Members

Member Name:       Adair, Linda PhD
Academic Title:       Professor of Nutrition
Member Status:       Full Member
Research Theme:    Pregnancy, Child Growth and Development

Research Abstract: Dr. Linda Adair is a human biologist/nutrition epidemiologist interested in factors influencing the health and nutrition of women, infants, and children in low and middle countries. Her work has a strong focus on women’s health with attention to environmental, socioeconomic and behavioral determinants of women’s nutritional status and related health outcomes at different stages of the lifecycle. She has led several large-scale global health and nutrition surveys and serves on the Ad Hoc Working Group on Science and Evidence of the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity.

 

Member Name:          Ammerman, Alice DrPH
Academic Title:          Professor of Nutrition
Member Status:         Full Member
Research Theme:      Nutritional Interventions and Nutrition Behaviors

Research Abstract: Dr. Alice Ammerman has strong research and practice collaborations addressing the design and testing of innovative clinical and community-based nutrition and physical activity intervention approaches for chronic disease risk reduction in primarily low income and minority populations. She also practices the identification, translation, and dissemination of evidence-based interventions for obesity and cardiovascular disease control and prevention. More recent research interests focus on school nutrition policy associated with childhood obesity, sustainable agriculture as it relates to improved nutrition, and social entrepreneurship as a sustainable approach to addressing public health concerns.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Aris, Robert MD

Academic Title:         Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care Medicine

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Robert Aris is a pulmonologist who conducts clinical research in the area of lung transplantation and the basic mechanisms of chronic lung allograft rejection. He also studies the pathogenesis and treatment of bone disease in cystic fibrosis. His NORC-related clinical research includes understanding the nutritional aspects of bone disease in patients with cystic fibrosis, in particular, the roles of calcium and vitamins D and K.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Azcarate-Peril, M. Andrea PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:    The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. M. Andrea Azcarate-Peril is a microbiologist by training with extensive experience in the characterization of complex microbial populations and functional metagenomics using culture-dependent and culture-independent methods including high-throughput sequencing methods, with a special emphasis on bioinformatics and big data management. She also studies the effects of diet on the microbiomes associated with human microenvironments.

 

 

Member Name:          Bae-Jump, Victoria MC, PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Victoria Bae-Jump’s research focuses on understanding the interactions between cell signaling pathways implicated in endometrial cancer pathogenesis as a means to target therapy for this disease. She is also interested in the impact that obesity has on endometrial cancer development and progression which may dictate different treatment options for this particularly high-risk patient population. Currently, she has a clinical trial underway which is a microarray-based endeavor to correlate gene expression patterns with clinical outcomes and parameters in endometrial cancer, including obesity, lymph node status, and recurrence risk.

 

 

Member Name:          Bardone-Cone, Anna PhD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Psychology

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Anna Bardone-Cone’s primary research interests lie in the psychological, behavioral, and cognitive predictors and biomarkers expected that influence weight relapse after weight restoration among individuals receiving inpatient treatment for anorexia nervosa. Of particular interest is the development of integrated profiles of relapse identifying those who maintain therapeutic weight and those who lose weight after therapeutic weight has been achieved. This focus is inherently tied to the concepts of recovery and remission, which have been a focus of her research for many years.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Bauserman, Melissa MD, MPH

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Member Status:        Junior Member

Research Theme:    Pregnancy, Child Growth and Development

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Melissa Bauserman specializes in pediatric medicine, but her research focuses on global public health and international nutrition. Her most recent research projects have investigated the effects of using a cereal made from caterpillars as complementary feeding on infant iron status, infectious disease morbidities, and cognitive development.

 

 

Member Name:          Beck, Melinda PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Melinda Beck’s research explores the relationship between host nutrition and immune function and response to infectious disease. Research in her laboratory has demonstrated that host deficiencies in antioxidant nutrients lead to viral mutations, which result in viruses becoming pathogenic. Her research also suggests that host nutritional status is a driving force for the emergence of infectious diseases. Her current research is focused on determining the mechanism(s) involved in inducing mutations in viruses that replicate in an oxidatively stressed host as well as understanding the effect of nutritionally-induced oxidative stress on the immune system. In addition, Dr. Beck is studying the effects of obesity on the immune response to infection.

 

 

Member Name:          Bennett, Brian PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Genetics

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and atherosclerosis have both genetic and environmental risk factors, but understanding the complex interactions between susceptibility genes and the environment has been difficult. Dr. Brian Bennett is particularly interested in using integrative genetic studies, also called systems genetics, to elucidate the genetic component of these chronic metabolic diseases. The goal of his work is to identify individual genes and/or the interaction of groups of genes, also called biologic networks, contributing to chronic disease. He recently identified gut bacterial metabolites (TMA, TMAO) formed from dietary choline and carnitine that increases risk for atherosclerosis.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Bentley, Margaret PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Pregnancy, Child Growth and Development

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Margaret Bentley is a trained medical/nutritional anthropologist whose research focus is on women’s and infants’ nutrition, infant and young child feeding, HIV and breastfeeding, and community-based interventions for improving growth and the development of young children. She has a particular expertise in qualitative and ethnographic research methods and in the application of these methods for program development and evaluation.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Berry, Diane PhD, ANP-BC, FAANP

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Nursing

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:    The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Diane Berry’s research focuses on the management and prevention of obesity, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes mellitus using community-based research in English and Spanish. Her interests include translation science focusing on dissemination and implementation using web-based and smart phone interventions. She has a broad background in community-based nutrition and exercise education and cognitive theory-based interventions for families in English and Spanish in North Carolina and Mexico.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Bortsov, Andrey MD, PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology

Member Status:       Junior Member

Research Theme:    Nutritional Interventions and Nutrition Behaviors

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Andrey Bortsov has expertise in molecular and genetic epidemiology, epigenetics, clinical study design, data management and analysis. The focus of his research is to identify candidate genetic and epigenetic predictors of persistent pain and psychological sequelae after traumatic stressful events via application of a broad variety of methods, including molecular epidemiology, bioinformatics, and statistical genetics. Additionally, Dr. Bortsov is interested how some nutrients, such as vitamin D, affect the expression of MHC genes and the risk of chronic pain development after trauma. His work is uncovering how DNA methylation interacts with genetic variants in genes linked to vulnerability to persistent pain development.

 

Member Name:          Branca, Rosa PhD

Academic Title:        Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:    The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Rosa Branca is working to develop methodology to directly measure thermogenic activity by beige fat and to assess its contribution to non-shivering thermogenesis (NST)-mediated metabolic rate. Metabolic rate will be assessed using standard calorimetric techniques, while NST activity will be measured by lipid-dissolved hyperpolarized xenon MR spectroscopy. This technique has been recently developed in her laboratory and her lab recently demonstrated that it is 20 fold more accurate than conventional 1H MR thermometry. This technique enabled them to directly detect thermogenic activity in BAT of obese phenotypes, and they are confident that it will also enable the detection of thermogenic activity by beige fat as well.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Brenman, Jay PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Jay Brenman’s studies the energy/nutrient sensor AMP-activated protein kinase, which has been implicated in regulation of metabolism as an energy sensor and controlling point balancing catabolic and anabolic pathways. His laboratory uses mouse conditional knockouts, Drosophila (fruit fly) mutant models, cell culture, and protein biochemistry to study AMPK function. This diversity of assay systems and models provides an excellent platform for understanding AMPK’s metabolic functions.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Brownley, Kimberly PhD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Much of Dr. Kimberly Brownley’ s work focuses on the psychobiology of appetite regulation including the study of hormones that signal hunger and satiety, how such hormones respond to different types of food, and the role that these hormones play in disordered eating behavior and weight gain. She is currently investigating 1) the impact of dietary chromium supplementation on eating behavior, mood, and appetite hormones in persons with binge eating disorders; 2) weight and metabolic disturbances associated with the use of atypical antipsychotic medications; 3) racial ethnic disparities in obesity; and 4) the role of gut peptides in symptom expression in Postprandial Distress Syndrome. She does addition work on biomarkers of cardiovascular disease risk in family caregivers of persons with dementia.

 

 

Member Name:          Bulik, Cynthia PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Psychiatry and Nutrition

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

A clinical psychologist by training, Dr. Cynthia Bulik has been conducting research and treating individuals with eating disorders for over three decades. Her research includes treatment, laboratory, animal, epidemiological, twin and molecular genetic studies of eating disorders and body weight regulation. More recently, she has applied information technology to the treatment of eating disorders and obesity to broaden the public health reach of her interventions.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Bultman, Scott PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Genetics

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Scott Bultman’s primary research interests include1) investigating the role of dietary fiber, gut microflora, and epigenetic events that protect against colorectal cancer; and 2) investigating the role of SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complexes in mammalian development and disease.

 

 

Member Name:          Burger, Kyle PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Burger specializes in research that combines the fields of nutrition, public health, neuroscience, psychology, and physiology to better understand and improve habitual eating behavior and health. The primary area of his research is studying how the interaction among neural responsivity, eating behavior, and psychosocial factors in response to challenges put forth by the food environment relate to habitual eating behavior and weight regulation. Ultimately, Dr. Burger aims to gain a better understanding of individual difference factors that impact ingestive behavior, specifically those contributing to weight gain and obesity, and will utilize this knowledge as a framework to design and empirically test theory-based healthful eating programs, obesity prevention and treatment interventions and better inform food policy legislation.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Burks, Wesley MD

Academic Title:         Professor of Pediatrics

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Burks is the Physician-in-Chief at UNC’s North Carolina Children’s Hospital, but maintains an active translational food allergy research program. His research focuses on asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, and other childhood allergic diseases, with a special interest in anaphylaxis and food allergy. Dr. Burks is an international leader in the development of immunotherapy for food allergy.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Buse, John MD, PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Buse’s research group largely focuses on multi-center clinical trials in diabetes, its complications and comorbidities in order to develop prevention strategies and improved therapeutics. As a clinician, he is personally committed to developing cutting-edge prevention and intervention methods for the treatment of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. His current research focuses on helping patients achieve optimum diabetes control through diet, exercise, and insulin dosage adjustment procedures. He also focuses on examining the safety and preservation of stimulated c-peptide responses to oral glucose, fats, and proteins.

 

 

Member Name:          Cao, Wenhong MD

Academic Title:         Research Associate Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Wenhong Cao has been trying to find new and more effective ways to prevent and treat obesity and diabetes by investigating the mechanisms of obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) for nearly two decades. As an independent investigator, he has worked on several projects supported by American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, NIH, and pharmaceutical companies (GSK and Atherogenics).

 

 

Member Name:          Carroll, Ian PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Member Status:       Junior Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

The goals of Dr. Ian Carroll’s research are to determine the mechanisms through which specific members of the intestinal microbiota influence gastrointestinal physiology, adiposity, and behavior. His laboratory has developed and validated techniques to collect and store biological human and murine samples for microbiological analyses. His also examines the precise mechanism(s) by which enteric microbes contribute to dysregulation of body weight, anxiety, and stress in AN patients.

 

 

Member Name:          Cheatham, Carol PhD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Psychology and Nutrition

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:    Nutritional Interventions and Nutrition Behaviors

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Carol Cheatham is a developmental cognitive neuroscientist whose research involves the interplay between nutrition and brain development. She is currently studying the effects of nutrients (e.g., fatty acids, choline, iron, zinc) on the development and functioning of the hippocampus and frontal lobes, brain structures that are integral to the formation and retrieval of memories and to higher-order cognition. She is also assessing the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on declarative memory using behavioral and electrophysiological (event-related potential) paradigms.

 

 

Member Name:          Clemmons, David MD

Academic Title:         Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. David Clemmons’ laboratory is interested in how integral membrane proteins and proteins in the pericellular environment interact with the IGF receptor to regulate IGF-I receptor linked signaling. A second area of study concerns positive modulation of cellular actions by the receptor, which will help determine how IGF-I regulates cellular function.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Coleman, Rosalind MD

Academic Title:         Professor of Nutrition and Pediatrics

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Rosalind Coleman’s studies investigate lipid metabolism, particularly triacylglycerol biosynthesis and its critical regulated pathways in liver, muscle, heart, and adipocytes. She is particularly interested in understanding the controls on triacylglycerol synthesis and acyl-CoA partitioning. Using recombinant enzyme isoforms, knockout mice and cell culture models, members of her lab are identifying the regulatory controls on enzymes that commit acyl-CoAs to either beta-oxidation or to storage as complex lipids. These studies will enable us to understand and treat disorders that involve disturbed lipid metabolism, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

 

 

Member Name:          Crandell, Jamie PhD

Academic Title:        Research Assistant Professor of Nursing and Biostatistics

Member Status:       Junior Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Jamie Crandell is a Biostatistician with significant experience in the design and analysis of epidemiological studies, including studies involving diet assessment. Many of her collaborations, including several with Dr. Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, have included some form of dietary data, and she has published several peer-reviewed papers relating CVD/diabetes outcomes to dietary intake.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Damania, Blossom PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

The work in Dr. Blossom Damania’s laboratory is focused on understanding the molecular pathogenesis of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). Her lab studies how the virus transforms cells and persists in them, as well as the basic cellular and viral mechanisms that determine how KSHV is able to maintain the latent and lytic phases of its lifecycle. Essentially, Dr. Damania is interested in the study of viral oncogenes and viral transcription factors of KSHV, host-pathogen interactions, and innate immunity. The projects in her laboratory encompass the areas of signal transduction, apoptosis, angiogenesis, innate immunity, transcription, and recombinant herpesvirus production.

 

 

Member Name:          Daniels, Julie PhD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Maternal and Child Health

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:    Pregnancy, Child Growth and Development

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Julie Daniels’ research as an environmental/pediatric epidemiologist focuses on nutritional, lifestyle, and environmental/pharmaceutical exposures during the perinatal period that may impact child health and development. She is specifically interested in the perinatal risk factors (including nutrition) for autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Davis, Richard MD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Ophthalmology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Richard Davis’ research interests are in the fields of dissemination and implementation research.  Specifically, his focus is on the community translation of evidence-based findings that improve health care practice and the health of adults with chronic diseases, particularly diabetes.  Part of his research involved evaluation of an intervention that conducted diabetes self-management training by expert providers for adults with diabetes in underserved communities.

 

 

Member Name:          de Villena, Fernando Pardo-Manuel, PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Genetics

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:     The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

The overall goal of the research in Dr. Fernando Pardo-Manuel de Villena’s laboratory is to develop novel methods to characterize complex genetic traits. His research interests include evolution, mouse genetics, epigenetics, female meiosis, chromosome segregation, and meiotic drive. Ongoing projects involve population genetics of inbred strains, the role of epistatic selection during population admixture and inbreeding, and molecular dissection of meiotic drive in the mouse.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Du, Shufa PhD

Academic Title:         Research Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Shufa Du is a nutritional epidemiologist interested in how underlying factors such as education, income, and socioeconomic status affect dietary behaviors and physical activity/inactivity and then health outcomes including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity.

 

 

Member Name:          Erinosho, Temitope PhD

Academic Title:         Research Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Nutritional Interventions and Nutrition Behaviors

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Temitope Erinosho’s research interests focus on the role nutrition, physical activity, and obesity in cancer prevention, with special emphasis on children, racial and ethnic minorities, and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. Her research includes projects that 1) examine nutrition practices of child care centers and the dietary intakes of children attending the centers; 2) assess the impact of child care center policies on caregiver behaviors during mealtimes at child care centers; and 3) evaluate the quality of foods and beverages offered to preschool children in child care centers using the Healthy Eating Index-2005.

 

 

Member Name:          Faith, Myles PhD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Pregnancy, Child Growth and Development

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Myles Faith studies familial influences on the development of child eating patterns and obesity. He seeks to understand 1) how parents foster obesity risk or resilience in their children and 2) the role of nature and nurture in childhood obesity onset. His work also focuses on lifestyle interventions for childhood obesity treatment and prevention. Additionally, Dr. Faith has collaborated on various school- and primary care-based interventions to prevent childhood obesity.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Ferris, Maria MD, MPH, PhD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Maria Ferris is interested in the epidemiology of kidney diseases, obesity as it relates to kidney disease, early markers of kidney disease, and prenatal diagnosis of kidney/urinary tract abnormalities. Her clinical interests also include hypertension, renal epidemiology, and environmental impact on kidney development.

 

 

Member Name:          Floris-Moore, Michelle MD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Michelle Floris-Moore is an infectious disease specialist whose research focuses on the metabolic and cardiovascular complications of HIV.

 

 

Member Name:          Fredrickson, Barbara PhD

Academic Title:         Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Nutritional Interventions and Nutrition Behaviors

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Barbara Fredrickson is interested in how positive emotions affect people’s thinking patterns, social behavior, health, and physiological reactions. Her ultimate goal is to understand how positive emotions might accumulate and compound to transform people’s lives for the better. Research techniques in Dr. Fredrickson’s lab include analyzing reactivity in people’s autonomic nervous systems and facial muscles. She is also an expert in asking people to report on their subjective experiences of emotions and emotion-related experiences using both on-line and retrospective techniques.

 

 

Member Name:          Fry, Rebecca PhD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:    Pregnancy, Child Growth and Development

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Rebecca Fry’s lab focuses on understanding how environmental exposures are associated with human disease with a particular focus on genomic and epigenomic perturbations. Using environmental toxicogenomics and systems biology approaches, she aims to identify key molecular pathways that associate environmental exposure with diseases. A current focus of her lab is to study prenatal exposure , via diet and water, to various types of metals including arsenic, cadmium, and lead, with the goal of understanding molecular mechanisms by which such early exposures are associated with long-term health effects in humans.

 

Member Name:          Galanko, Joseph PhD

Academic Title:         Research Assistant Professor of Medicine

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Joseph Galanko is a Biostatistician whose research involves applied statistics in medical settings, case-control studies, regression modelling, survival analysis and gene-environment interaction analyses. His recent publications and grants explore the association between diet and cancer.

 

Member Name:         Gammon, Marilie PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Epidemiology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Marilie Gammon’s research interests include 1) the epidemiology of breast cancer risk and survival, 2) the epidemiology of esophageal cancer risk and survival by histologic subtype, 3) nutritional and environmental risk factors, 4) exogenous hormone use, and 5) molecular epidemiology.

 

Member Name:          Gaylord, Susan PhD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Susan Gaylord is the Director of the UNC Program on Integrative Medicine and an expert in alternative and complementary therapies, particularly mindfulness-based interventions for irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, and reduction in risk for pre-diabetic African Americans.

 

Member Name:          Golin, Carol MD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Health Behavior

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Carol Golin is engaged in research on the development and assessment of behavioral interventions to enhance compliance and health care for persons living with HIV/AIDS and access to care for incarcerated persons. In addition, she studies the influence of patient-provider communication on health outcomes with a particular interest in the effects of enhanced patient participation in medical decision-making. Dr. Golin is also interested in behavioral interventions to prevent the secondary spread of HIV, as well as nutrition for HIV patients and its relevance in maintaining good health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Member Name:          Gordon-Larsen, Penny PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Penny Gordon-Larsen’s professional interests primarily relate to population-based trends, determinants and consequences of weight gain, with particular emphasis on issues related to ethnicity, disparities, and development of obesity over the lifecycle. Her NIH-funded research explores individual susceptibility to environmental context, focusing on genetic and environmental determinants of weight gain, as well as Geographic Information Systems research.

 

 

Member Name:          Hales, Derek PhD

Academic Title:        Research Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Nutritional Interventions and Nutrition Behaviors

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Derek Hales’ training and experience lies in measuring physical activity and the environmental, social, and personal factors that relate to physical activity behavior. He also has experience working with mediation models and examining the relationships between physical activity behavior and factors thought to influence this behavior.

 

 

Member Name:          Hanson, Laura MD, MPH

Academic Title:         Professor of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:     Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Laura Hanson is a clinical geriatrician and palliative care physician with training in epidemiology and health services research. She leads a program of research to measure and improve quality of health care for older patients made vulnerable by frailty, serious illness, or advanced dementia. Her recent studies include the development and testing of quality measures for hospice and palliative care, quality improvement interventions to enhance care in nursing homes, community-based supportive care for African-Americans with cancer, and NIH-funded clinical trials to improve the quality of decision-making and quality of care for patients with advanced dementia.

 

Member Name:          Heiss, Gerardo MSc, PhD

Academic Title:         Kenan Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Gerardo Heiss has conducted numerous studies dealing with atherosclerosis risk in communities (ARIC), as well as the association of multiple anthropometrics of overweight and obesity with incident heart failure and coronary heart disease.

 

Member Name:          Hernandez, Michelle, MD, PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Michelle Hernandez’s research focuses on examining the impact of IL-1β on lower airway inflammatory responses in asthmatics, and in the design of interventions, including dietary antioxidants, to mitigate these effects. Her lab specifically focuses on modulation of IL-1 β and its effects on neutrophilic airway inflammation through IL-1 blockade and through antioxidant interventions.

 

 

Member Name:          Herring, Amy ScD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Biostatistics

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Amy Herring’s research interests and statistical expertise include longitudinal data, missing data methods, latent variables, hierarchical and multilevel models, and exposure assessment. She also focuses on dietary intake, physical activity, body weight, and toxic metal exposure (from diet and drinking water) in her research work.

 

 

Member Name:          Hodges, Eric PhD, APRN, BC

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Nursing

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Eric Hodges studies the role of feeding interactions in children’s development of self-regulation of eating and subsequent weight status. He co-developed the Responsiveness to Child Feeding Cues Scale (RCFCS) and has served as PI on three studies that have used the RCFCS to determine patterns of feeding responsiveness among low-income, African-American mother-infant dyads based on data collected as part of the Infant Care, Feeding, and Risk of Obesity Study.

 

 

Member Name:          Hursting, Stephen PhD, MPH

Academic Title:         Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Stephen Hursting is interested in diet-gene interactions relevant to cancer prevention, particularly the molecular and hormonal mechanisms underlying associations between energy balance and cancer.

 

 

Member Name:          Ideraabdullah, Folami PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Genetics

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

The focus of Dr. Folami Ideraabdullah’s lab is to understand the mechanism of gene-environment interactions by examining the genetic basis of epigenetic response to nutrition and environmental toxicants. The goal is to identify and characterize genetic (naturally occurring and induced) and environmental (toxicant and nutritional) causes of DNA methylation disruption during embryonic development and to determine their aggregate role in disease.

 

 

 

 

Member Name:          Jarskog, L Fredrik, MD

Academic Title:         Clinical Professor of Psychiatry

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Fredrik Jarskog’s research background includes studying the potential efficacy of drugs with novel mechanisms of action, with a particular focus on neuroprotective mechanisms, to enhance standard antipsychotic therapies. He is also very interested in targeting cognitive deficits associated with schizophrenia. Many of the drugs that Dr. Jarskog studies causes weight gain in patients and he will work with the NORC to identify these relationships.

 

 

 

 

Member Name:          Jaspers, Ilona PhD
Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Member Status:        Full Member
Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

Research Abstract:
Dr. Ilona Jaspers’ research focuses on mechanisms by which factors such as nutrition, pre-existing diseases, and co-exposures to environmental agents modify mucosal host defense responses. Her current research projects are studying the effects of smoking on respiratory mucosal immune responses, the effects of air pollutants on respiratory virus infections, and the effects of nutritional supplementation on viral infections.

 

Member Name:         Jones, Corbin PhD
Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Biology and Genetics
Member Status:       Full Member
Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

Research Abstract:
The goal of Dr. Corbin Jones’ research is to identify, clone, and characterize the evolution of genes underlying natural adaptations in order to determine the types of genes involved in adaptive evolution, how many and what types of genetic changes occurred, and the evolutionary history of these changes. His specific areas of research include genetic analyses of adaptations and interspecific differences in Drosophila, molecular evolution and population genetics of new genes, and evolutionary analysis of QTL and genomic data.

 

 

Member Name:          Kappelman, Michael MD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Member Status:       Junior Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Michael Kappelman is a pediatric gastroenterologist with interests in epidemiology and health services research in pediatric inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). His recent work includes a study of practice variation in the management of pediatric Crohn’s disease, and a descriptive epidemiological study of IBD in the United States. His current work is focused on 1) analyzing the utilization of resources and economic impact of IBD, and 2) studying the quality of care in this patient population.

 

 

Member Name:          Kashuba, Angela BScPhm, PharmD

Academic Title:         Professor of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Angela Kashuba’s research focuses on the clinical pharmacology of antiretroviral agents used in the treatment of HIV infection. She investigates the role of antiretroviral therapy in preventing the transmission of HIV, optimal dosing and drug combinations for the treatment of HIV infection, understanding and predicting drug-drug and drug-cytokine interactions and adverse effects, and role of sex and ethnicity in drug disposition.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Keku, Temitope MSPH, PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Temitope Keku carries out translational research that combines basic science with epidemiology to gain a better understanding of the etiology and pathogenesis of GI diseases. Her research targets genetic and molecular epidemiology of cancer, particularly colorectal cancer and the assessment of the contribution of genetic and non-genetic factors (diet-microflora interactions) to colon cancer susceptibility. She also works to identify germ-line or tumor characteristics associated with cancer risk and clinical outcomes and novel biomarkers for early detection to define risk groups for prevention.

 

 

Member Name:          Keyserling, Thomas MD

Academic Title:         Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Nutritional Interventions and Nutrition Behaviors

 

Research Abstract:

During the last 20 years, Dr. Thomas Keyserling has been involved with a variety of community-based randomized trials of behavioral interventions designed to reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease in low-income and disadvantaged populations. These studies have focused on improving both dietary and physical activity behaviors and outcomes have included change in blood cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, and physical activity as measured by accelerometer technology. More recently, Dr. Keyserling has been involved in trials of behavioral interventions to improved diabetes self-care in African Americans with type 2 diabetes.

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Member Name:          Klett, Eric MD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Eric Klett is a practicing physician-scientist with clinical training in internal medicine and endocrinology/metabolism. His current research focuses on the role of intracellular lipid metabolism on beta-cell insulin secretion. His also focuses on the role of the enzymes of fatty acid metabolism on pancreatic beta-cell function and the regulation of these enzymes through exogenous/dietary fatty acids.

 

 

Member Name:         Knickmeyer-Santelli, Rebecca PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Member Status:       Junior Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

The objective of Dr. Rebecca Knickmeyer-Santelli’s research program is to identify genes and molecular pathways associated with altered brain development in infancy and early childhood. She has a particular expertise in the mechanisms which modulate the differential vulnerability to and expression of psychiatric illness in each sex, the role of diet and the gut microbiome in neurodevelopment, and the impact of maternal depression and its treatment on fetal brain development.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Kohlmeier, Martin MD

Academic Title:         Research Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Nutritional Interventions and Nutrition Behaviors

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Martin Kohlmeier has been an active nutrition researcher and educator for almost forty years, using in-silico, in- vitro and animal studies, clinical trials of nutrients and other dietary supplement ingredients, and national nutrition surveys. Over the years, he has developed novel biochemical and computational methods for the assessment of dietary intake and nutrient adequacy.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Krupenko, Natalia PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Natalia Krupenko’s research is focused on the role of folate (vitamin B9) in promoting health and preventing disease in humans. Folate deficiency has been connected with increased risk for neural tube defects, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Recently, however, concerns have been raised regarding the adverse effects of over-supplementation with the vitamin. Dr. Krupenko’s goal is to determine the best ways to utilize health-protective properties of folate and prevent the possibility of its adverse effects in humans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Member Name:          Krupenko, Sergey PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Sergery Krupenko’s research focuses on vitamin folate and its role in liver function and cancer disease. His goal is to understand how we can fight cancer by controlling the diet and nutrient supplements. His research is directed toward understanding mechanisms of cellular regulation by folate pathways. Particular focus is on the role of the major folate enzyme, 10-formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase (FDH, ALDH1L1), in cell and organ homeostasis, and how its deregulation promotes pathological conditions

 

 

 

Member Name:          Lee, Craig PharmD, PhD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

The overall objective of Dr. Craig Lee’s research program is to improve our understanding of the key mechanisms underlying inter-individual variability in drug response as a means to develop novel therapeutic strategies that will improve public health. His research interests include the role of genomics in the development, progression and treatment of cardiovascular disease, with a focus on fatty acid and eicosanoid metabolism, inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Leeman, Jennifer DrPH, MDIV

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Nursing

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Jennifer Leeman’s research explores ways to effectively translate, disseminate, and implement the findings from research to improve practice. She is the Co-PI for a CDC-funded Center that provides training and evidence to support public health practitioners’ obesity prevention efforts nationwide. She has also conducted and published multiple systematic reviews identifying factors related to disseminating and implementing change in practice and has extensive experience working to disseminate evidence into practice.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Linnan, Laura ScD

Academic Title:         Professor of Health Behavior

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Nutritional Interventions and Nutrition Behaviors

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Laura Linnan’s applied intervention research aims to prevent and control chronic diseases, e.g. cancer, CVD/stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. She and her team apply community-based participatory research principles to plan, deliver and evaluate interventions in collaboration with individuals from worksites, colleges/universities, beauty/barber shops, public libraries, and other settings. She also designs/develops innovative, mixed method, process and outcome evaluations.

 

 

Member Name:          Lund, Pauline PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Cell and Molecular Physiology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Pauline Lund’s research focuses on growth factors, cytokine interactions in gastrointestinal disease, and stem cells and obesity. The Lund Lab currently has three major funded research projects focused on normal and cancer associated intestinal stem cells, colorectal cancer, and fibrosis in inflammatory bowel diseases.

 

 

 

Member Name:         Lytle, Leslie PhD, MS, RD

Academic Title:         Professor and Chair of Health Behavior

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Leslie Lytle’s research focus is health promotion of youth and young adults, particularly preventing obesity and promoting healthful diet and physical activity through school, family, and environmental approaches. She has been the PI for several large National Institutes of Health (NIH) studies, including CATCH (NHLBI), TEENS (NCI), TAAG (NHLBI), IDEA (NCI), ECHO (NHLBI) and CHOICES (NHLBI) and has served on many expert panels for NIH and CDC. She has taught courses in theories of health behavior change, community nutrition interventions, and the behavioral and social aspects of health.

 

 

 

 

Member Name:          Mackman, Nigel PhD

Academic Title:         John Parker Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Nigel Mackman studies gene expression in human monocytes, focusing on tissue factor (the primary cellular initiator of blood coagulation) and TNFα. His lab investigates the role of tissue factor in diet-induced obesity, hemostasis, thrombosis, ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury, tumor growth, and tumor angiogenesis.

 

 

Member Name:          Maeda, Nobuyo PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Nobuyo Maeda is interested in the genetics and molecular pathology of atherosclerosis. Her lab’s approach consists of a series of experiments with mice carrying modifications in various genes specifying components important in lipid transport and clearance, and in genes important for the maintenance of vascular function and antioxidant defense. Using the spontaneous atherosclerosis in mice lacking apolipoprotein E as a basis, Dr. Maeda has been studying interactions between genetic, nutritional, and environmental factors, and the effects of atherogenesis on other common disease conditions such as insulin resistance, diabetes, and hypertension.

 

 

 

 

 

Member Name:          Makowski, Liza PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Liza Makowski’s expertise lies in metabolism, inflammation, mouse models, macrophage biology, and nutrient sensitive signaling pathways. The research focus of her lab is to understand metabolic reprogramming of immune cells wherein the goal is to identify novel pathways to manipulate substrate metabolism in efforts to limit the pathogenesis of complex diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer.

 

 

Member Name:          Mann, John Douglas MD

Academic Title:         Professor of Neurology and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. J. Douglas Mann’s major research interests include the treatment of chronic daily headache, migraine, painful peripheral neuropathy, and other chronic pain syndromes using acupuncture, mind-body therapies, and nutritional supplements. He is also interested in complementary and alternative medicine.

 

 

 

Member Name:          May, Philip PhD

Academic Title:         Research Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Philip May’s currently studies the prevalence and epidemiological characteristics of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Studies to help refine diagnostic criteria for FASD, the neurobehavioral characteristics of FASD, maternal risk and protective factors for FASD, and prevention of FASD are specific foci of his research. As his previous investigations have linked body mass and nutrition to the severity of FASD outcomes, targeted nutritional investigations provide a better understanding of FASD etiology, intervention, and prevention.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Mayer, Deborah PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN

Academic Title:         Professor of Nursing

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Deborah Mayer is an advanced practice oncology nurse who has consulted with organizations on issues to improve cancer care and has over 30 years of cancer nursing practice, education, research, and management experience. Dr. Mayer’s research interests include cancer survivorship issues and eHealth applications. Her current research includes cancer survivors’ information-seeking and lifestyle behaviors, emergency department utilization by oncology patients, and interactive cancer communication directed physical activity enhancement for colon cancer survivors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Member Name:          Mayer-Davis, Elizabeth PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:    Nutritional Interventions and Nutrition Behaviors

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Elizabeth Mayer-Davis studies the epidemiology and natural history of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children and adults. Her work involves translational research to develop, implement, and evaluate interventions designed to facilitate improvement in diabetes self-management, metabolic status, and quality of life for individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who live in medically underserved communities.

 

 

Member Name:          McCarthy, Ken PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Pharmacology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Ken McCarthy’s laboratory investigates the role of astrocyte signaling in brain function. A primary goal of his research is to determine how astrocytes and neurons are signaling one another and the functional outcome of neuron astrocyte conversation. Through a combination of 2-photon imaging in live animals, electrophysiological, and behavioral studies using genetically-engineered mice, his lab hopes to begin unraveling the role of these cells in neurophysiology and disease.

 

 

Member Name:          Mendez, Michelle PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Michelle Mendez is a nutritional epidemiologist whose research focuses primarily on dietary exposures and health outcomes such as obesity and related disorders, neurodevelopment, and cancer. She has a particular interest in methodological strategies for improving the measurement and analysis of dietary factors. She also conducts research on food-borne contaminants as well as food groups and diet patterns, in an effort to better understand synergies within the food chain, including pathways through which beneficial dietary components may help to modify health risks of contaminant exposures. Her research explores inequalities in dietary and contaminant exposures that may contribute to health disparities. The goal of her work is to gain greater insights on the role of diet in health as well as assessing synergies with non-dietary factors.

 

 

Member Name:         Meyer, Katie ScD, MPH

Academic Title:         Research Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Katie Meyer is a nutritional and CVD epidemiologist with expertise in diet assessment, biomarkers of oxidative stress, and inflammation. Her long-term career goal is to understand heterogeneity in nutrient metabolism with respect to effects on CVD. Her specific research efforts focus on trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), a metabolite of dietary choline and L-carnitine, and the development of coronary artery calcium (CAC). TMAO is dependent on specific (and individually-variable) gut microbial-activity for its production from dietary precursors. The gut microbiome has a central role in metabolic variability to dietary exposures and is also a modifiable target for intervention.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Mohlke, Karen PhD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Genetics

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Karen Mohlke’s primary research interests involve identifying new genetic loci associated with complex diseases and traits, prioritizing disease- and trait-associated SNPs for functional follow-up, and investigating the functional mechanism underlying genetic associations. Her lab has conducted genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in human population studies and have used the GWAS approach to identify hundreds of new genetic loci associated with type 2 diabetes, obesity, cholesterol levels, metabolic traits, and cardiovascular risk factors. Dr. Mohlke also studies how genetic variants interact with environmental factors to influence the underlying biology of complex diseases and traits.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Neher, Saskia PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Saskia Neher’s lab seeks to better understand the maturation and regulation of a group of human lipases. She aims to uncover how these lipases properly fold and exit the ER, and how their activity is subsequently regulated. Dr. Neher studies the membrane-bound and secreted proteins that play a role in lipase regulation. This research can potentially impact human health as biochemical deficiencies in lipase activity can cause hypertriglyceridemia and associated disorders, such as diabetes and atherosclerosis.

 

 

 

 

Member Name:          Ng, Shu Wen PhD

Academic Title:         Research Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Nutritional Interventions and Nutrition Behaviors

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Shu Wen Ng is a health economist interested in studying the role of dietary change and shifts in physical activity patterns in weight gain among those experiencing rapid economic and social change. She has done work in China, Mexico, and in the Middle East and is interested in studying populations where people who may have previously had limited access to food and other services are suddenly experiencing improved economic opportunities that provide the possibility for new diets or luxuries. Some of her work involves investigating the basis for using food-pricing policies to influence dietary consumption, and how people and households spend time in food-related or physical activities across all domains of daily living.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Nicholson, Wanda MD, MPH, MBA

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Pregnancy, Child Growth and Development

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Wanda Nicholson is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and a perinatal epidemiologist. Her research career has focused on contributing to a better understanding of excess morbidity in pregnant and post-partum women with complicating chronic illnesses. She has substantial clinical training in women’s health, research expertise in obesity and diabetes, experience as a principal investigator of related studies in women’s health and experience in conducting focus groups and in depth interviews with African American breast and endometrial cancer survivors.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Niculescu, Mihai MD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:        Junior Member

Research Theme:     Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Mihai Niculescu is studying epigenetics and nutrition. This kind of research will help to explain how diet sets the “switches” that control gene expression. Specifically, Dr. Niculescu is investigating the role that a mother’s diet plays in how her fetus’ brain develops. His current interest focuses on the roles that maternal obesity and omega-3 fatty acids have upon the epigenetic regulation of fetal and postnatal brain development.

 

 

Member Name:          Noah, Terry MD

Academic Title:         Professor of Pediatrics

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Terry Noah is an expert in pediatric pulmonology. His current research is focused on investigating the effects of obesity on immunologic responses to influenza vaccine in adults. He has helped develop a useful research model for translational studies investigating the effects of air pollutants on respiratory viral infections in human volunteers. This model became a core feature of two NIH R01 grants in collaboration with Dr. Ilona Jaspers. He also collaborates with Dr. Melinda Beck investigating the relationship between obesity and influenza infections.

 

 

 

Member Name:          North, Kari PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Epidemiology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

The North lab has an overall goal of understanding the complex genetic and environmental etiology of common human diseases and their risk factors. To date, Dr. Kari North’s research has primarily focused on identifying the genetic and environmental influences of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its risk factors, such as obesity, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. Moreover, she is particularly interested in exploring the interaction of genetic factors with environmental risk factors in the pathogenesis of CVD.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Olshan, Andrew PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Epidemiology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Pregnancy, Child Growth and Development

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Andrew Olshan’s studies the molecular epidemiology of cancers of the head and neck and the evaluation of risk factors for childhood cancer. He is conducting a national study of neuroblastoma that examines gene and gene-exposure interactions as potential risk factors. His head and neck cancer studies focus on gene-environment interaction involving variation in genes involved in the metabolism of tobacco and alcohol and repair of DNA damage. His other related projects have examined environmental, clinical, and genetic predictors of survival among cancer patients.

 

 

Member Name:          Perreira, Krista PhD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Public Policy

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Krista Perreira is a health economist who studies disparities in health, education, and economic well-being and inter-relationships between family, health and social policy. Focusing on children in immigrant families, her most recent work combines qualitative and quantitative methodologies to study migration from Latin America and the health and educational consequences of migration. Through her research, she aims to develop programs and policies to improve the well-being of immigrant families and their children.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Pignone, Michael MD

Academic Title:         Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Michael Pignone’s research is focused on chronic disease prevention and treatment and on improving medical decision-making. His main areas of interest include heart disease prevention, colorectal cancer screening, and management of common chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart failure. He has also developed and tested interventions to mitigate literacy-related health disparities and to improve the use of appropriate preventive services.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Pomp, Daniel PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Genetics and Cell and Molecular Physiology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Pomp’s research is focused on the genetics of growth, obesity, and body weight regulation in animal models. Using polygenic mouse models and high-throughput approaches integrating genomics and physiology, the Pomp lab identifies genes underlying predisposition to obesity, and studies how these genes interact with each other and with nutritional interventions. They have also begun to apply their research populations and methods to investigate polygenic and dietary obesity risk factors for mammary and colon cancer susceptibility.

 

 

Member Name:          Popkin, Barry PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Barry Popkin’s research focuses on diet, physical activity, and obesity-related research patterns, and determinants and consequences in both the US and globally. Much of his work has focused on the concept of the “Nutrition Transition,” the study of the dynamic shifts in dietary intake and physical activity patterns and trends and obesity and other nutrition-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs). His research group focuses on understanding global shifts in stages of the transition and programs and policies to improve the population health linked with this transition (see www.nutrans.org).  He also has a second major set of projects leading one of the first U.S. studies (and in logical continuation, in Mexico) on the food system using industry data to understand consumer behavior and the food supply, and to use that new knowledge for research and evaluation work.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Reuland, Dan MD, MPH

Academic Title:         Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Dan Reuland is a general internist and health services researcher whose main research interests currently fall into two main areas. The first is enhancing our understanding of how to improve cancer control communication in primary care for diverse patient populations. Specifically, he has focused on addressing barriers to colorectal cancer screening faced by Hispanic/ Latino populations, as well as barriers faced by other vulnerable groups including Medicaid populations, other racial/ethnic minorities, and populations with low health literacy.

 

 

 

 

Member Name:          Ringel-Kulka, Tamar MD

Academic Title:         Research Assistant Professor of Maternal and Child Health

Member Status:       Junior Member

Research Theme:     Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Tamar Ringel-Kulka’s research interests include intestinal microbiota in healthy children and young adults, obesity and eating disorders, and targeting probiotic products for the pediatric population.

 

Member Name:          Robinson, Donita PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Alcohol Studies

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Donita Robinson’s research explores the neurodynamics of reinforcement pathways in the brain by using animal models of motivated behavior. Her research goals are to understand the interplay of corticostriatal and mesostriatal circuits involved in drug- and food-motivated behavior, adolescent vulnerability to addiction, and consequences of drug exposure, in order to identify novel pharmacological and behavioral treatment strategies. Dr. Robinson also examines corticostriatal circuitry underlying alcohol seeking and drinking by recording real-time neuronal firing and dopamine release while rats self-administer alcohol. She investigates “habit” circuitry during alcohol-seeking behavior as well as conditioned responses to alcohol cues, both of which may contribute to resistance to behavioral change in alcohol use disorders.

 

 

Member Name:          Rosamond, Wayne PhD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Emergency Medicine

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Wayne Rosamond’s research activities involve cardiovascular disease epidemiology, community surveillance, and medical care quality improvement. He is also involved in studies of the etiology of myocardial infarction, heart failure, sudden cardiac death, venous thromboembolism, and stroke.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Ryan, Eric PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Exercise and Sport Science

Member Status:       Junior Member

Research Theme:     Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Eric Ryan’s research interests include the non-invasive assessment of neuromuscular function. Specifically, recent areas of focus from his lab have examined the influence of aging, occupation, nutritional supplementation, and training on explosive strength and passive properties of the muscle-tendon unit. Dr. Ryan also examines the relationship between various neuromuscular characteristics and occupational and athletic performance.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Samuel-Hodge, Carmen PhD

Academic Title:         Research Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:     The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Research conducted by Dr. Carmen Samuel-Hodge involves: 1) psychosocial and behavioral issues related to lifestyle behavior change (diet and physical activity) and weight management; 2) intervention research focused on nutrition issues related to chronic disease risk reduction and self-management; 3) health disparities and translational research; 4) diabetes self-management education strategies using lay diabetes advisors; and 5) family and community-based interventions. She is also interested in the measurement of psychosocial factors associated with chronic illness and weight management, particularly among lower income populations and African Americans with chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.

 

Member Name:          Sethupathy, Praveen PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Genetics

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Praveen Sethupathy seeks to define the role of non-coding RNAs in gene regulatory networks that contribute to the molecular pathology of complex diseases, with a primary focus on metabolic syndromes. His lab investigates: 1) the contribution of small RNA networks to gene expression dynamics; 2) small RNA mediated regulation of lipid/glucose metabolic homeostasis; 3) non-coding RNAs as both biomarkers of physiologic status and therapeutic targets; 4) regulatory variants within the microRNA regulome that predispose to disease; 5) novel forms of intercellular communication via regulated transfer of small RNAs.

 

 

 

Member Name:         Shanahan, Lilly PhD, MS

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Psychology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

The overarching aim of Dr. Lilly Shanahan’s research is to understand the role of risk and protective factors in the development of mental (and physical) health from childhood to young adulthood. She has drawn on developmental science frameworks, including developmental psychopathology, developmental epidemiology, and family systems theory to conduct this work, and has used and contributed to a number of longitudinal studies, including the Penn State Family Relationships Project at The Pennsylvania State University, The Great Smoky Mountains Study at Duke University, and the Right Track Project at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

 

 

 

 

Member Name:         Shay, Christina PhD, MA

Academic Title:         Research Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Christina Shay is an early career investigator with specialized doctoral and post-doctoral training in cardiovascular disease and diabetes epidemiology. She has expertise in the management, analysis, and interpretation of data regarding obesity, dietary intake, and physical activity from several large prospective cohort studies.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Sheridan, Patricia PhD

Academic Title:         Research Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Sheridan’s research can be broadly described as determining how diet alters inflammatory processes in the brain. Her current research is designed to investigate the mechanism(s) by which vitamin E influences T cell trafficking and subsequent pathological outcomes following herpes simplex virus (HSV)-1 infection. A second focus of Dr. Sheridan’s research is the role diet plays in altering the activation of microglia. Currently, these studies include: 1) determining how vitamin E deficiency results in increased activation of microglia during HSV-1 infection and the role of oxidative stress in this process, and 2) determining whether the consumption of a high fat diet results in microglial activation leading to increased neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration in the brain.

 

 

Member Name:          Sheridan, Stacey MD, MPH

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Nutritional Interventions and Nutrition Behaviors

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Stacey Sheridan studies chronic disease prevention and physician-patient communication in primary care settings. Her main areas of interest include heart disease prevention and prostate cancer screening. She has conducted systematic evidence reviews on hypertension screening and treatment, Framingham tools to calculate global coronary heart disease (CHD) risk, and the impact of global CHD risk calculation on clinical benefits and harms. She has also been involved in primary data collection to understand how patients make decisions to initiate and maintain heart disease prevention, and secondary data analysis to determine the most appropriate risk calculator for use in clinical practice.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Siega-Riz, Anna Maria PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Pregnancy, Child Growth and Development

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Anna Maria Siega-Riz, a nutritional epidemiologist, uses a multidisciplinary team perspective as a way to address complex problems such as prematurity, fetal programming, racial disparities, and obesity. She has been involved in several large cohort studies involving pregnant women, children, and Hispanics as well as one multi-centered intervention study for preventing type 2 diabetes in middle school children. She is interested in using cutting-edge methodology to assess dietary intake for the purpose of examining the relationship between maternal diet and birth outcomes as well as prenatal determinants of childhood obesity. Her work also involves the determinants and consequences of gestational weight gain as well as the influence of maternal obesity on short-and long-term maternal and child health outcomes.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Smith-Ryan, Abbie PhD, CSC, CISSN

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Exercise and Sports Science

Member Status:       Junior Member

Research Theme:     Nutritional Interventions and Nutrition Behaviors

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Abbie Smith-Ryan’s research interests center on exercise and nutrition interventions to modify various aspects of body composition, cardiovascular health, and metabolic function in obese, elderly, and women. She is an active researcher in the field of sport nutrition and exercise performance, in both young and old athletes. Some of her primary work has focused on beta-alanine, creatine, and proteins/amino acids. She is also interested in applied aspects of neuromuscular fatigue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Member Name:          Stevens, June PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. June Stevens is an obesity epidemiologist with a large research program focusing on the causes, consequences, and prevention of obesity in different populations. She is currently the PI of the Coordinating Center for the Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Research (COPTR) Consortium. She is also leading research to examine and compare differences in the impact of obesity on morbidity and mortality in African Americans, Asians, and Whites.

 

 

Member Name:          Stuebe, Alison MD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal and Child Health

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Pregnancy, Child Growth and Development

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Alison Stuebe has authored more than twenty peer-reviewed publications on gestational diabetes, pregnancy-associated weight gain, and the maternal health effects of lactation. Her current research studies include the effects of postpartum depression on breastfeeding physiology, the role of subclinical infection in breast pain, and the etiology of racial and ethnic disparities in breastfeeding.  In the clinical arena, she leads an interdisciplinary team of UNC clinicians that is developing new approaches to management of breastfeeding difficulties.

 

 

Member Name:          Styblo, Mirek PhD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Nutrition and Environmental Sciences and Engineering

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Mirek Styblo has research expertise in both nutritional biochemistry and toxicology. His research projects include: 1) metabolic interactions between essential and toxic trace elements found in the food chain or in the environment; 2) environmentally-induced diseases and the role of diet or specific nutrients in the prevention of these diseases; 3) modulation of the therapeutic efficacy or toxic side effects of anticancer drugs by diet or specific nutrients, and; 4) development of analytical techniques for identification of biomarkers of health effects of the essential and toxic trace elements. The ultimate goal of his work is to characterize the role of essential and toxic trace elements in etiology of common human diseases and to identify molecular, metabolic and genetic markers that would facilitate risk assessment, prevention or treatment of these diseases.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Styner, Maya MD
Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Member Status:       Full Member
Research Theme:     Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

Research Abstract: Dr. Maya Styner is both a clinician and a researcher. Her clinical interests include metabolic bone disease, osteoporosis, lipodystrophies, and general endocrinology. In the laboratory, she investigates the mechanisms by which exercise benefits health.


Member Name:         Sullivan, Patrick MD
Academic Title:         Distinguished Professor of Genetics
Member Status:         Full Member
Research Theme:     Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

Research Abstract: The Sullivan lab aims to understand the genetic and epidemiological basis of a number of important public-health problems including schizophrenia, smoking behavior, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Dr. Patrick Sullivan is conducting studies attempting to elucidate the etiology of these conditions. His lab is also leading pharmacogenetic studies to determine the mechanism of action of antipsychotic drugs that are currently used to treat some of the symptoms of schizophrenia. Additionally, he is interested in identifying genetic influences on smoking behavior, particularly nicotine dependence, as well as the genetic epidemiology of smoking cessation.

 

Member Name:         Surzenko, Natalia PhD
Academic Title:         Research Assistant Professor of Nutrition
Member Status:       Junior Member
Research Theme:    Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

Research Abstract: The research in Dr. Natalia Surzenko’s laboratory focuses on understanding how distinct nutrients and diets affect human health, and determining the factors underlying the variation in nutrient metabolism among individuals. The goal of one of her main research projects is to elucidate the mechanisms by which choline, an essential nutrient, affects the development and function of the central nervous system (CNS).

 

Member Name:          Swenberg, James DVM
Academic Title:         Kenan Distinguished Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Member Status:       Full Member
Research Theme:     Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

Research Abstract: Dr. James Swenberg’s research focuses on chemical carcinogenesis and toxicology, with an emphasis on studying the role of DNA damage and repair in carcinogenesis, developing highly sensitive assay methods for DNA and protein adduct research and improving the scientific basis of risk assessment. He makes extensive use of mass spectroscopy for biomarker studies.

 

Member Name:         Tarantino, Lisa
Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Genetics
Member Status:        Full Member
Research Theme:    Nutritional Interventions and Nutrition Behaviors

Research Abstract: The overarching focus of Dr. Lisa Tarantino’s research is to understand the genetics of behavior. In particular, her laboratory uses forward genetic approaches to identify genes that influence anxiety-, depression- and addiction-like behaviors in mouse models. She also studies environmental manipulations that have been shown to act independently or in concert with the genome to result in behavioral changes. Her laboratory also studies the behavioral effects of perinatal nutrition on adult offspring and has pending funding to conduct another study to examine the effects of the microbiota of anorexic patients vs healthy controls on anxiety and stress behaviors in mice.

 

Member Name:          Tate, Deborah PhD
Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Nutrition and Health Behavior
Member Status:       Full Member
Research Theme:     The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

Research Abstract: Dr. Deborah Tate is a cognitive-behavioral psychologist whose primary research interests lie in obesity prevention and treatment and behavioral interventions. The two main areas of her research program are: (a) strategies for improving weight loss, and (b) the translation of obesity treatment programs using alternatives to clinic-based care often involving new technologies. She has developed and evaluated several of the first randomized trials using the Internet and e-mail to deliver behavioral treatments for obesity and continues to conduct a programmatic series of studies to determine which features of Internet weight control programs contribute to efficacy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Member Name:          Thompson, Amanda PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Amanda Thompson is a biological anthropologist specializing in human growth and nutrition. Her research combines laboratory, anthropological and epidemiological approaches to understand the biocultural and biomedical influences on growth, body composition and physiology during infancy and childhood. She is particularly interested in how early life nutrition and environmental exposures shape long-term health and obesity risk. Dr. Thompson’s work focuses on 1) sex differences in the association between hormones, body composition, and feeding during infancy; 2) the effects of early diet on the development of the intestinal microbiome as an underlying pathway linking infant feeding and the development of obesity; and 3) the structural, social and maternal and infant characteristics contributing to the development of an obesogenic environment.


Member Name:          Thorp, John MD
Academic Title:         Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Member Status:       Full Member
Research Theme:     Pregnancy, Child Growth and Development

Research Abstract: Dr. John Thorp is an Obstetrician-Gynecologist and Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist who is interested in perinatal substance abuse, preterm birth, and clinical trials in obstetrics. His other research interests include use of episiotomies and trauma, the needs of pregnant and postpartum women with alcohol or substance use problems, and management of preterm labor.

 

Member Name:          Thorpe, Deborah PT, PhD, PCS
Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Allied Health Sciences
Member Status:       Full Member
Research Theme:     Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

Research Abstract: Dr. Deborah Thorpe’s main research interests include the development of lifespan community-based fitness programs for persons with developmental disabilities, the effects of aging on fitness and functional outcomes in persons with developmental disabilities, and application of motor learning principles to physical therapy interventions for persons with cerebral palsy. Her current research investigates the effects of aquatic resistive exercise on fitness, function and participation of persons with cerebral palsy across the lifespan.

 

 

 

Member Name:          Ting, Jenny PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Jenny Ting’s laboratory is a molecular biology and immunology lab which aims to discover new pathways of immune activation that can be used to treat inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. Her team has a long history of studying inflammation which impacts diseases such as multiple sclerosis, colitis, asthma and more recently systemic lupus erythematosus.she is specially interested in metabolic syndrome and inflammation.

 

 

 

 

Member Name:         Torres, Jomari, MD

Academic Title:         Director of the Human Research Core Facility

Member Status:        Junior Member

Research Theme:    Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Jomari Torres received her pediatric training in the ARMY, which provided her with a broad spectrum in medical training to include general adult medicine. Throughout her years in the military, she also acquired extensive experience in serving as the chief of the Pediatric Department and the medical director for both the Early Developmental Intervention Services and the Exceptional Family Member Programs, which provided me with the tools and experience necessary to take upon the role of facility director.  She spearheaded the Asthma Clinic and Synagis Clinic for premature infants. She also had the opportunity to teach rotating students from different specialties to include medical students, physician assistant students and nursing students. As part of serving as the medical director for the Pediatric Department, she was directly involved in reviewing, updating and creating Standards of Operations (SOP) protocols to assure standard of medical care was provided to all patients. She also participated in a number of multidisciplinary committees to include the Pharmaceutical and Therapeutic Committee, the Child Abuse Review Committee and the Rapid Response Committee.

 

 

 

 

Member Name:          Troester, Melissa PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Epidemiology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Melissa Troester is studying how normal breast tissue is altered by breast cancer risk factors. In parallel investigations, her lab is also evaluating how breast tissue gene expression is affected by age, reproductive history, and other breast cancer risk factors including obesity. By combining observational studies using normal breast tissue from patients with experimental studies using cell line models of breast cancer, Dr. Troester aims to contribute to a better understanding of normal breast tissue biology and the alterations that are induced during carcinogenesis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Member Name:          Truesdale, Kimberly PhD

Academic Title:         Research Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Truesdale is an epidemiologist whose research focuses on examining the causes and consequences of obesity and energy imbalance. She has experience with anthropometric, diet, and physical activity data, as well as data examining several aspects of adiposity. Dr. Truesdale is currently investigating the associations between obesity and weight change and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, hospitalizations and all-cause mortality. She is particularly interested in health disparities research.

 

 

 

 

Member Name:          Valdar, William PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Genetics

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. William Valdar’s genetics lab is interested in the relationship between genes, diet, and complex disease. Most of his work focuses on using animal models, like mice, to study complex human diseases, such as psychiatric disorders, cancer susceptibility, diabetes, and many others. Much of his current effort focuses on the design and analysis of genetic resource populations for medical research.

 

 

 

 

Member Name:          van Tilburg, Miranda PhD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Miranda van Tilburg conducts studies both in adults and children but her main interest is in pediatric functional GI disorders such as functional abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and fecal incontinence. Her current research activities include 1) a study to help parents better manage their child’s pain, 2) a study to examine the role of mitochondrial DNA and low cellular energy metabolism across various chronic pain conditions, and 3) several other projects to examine the role of eating behaviors in child’s abdominal pain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Member Name:          Voruganti, Saroja PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:     Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Saroja Voruganti’s research investigates how genetic and environmental (particularly diet and nutrients) factors impact hyperuricemia, gout, kidney and cardiovascular disease, with the goal of finding new treatment options. She has conducted several studies involving minority populations such as Mexican Americans, American Indians, Western Alaska Natives and Hispanic children. Her focus in all these studies is to understand genetic and environmental influences on renal-cardiovascular disease risk.

 

 

Member Name:          Ward, Dianne EdD

Academic Title:         Professor of Nutrition

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Nutritional Interventions and Nutrition Behaviors

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Dianne Ward’s research focuses on the prevention of obesity and the promotion of healthy diets and physical activity through interventions implemented in child care, schools, communities, and home settings. Currently, she is the PI for a four-year intervention to prevent obesity by developing parenting skills in parents of young children. An additional focus of her work is the development of measures to assess home environmental factors associated with physical activity, diet, and obesity.

 

 

 

 

Member Name:         Whitmire, Jason, PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Genetics

Member Status:        Junior Member

Research Theme:    The Causes and Prevention of Obesity

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Jason Whitmire’s laboratory at UNC is focused on understanding how T cell responses are generated and maintained following acute and disseminating virus infections in mice. His lab recently published a paper showing that viral antigen can persist after a prototypical acute virus infection and it causes subsets of virus-specific T cells to undergo cell division. Additional recent papers from his lab concern the effects of interferons, NK cells, or B cells on T cell responses following acute or chronic virus infection in mice. He has a long-standing interest in understanding virus-specific T cell and B cell differentiation in vivo following infection and is very familiar with research by other investigators in this area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Member Name:          Willis, Monte MD, PhD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:     Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Monte Willis is interested in investigating the role of the ubiquitin-proteasome system in regulating molecular mechanisms of cardiac disease. His laboratory uses physiologic, molecular, and genetic approaches to study the role of the ubiquitin proteasome system in heart failure and metabolism. The lab also employs standard molecular techniques, genetically modified animals, and gene discovery tools to expand our understanding of critical quality control mechanisms in heart disease and discover therapeutic targets to exploit.

 

Member Name:          Wohl, David MD

Academic Title:         Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:     Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. David Wohl’s research interests fall into two major areas, 1) the metabolic complications of HIV and its therapies, and 2) the nexus between incarceration and the HIV epidemic. He also studies low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in HIV-infected patients, as well as calcium and vitamin D supplementation for the treatment of decreased bone mineral density in HIV.

 

Member Name:          Xiao, Xiao PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Pharmacy

Member Status:        Full Member

Research Theme:     Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Xiao Xiao is interested in molecular medicine, specifically, gene delivery and therapy for various genetic and acquired diseases. His lab genetically engineers a non-pathogenic and defective DNA virus, named adeno-associate virus (AAV). In addition to gene delivery for therapeutic purposes, AAV can also be used as a powerful tool to study basic biology such as molecular genetics, signal transduction, apoptosis, mechanisms of pathogenesis, and even the engineering of animal models.

 

 

Member Name:          Zeisel, Steven MD, PhD

Academic Title:         Professor of Nutrition and Pediatrics

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation and Requirements for Nutrients

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Steven Zeisel and his research team focus on the essential nutrient choline and why there are individual differences in nutrient metabolism, using new approaches in nutrigenomics and in metabolomics. Dr. Zeisel is collaborating in a number of epidemiology studies that examine the relationship between diet, gene SNPs, and risk for disease. He also examines the role of dietary choline in brain development via epigenetic changes.

 

 

Member Name:          Zerwas, Stephanie PhD

Academic Title:         Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Member Status:       Full Member

Research Theme:     Clinical Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations

 

Research Abstract:

Dr. Stephanie Zerwas’s research has two broad aims. The first focuses on dysregulated eating in childhood, psychiatric genetics, longitudinal data analysis, and defining eating disorders prodrome-early signs and symptoms that emerge before the onset of eating disorders-that could assist in early screening and detection. The second line of her research focuses on leveraging technology to improve eating disorders treatment; she has worked extensively on an iPhone application to improve self-monitoring for patients with eating disorders.