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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.

Cindy Adams, PhD
cca5153@psu.edu
Instructor and Academic Advisor

Rita Castro, PhD
mum689@psu.edu
Research Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Homocysteine metabolism; genetic and non-genetic determinants of hyperhomocysteinemia; and the molecular mechanisms through which hyperhomocysteinemia causes endothelial dysfunction and vascular disease

Mary Dean Coleman Kelly, Ph.D., MS, RD
mdc15@psu.edu
Didactic Program Director, Assistant Professor, and Professor In Charge of the Undergraduate Program

Brenda Eissenstat, MS, RD
bre2@psu.edu
Senior Instructor and Lead Academic Adviser

Jennifer Fleming, MS, RD, LDN
jas58@psu.edu
Instructor
Research Interests: The effects of diet on risk factors for cardiovascular disease; macronutrient content of the diet and energy balance

Dara Wheeler Ford, PhD, RDN
djw5083@psu.edu
Instructor

Xiang Gao, MD, Ph.D.
xxg14@psu.edu
Associate Professor, Director of Nutritional Epidemiology Lab
Research Interests: Nutritional epidemiology; sleep disorders; neurological diseases; aging; and global health and stress, using data from several large international ongoing prospective cohorts — including the Nurses’ Health Study, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort, and the Kailuan Cohort — in which ~500,000 men and women have been followed regarding their lifestyles and health conditions

Alison D. Gernand, PhD, MPH, RD
adg14@psu.edu
Ann Atherton Hertzler Early Career Professor in Global Health, Assistant Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences
Research Interests: Micronutrient deficiencies (in particular, vitamin D); pregnancy and prepregnancy maternal nutritional status; placenta (growth, vascular development and angiogenesis, pathology); adverse pregnancy outcomes (fetal growth restriction and SGA, preeclampsia, preterm birth); plasma volume and biomarker concentrations; public health issues in low-income and middle-income countries.

Michael H. Green, Ph.D.
mhg@psu.edu
Professor
Research Interests: Vitamin A metabolism; tracer kinetics/mathematical modeling; lipoprotein metabolism; lipid absorption; Vitamin A delivery to milk.

Kathleen L. Keller, Ph.D.
klk37@psu.edu
Associate Professor / Department of Nutritional Sciences / Department of Food Science
Research Interests: 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

Shawnee M. Kelly, MS, RDN, LDN
smc28@psu.edu
Coordinator of MPS & Senior Instructor

Lynn Parker Klees, MA, RD, CDE, LDN
lgp2@psu.edu
Senior Instructor

Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., RD
pmk3@psu.edu
Distinguished Professor of Nutrition
Research Interests: Effects of diet on established and emerging risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Denise Conforti Lawson, MS, RD
dmc209@psu.edu
Dietetic Internship Director and Instructor

Jennifer Meengs, MS, RD
jas138@psu.edu
Instructor of Foods Lab

Laura E. Murray-Kolb, Ph.D.
lem118@psu.edu
Associate Professor and Professor-in-Charge of the Graduate Program
Research Interests: Micronutrient deficiencies (primarily iron); mother-child interactions; child development; cognition and affect; biofortification

Muzi Na, PhD, MHS
muzi.na@psu.edu
Assistant Professor in Nutritional Epidemiology, Department of Nutritional Sciences
Research Interests: Maternal and child nutrition; infant and young child feeding practices; food insecurity; innovative quantitative methods in nutrition research

Gina Pazzaglia, PhD, RDN
gps3@psu.edu
Director of the Online Master's Program Instructor of Nutritional Sciences Outreach Associate Professor
Research Interests: Pedagogy; best practices in teaching and learning; cultural competence and diversity skills; best practices in online and hybrid learning; nutrition education and health in the Latino population

Connie J. Rogers, Ph.D., M.P.H.
cjr102@psu.edu
Associate Professor
Research Interests: Role of changes in energy balance and related nutritional factors on inflammation; immune regulation and cancer risk using both animal models and human subjects

Barbara J. Rolls, Ph.D.
bjr4@psu.edu
Helen A. Guthrie Chair and Professor
Research Interests: Psychological and environmental controls of food intake and food selection in normal weight and obese humans; dietary strategies for weight management

A. Catharine Ross, Ph.D.
acr6@psu.edu
Professor and Occupant of Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair and Department Head
Research Interests: Vitamin A/retinoid metabolism; hepatic retinoid function and gene expression; Vitamin A in infection and immunity; Vitamin A and lung development in neonatal period

Gregory Shearer, PhD
gcs13@psu.edu
Associate Professor
Research Interests: 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

Matam Vijay-Kumar (Vijay), PhD
mvk13@psu.edu
Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Host metabolic adaptations to inflammation; the interplay between intestinal inflammation and metabolic disorders; innate immunity-gut microbiotal interactions in metabolic diseases; understanding the mechanisms by which the innate immune response helps in the gut microbiotal homeostasisct against insults such as chemicals, viruses and radiation; Lipocalin 2 - mediated iron homeostasis in inflammation

Jennifer Savage Williams, Ph.D.
jfs195@psu.edu
Assistant Professor; Director, Center for Childhood Obesity Research
Research Interests: Developing individualized, adaptive prenatal and postnatal interventions to promote health across the lifespan; examining the effects of responsive parenting on children’s development of eating behaviors and health outcomes; building community partnerships to develop efficient and effective interventions that use electronic-health, multimedia technology to target low-income mothers to reduce children’s intake of “empty calories”

Appointment Type
Accepting Graduate Students?
Cindy Adams
Cindy Adams
Assistant Teaching Professor
Undergraduate Academic Adviser
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Undergraduate Programs Advising
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Scott Barbara
Scott D. Barbara
Undergraduate Adminstrative Assistant
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Undergraduate Programs Administration
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Julie M. Brenneman
Administrative Support Coordinator
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Administration
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Rita Castro
Rita Castro
Research Assistant Professor
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Mary Coleman Kelly
Mary Dean Coleman-Kelly
Director of the Undergraduate Dietetics Program
Associate Teaching Professor
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Undergraduate Programs
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Kristen Cox
Kristen Cox
Project Coordinator
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Diet Assessment Center
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Barbara Crocefoglia
Financial Assistant
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Administration
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Brenda Eissenstat
Brenda Eissenstat
Assistant Teaching Professor
Lead Academic Adviser
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Undergraduate Programs Advising
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Jennifer Fleming
Jennifer Fleming
Instructor
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Dara Ford
Dara Wheeler Ford
Assistant Teaching Professor
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Farrell Frankel
Farrell M. Frankel
Assistant Director of Sports Nutrition
NUTR 407 Course Instructor
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Phone
Email
Xiang Gao
Xiang Gao
Associate Professor
Director of Nutritional Epidemiology Lab
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Graduate Program
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Alison Gernand
Alison D. Gernand
Ann Atherton Hertzler Early Career Professor in Global Health
Assistant Professor
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Graduate Program
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Emily Hohman
Emily E Hohman
Assistant Research Professor
Department
Center for Childhood Obesity Research - CCOR Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Phone
Email
Summary Statement

Emily is a nutrition scientist interested in the interactions between diet and behavioral factors on growth and chronic disease risk in infants, children, adolescents, and pregnant women.

Tammy Houser
Graduate Program Adminstrative Assistant
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Graduate Program Administration
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Debbie Jozefick
Adminstrative Assistant
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Administration
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Kathleen Keller
Kathleen L. Keller
Associate Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences
Director Metabolic Kitchen and Children's Eating Behavior Laboratory
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Childrens Eating Lab Graduate Program
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Summary Statement

Our lab is interested in how eating behaviors develop in children and their relationship to pediatric obesity.

Shawnee Kelly
Shawnee M. Kelly
Assistant Teaching Professor
Coordinator of Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Nutritional Science
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Graduate Program World Campus
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Kodish
Stephen Kodish
Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health and Nutritional Sciences
Department
Biobehavioral Health - BBH Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Graduate Program
Phone
Email
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.

Penny Kris-Etherton
Penny M. Kris-Etherton
Distinguished Professor of Nutrition
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Cardiometabolic Nutrition Research Lab (CNRL) Graduate Program
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Summary Statement

Dr. Kris-Etherton's research expertise is cardiovascular nutrition. She conducts controlled clinical nutrition studies to evaluate the effect of dietary patterns, foods, nutrients and bioactives on CV risk factors.

Denise Lawson
Denise Conforti Lawson
Dietetic Internship Director
Instructor
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Kayla A. Martin
Assistant AD for Performance Nutrition Services
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Phone
Email
Summary Statement

Certified Sports Dietitian: 9th year in intercollegiate athletics
Previous Director at Notre Dame and The University of Louisville

Elaine McDonnell
Elaine T. McDonnell
Assistant Research Professor
Director, Project PA
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Phone
Email
Jennifer Meengs
Jennifer Meengs
Instructor of Foods Lab
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Phone
Email
Stacy A. Meily
Study Coordinator
Department
Cardiometabolic Nutrition Research Lab (CNRL)
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Diane Mitchell
Diane C. Mitchell
Assistant Research Professor
Director, Diet Assessment Center
Department
Diet Assessment Center
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Summary Statement

The Diet Assessment Center provides support for internal and external research projects with dietary outcomes.

Laura Murray-Kolb
Laura E. Murray-Kolb
Professor-in-Charge of the Graduate Program
Associate Professor
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Graduate Program Graduate Professor-in-Charge
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Muzi Na
Muzi Na
Assistant Professor
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Graduate Program
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Lynn Klees
Lynn Parker-Klees
Assistant Teaching Professor
Professor In Charge of the Undergraduate Program
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Undergraduate Programs Undergraduate Professor-in-Charge
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Gina Pazzaglia
Gina Pazzaglia
Associate Teaching Professor
Director, MPS Program in Nutritional Sciences
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Graduate Program World Campus
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Marissa Reynolds
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Childrens Eating Lab
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Summary Statement

Marissa is the Project Coordinator for the Food and Brain Study (Brain Mechanisms of Overeating in Children) for the Children's Eating Lab.

Liane Roe
Liane S. Roe
Research Nutritionist
Department
Food Lab
Phone
Email
Summary Statement

Liane Roe has worked as a nutrition researcher at Penn State since 1998 in the Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior. She helps design experiments of human food intake and satiety, particularly aimed at the prevention of obesity.

Connie Rogers
Connie J. Rogers
Associate Professor
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Graduate Program
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Barbara Rolls
Barbara J. Rolls
Helen A. Guthrie Chair and Professor
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Food Lab Graduate Program
Phone
Fax
814-863-8574
Email
A. Ross
A. Catharine Ross
Professor and Occupant of Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair
Department Head
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Administration Graduate Program
Phone
Fax
814-865-4723
Email
Gregory Shearer
Gregory Shearer
Associate Professor
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Graduate Program
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Leigh Martin
Leigh A. Taylor
Research Technologist
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR
Phone
Fax
814-863-6103
Email
Summary Statement

I provide academic, administrative, and research support for Dr. Alison Gernand and her laboratory.

Jennifer Williams
Jennifer Savage Williams
Assistant Professor
Director, Center for Childhood Obesity Research
Department
Nutritional Sciences - NUTR Graduate Program Center for Childhood Obesity Research - CCOR
Phone
Fax
(814) 863-6103
Email
Summary Statement

Dr. Savage Williams is the Director for the Center of Childhood Obesity Research at The Pennsylvania State University and also an Assistant Professor within the Department of Nutritional Sciences.