Professor of Pediatrics and Department of Geriatrics
Director of Research Faculty Development, Arkansas Children’s Research Institute
B.Sc., Sport Sciences, The Norwegian School of Sport Sciences
B.Sc., Natural Sciences, University of Oslo, Norway
M.Sc., Physiology, University of Oslo, Norway
Ph.D., Exercise Physiology, The Norwegian School of Sport Sciences
Dr. Børsheim’s main background is in physiology, and she focuses on the relationship between physical activity in pregnancy and in childhood and lifelong health. She has a history of experience in clinical and preclinical studies of metabolism. Here at ACNC, she leads a research unit on Physical Activity, Energetics and Metabolism (PAEM) and the Physical Activity core. She directs the USDA-ARS Project Plan “Pediatric Physical Activity: Mechanisms Impacting Health and Development” and is the Director of the Metabolism and Bioenergetic Core in the Center for Childhood Obesity Prevention (CCOP) at the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute. She serves as Co-Director of the KL2 career development program at the UAMS Translational Research Institute. The translational and interdisciplinary nature of Dr. Børsheim’s work contributed to her selection as leader of the Lifespan Research to Improve Cardiometabolic Health group at UAMS, one of four interdisciplinary groups of researchers in the College of Medicine named as inaugural “Creativity Hubs,” an initiative to develop and expand collaborative, thematic research programs with high potential.
The overall aim of Dr. Børsheim’s research is to promote metabolic health starting at the beginning of life. Her research focuses on effects of fitness, physical activity, and nutrition on maternal health during pregnancy, pediatric growth and development, and cardiometabolic health throughout the lifespan, including identifying underlying biological mechanisms. Dr. Børsheim’s group collaborates broadly and has several current ongoing studies. In a large cohort of children born to normal weight, overweight or obese mothers, her team examines physical performance outcomes and other metabolic characteristics, including total energy expenditure rates and fatty acid oxidation rates using stable isotope methodologies. Another large ongoing study (The Expecting Study) includes sedentary pregnant women with obesity randomized to exercise training or standard of care during pregnancy, to determine if physical activity can attenuate negative effects of maternal obesity on metabolic outcomes in their offspring. Further, Dr. Børsheim and co-investigators examine individual associations of obesity, physical activity, and physical fitness, respectively, with cardiometabolic health in children.