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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.

Appointment Type
Accepting Graduate Students?
Graduate Program Adminstrative Assistant
Department
  • Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Associate Professor
Director of Nutritional Epidemiology Lab
Summary Statement

As a epidemiologist, Dr Gao is interested in nutritional epidemiology, sleep disorders, neurological diseases, aging,  stress, and global health.

Department
  • Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Ann Atherton Hertzler Early Career Professor in Global Health
Assistant Professor
Summary Statement

Micronutrients and pregnancy; placenta; adverse pregnancy outcomes; plasma volume; public health issues in low- and middle-income countries.

Department
  • Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Associate Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences
Director Metabolic Kitchen and Children's Eating Behavior Laboratory
Summary Statement

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.

Department
  • Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health and Nutritional Sciences
Ann Atherton Hertzler Early Career Professorship in Nutrition
Summary Statement

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.

Department
  • Biobehavioral Health - BBH
Distinguished Professor of Nutrition
Summary Statement

Effects of diet on established and emerging risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Department
  • Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Professor-in-Charge of the Graduate Program
Associate Professor
Summary Statement

Micronutrient deficiencies (primarily iron); mother-child interactions; child development; cognition and affect; biofortification

Department
  • Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Assistant Professor
Broadhurst Career Development Professor for the Study of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Summary Statement

Dr. Muzi Na’s research program explores food insecurity, nutrition, sleep and mental health connections that weave together multiple psychosocial and behavioral factors.

Department
  • Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Associate Professor
Summary Statement

Role of changes in energy balance and related nutritional factors on inflammation; immune regulation and cancer risk using both animal models and human subjects.

Department
  • Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Professor and Helen A. Guthrie Chair
Director, Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior
Summary Statement

Satiety and obesity; Influence of food characteristics such as variety, energy density, and portion size on energy intake across the lifespan.

Department
  • Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Professor of Nutrition and Physiology
Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair
Department Head
Summary Statement

Vitamin A/retinoid metabolism; hepatic retinoid function and gene expression; Vitamin A in infection and immunity; Vitamin A and lung development in neonatal period.

Department
  • Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Associate Professor
Summary Statement

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.

Department
  • Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Associate Professor
Lloyd & Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair in Metabolic Physiology
Summary Statement

Central nervous system governs feeding behaviour and importantly, vice versa, the food consumed and the resulting neural and hormonal gut signals affect a broad network of neural circuits and behaviours.

Department
  • Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Associate Professor
Director, Center for Childhood Obesity Research
Summary Statement

Behavioral (feeding practices, sleep) and individual factors that impact food intake; Responsive parenting; Clinical and community-based childhood obesity prevention interventions

Department
  • Nutritional Sciences - NUTR