Babette Zemel

Biological Anthropologist

Babette Zemel is a Biological Anthropologist in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. She has been conducting nutrition and growth research at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for over twenty years. Her areas of expertise encompass physical growth and maturation, body composition, energy expenditure, dietary intake and bone mineral accretion throughout the life span. The central question of her research mission is to characterize normal variation in growth and the factors that contribute to its variability in health and disease. She has conducted several studies of growth and skeletal development in healthy children and published pediatric reference curves for nutritional and bone health assessment. These findings are also the basis for understanding complications of childhood chronic diseases (sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, intractable epilepsy, celiac disease, Alagille syndrome, obesity, Crohn disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, cerebral palsy). Currently, she is the Co-Principal Investigator of an NIH funded genome wide association study to identify genetic variants associated with childhood bone mineral  accretion. She is also the Principal Investigator of a CDC funded study to establish new growth charts and obesity screening guidelines for children with Down syndrome. Dr. Zemel is the Associate Program Director for the Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC) and Director of the CTRC Nutrition Core, a multi-disciplinary research center and regional resource for clinical nutrition research across the life span. She is also an editor for the Annals of Human Biology, the publication of the Society for the Study of Human Biology. More details about her research program can be found at: