Faculty and Research
The world-class faculty in Penn State’s Nutritional Sciences Department actively engage in cutting-edge research that expands the body of knowledge in our field, while also acting as mentors to our graduate students.
In keeping with our innovative and interdisciplinary mission in Nutritional Sciences, the research possibilities here are extensive and diverse, covering domains such as nutritional epidemiology, public health issues in low-income and middle-income countries, food marketing and childhood obesity, best practices in online and hybrid learning — and much more.
Director of Nutritional Epidemiology Lab
As a epidemiologist, Dr Gao is interested in nutritional epidemiology, sleep disorders, neurological diseases, aging, stress, and global health.
Micronutrients and pregnancy; placenta; adverse pregnancy outcomes; plasma volume; public health issues in low- and middle-income countries.
Director Metabolic Kitchen and Children's Eating Behavior Laboratory
Eating behaviors in children; neural mechanisms of taste preference and eating behaviors in children; food marketing and childhood obesity; genetic and neural influences in taste in children.
As a social and behavioral scientist, Stephen Kodish is interested in the design, implementation, and evaluation of interventions aimed to improve the health and nutrition of vulnerable populations globally.
Effects of diet on established and emerging risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Micronutrient deficiencies (primarily iron); mother-child interactions; child development; cognition and affect; biofortification
Maternal and child nutrition; infant and young child feeding practices; food insecurity; innovative quantitative methods in nutrition research.
Role of changes in energy balance and related nutritional factors on inflammation; immune regulation and cancer risk using both animal models and human subjects.
Director, Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior
Satiety and obesity; Influence of food characteristics such as variety, energy density, and portion size on energy intake across the lifespan.
Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair
Vitamin A/retinoid metabolism; hepatic retinoid function and gene expression; Vitamin A in infection and immunity; Vitamin A and lung development in neonatal period.
The consequences of over-nutrition and the stress of "western diets" related to lipid mediators and a global shift of dietary fatty acids; identifying markers of disease and better ways to prevent or manage disease.
Director, Center for Childhood Obesity Research
Behavioral (feeding practices, sleep) and individual factors that impact food intake; Responsive parenting; Clinical and community-based childhood obesity prevention interventions