Nutrition Research

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Nutrition research is the scientific study of diet, health and disease in individuals, groups, and populations. Faculty and students are engaged in a broad range of research in physiological, biochemical, and behavioral aspects of nutrition across the lifespan.

Energy Balance and Nutrition Laboratory

Key Investigators: Drs. Carrie Earthman, Shannon Robson and Jillian Trabulsi
Research in the Energy Balance and Nutrition Laboratory (EBNL) focuses on the energy mechanisms and weight-control behaviors that contribute to desirable or less desirable weight gain, growth, and nutritional status in infants, children, adolescents, and young adults who are healthy, and in those with chronic disease. Since weight status in young childhood affects development and is predictive of adult weight status, the goal of our laboratory is help all individuals reach and maintain a healthy weight.

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Nutrition and Health Research Laboratory

Key Investigator: Dr. Sheau Ching Chai
Nutrition and Health Research Laboratory focuses on investigating the role of functional foods (foods and food components that provide a health benefit beyond basic nutrition) and dietary antioxidants in prevention and reduction of age- and nutrition-related chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and cognitive decline. Other areas of research include investigation of the link between inflammation, oxidative stress, and chronic conditions in humans.

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Dietary Assessment and Interventions using Internet Technology

Key Investigator: Dr. Richard Fang
Research conducted by Dr. Fang is focused on the development and validation of dietary assessment tools delivered over the web interface and the development and evaluation of personalized, web-based nutrition education modules to help specific populations (i.e., college students, Asian Americans) improve their intake for certain nutrients such as dietary fiber, calcium, or vitamin C.

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Nutritional Status Assessment Associated with Health Outcomes

Key Investigator: Dr. Marie Fanelli Kuczmarski
Research conducted by Dr. Kuczmarski focuses on dietary patterns, anthropometric measures, and biochemical indicators of nutritional status related to such health outcomes as cardiovascular disease, cognition, sarcopenia, obesity, diabetes, and kidney disease. These associations are explored using the data from the Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the Life Span (HANDLS) study, a National Institute of Aging, NIH, longitudinal study [].

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Nutrigenomics Laboratory

Key Investigator: Dr. Jae Kyeom Kim
Dr. Kim has been focusing on preventive mechanisms of non-essential nutrients/constituents from fruits and vegetables against chronic diseases such as cancers and obesity. Specifically, Dr. Kim has three major research foci: 1) molecular mechanisms of vegetables and their bioactives in cancer prevention (colon and lung cancers), 2) investigation of the role of small RNAs (e.g., microRNA or mitoRNAs) in disease development and crosstalk between these small RNAs and signaling pathways, and 3) establishment and utilization of genetically engineered mice model for chronic disease studies (e.g., isocitrate dehydrogenase 2 knock-out mice model for obesity and cancers).  

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