screening algorithm. Currently, he is working on projects in the US and Africa focusing on helping insufficiently active individuals overcome common and atypical barriers to physical activity. His research team has developed a web-based physical activity intervention designed to help diverse individuals with obesity increase their physical activity. The intervention is intentionally designed to make physical activity enjoyable and convenient and can be used in any home environment irrespective of neighborhood walkability score or safety. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, awarded $792,307 in 2023 to fund a pilot efficacy trial of this intervention in a grant titled, Efficacy of a novel web-based physical activity intervention designed to promote adherence to physical activity guidelines in adults with obesity.

He has extensive teaching and curriculum development experience in areas of gerontology, preventive health, and intervention development. During his faculty practice hours, he works as a per diem Nurse Practitioner with Signify Health. His service contributions include: Senior Associate Editor at Behavioral Medicine, member of the American Heart Association (AHA) Lifestyle Physical Activity Committee, member at Large of the AHA Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing, and member of the AHA Early Career Committee of the Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health. Dr. Kariuki is also a manuscript reviewer for various journals including the Lancet Public Health, Annals of Medicine, Behavioral Medicine, Journal of Medical Internet Research, Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA), Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine, Geriatric Nursing Journal, and npj Digital Medicine.

Areas of Expertise

Global Health
Secondary Analysis of Large Datasets
Cost-Effective Analysis
Intervention Development
Physical Activity
Cardiometabolic Health


1. *Cheng, J., Costacou, T., Rockette-Wagner, B., Sereika, S. M., Conroy, M. B., Kriska, A. M., Kariuki, J. K., Klem, M. lou, Parmanto, B., & Burke, L. E. (2023). Perceived and calculated diet quality improvements in a randomized mHealth weight loss trial. https://doi.org/10.1080/08964289.2023.2178374

2. *Kariuki JK, Rockette-Wagner, B., Cheng, J., Erickson, K. I., Gibbs, B. B., Sereika, S. M., Kline, C. E., Mendez, D. D., Wayan, P. I., Bizhanova, Z., Saad, M. A. B., & Burke, L. E. (2022). Neighborhood Walkability Is Associated with Physical Activity and Prediabetes in a Behavioral Weight Loss Study: A Secondary Analysis. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12529-022-10112-7

3. *Bizhanova, Z., Sereika, S. M., Brooks, M. M., Rockette-Wagner, B., Kariuki, J. K., & Burke, L. E. (9900). Identifying Predictors of Adherence to the Physical Activity Goal: A Secondary Analysis of the SMARTER Weight Loss Trial. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/9900/Identifying_Predictors_of_Adherence_to_the.190.aspx

4. Morgan, B., Foley, K., Hodgson, N., Kolanowski, A., Strauch, K., Zionts, N., Dickson, C., Degenholtz, H., Boltz, M., Fick, D., Kariuki, J., Cai, Y., Pajerski, D., Brailsford, J., Sheikh, S., Beneciuk, J., Patel, M., Johnson, B., Li, R. M., … Spindle, N. (2022). Revisiting the teaching nursing home: Impact on nursing students’ perceptions of working in long-term care. Innovation in Aging, 6(Supplement_1), 858–858. https://doi.org/10.1093/GERONI/IGAC059.3071

5. *Burke, L.E., Sereika, S.M., Bizhanova, Z., Parmanto, B., Cheng, J., Kariuki, J.K., Beatrice, B., Cedillo, M., Loar, I., Pulantara, I.W., Wang, Y., Conroy, M.B., The Effect of Tailored, Daily Smartphone Feedback to Lifestyle Self-Monitoring on Weight Loss at 12 Months: The SMARTER Randomized Clinical Trial. JMIR, June 2022;24(6):e38243) doi: 10.2196/38243.

6. * Burke, L. E., Sereika, S. M., Parmanto, B., Bizhanova, Z., Kariuki, J. K., Cheng, J., Beatrice, B., Loar, I., Pulantara, I. W., Wang, Y., Cedillo, M., & Conroy, M. B. (2022). Effect of tailored, daily feedback with lifestyle self-monitoring on weight loss: The SMARTER randomized clinical trial. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 30(1), 75–84. https://doi.org/10.1002/OBY.23321

7. * Rockette-Wagner, B., Cheng, J., Bizhanova, Z., Kriska, A. M., Sereika, S. M., Kline, C. E., Kariuki, J. K., Mendez, D. D., & Burke, L. E. (2022). Change in Objectively Measured Activity Levels Resulting from the EMPOWER Study Lifestyle Intervention HHS Public Access. Transl J Am Coll Sports Med, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1249/tjx.0000000000000184

8. *Imes, C. C., Bizhanova, Z., Sereika, S. M., Korytkowski, M. T., Atwood, C. W., Burke, L. E., Kariuki, J., Morris, J. L., Stansbury, R., Strollo, P. J., & Chasens, E. R. (2022). Metabolic outcomes in adults with type 2 diabetes and sleep disorders. Sleep and Breathing, 26(1), 339–346. https://doi.org/10.1007/S11325-021-02408-X/METRICS

9. * Kariuki, J. K., Yang, K., Scott, P., Luyster, F. S., Godzik, C. M., Chasens, E. R., Imes, C. C., (2021). Obstructive Sleep Apnea Risk Is Associated With Severity of Metabolic Syndrome: A Secondary Analysis of the 2015-2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. J Cardiovasc Nurs.

10.  *Burke, L. E., Kline, C. E., Mendez, D. D., Shiffman, S., Chasens, E. R., Zheng, Y., Imes, C. C., Cajita, M. I., Ewing, L., Goode, R., Mattos, M., Kariuki, J. K., Kriska, A., & Rathbun, S. L. (2021). Nightly Variation in Sleep Influences Self-efficacy for Adhering to a Healthy Lifestyle: A Prospective Study. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12529-021-10022-0

11. Kariuki, J. K., Gibbs, B. B., Erickson, K. I., Kriska, A., Sereika, S., Ogutu, D., Milton, H., Wagner, L. V., Rao, N., Peralta, R., Bobb, J., Bermudez, A., Hirshfield, S., Goetze, T., & Burke, L. E. (2021). The feasibility and acceptability of a web-based physical activity for the heart (PATH) intervention designed to reduce the risk of heart disease among inactive African Americans: Protocol for a pilot randomized controlled trial. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cct.2021.106380

12. Cajita, M. I., Zheng, Y., Kariuki, J. K., Vuckovic, K. M., & Burke, L. E. (2021). mHealth Technology and CVD Risk Reduction. Current Atherosclerosis Reports, 23(7). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11883-021-00927-2

13. *Chasens, E. R., Imes, C. C., Kariuki, J. K., Luyster, F. S., Morris, J. L., DiNardo, M. M., Godzik, C. M., Jeon, B., & Yang, K. (2021). Sleep and Metabolic Syndrome. In Nursing Clinics of North America (Vol. 56, Issue 2). W.B. Saunders. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cnur.2020.10.012

14. * Kariuki JK, Gibbs BB, Rockette-Wagner B, Cheng J, Burke LE, Erickson KI, Kline, CE, Mendez, DD, Sereika, SM. Vicarious Experience in Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) Is Associated with Greater Odds of Attaining the Recommended Leisure-Time Physical Activity Levels. Int J Behav Med [Internet]. 2021 Jan 12 [cited 2021 Feb 23]; Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33438163/

15.  * Kline CE, Chasens ER, Bizhanova Z, Sereika SM, Buysse DJ, Imes CC, Kariuki, JK, Mendez, DD, Chasens, E, & Burke, LE. The association between sleep health and weight change during a 12-month behavioral weight loss intervention. Int J Obes [Internet]. 2021 Jan 7 [cited 2021 Feb 23];1–11. Available from: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41366-020-00728-8