Graduate Student Bios

Current Graduate Students


Elizabeth Adams

Elizabeth Adams

Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Savage-Williams

eka5159@psu.edu

Research interests:
The development of nutrition and exercise-focused interventions aimed at a comprehensive approach to the role of energy balance in the prevention of childhood obesity.

Education:
BS: (Exercise Science) University of Florida
BS: (Exercise Science) University of Connecticut

Awards/honors/scholarships:
Excellence in Graduate Recruitment (FEGR) Award (2015-2016)
Florida Academic Scholar Award (2009-2013)


Shana Adise, Ph.D. Student

Shana Adise

Advisor: Dr. Kathleen Keller

sxa308@psu.edu

Research interests:
Neurological correlates and genetic markers for taste preferences and food selection in the human brain, childhood obesity

Education:
BS (Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience) - City College of New York, CUNY


Sixtus Aguree, Ph.D. Student

Sixtus Aguree

Advisor: Dr. Alison D. Gernand

sua204@psu.edu

Research interests:
Maternal and child nutrition, micronutrient nutrition

Education:
BSc. (Nutrition and Food Science, First class honours) - University of Ghana
MPhil (Nutrition) - University of Ghana

Awards/honors/scholarships:
Graham Fellowship (2014-2015)
Excellence in Graduate Recruitment (FEGR) award: FA/SP 2014-2015


Kate Bowen, Ph.D. Student

Kate Bowen

Advisor: Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton

kjb369@psu.edu

Research interests:
Effects of dietary monounsaturated fatty acids and their derivatives on risk factors for metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.

Education:
B.S. Biology - Bucknell University

Awards/honors/scholarships:

Excellence in Graduate Recruitment (FEGR) award (2014-2015)
Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society (2015-present)
NASA Space Grant Graduate Fellowship (2016-2017)

Course taught:
TA for NUTR 451 and NUTR 453


Matt Cady, MS, Ph.D. Student

Matt Cady

Advisor: Dr. Michael Green

mdc317@psu.edu

Research interests:
Community and public health nutrition, school nutrition, and nutrition education, specifically how certain programs and policies can prevent and treat obesity through changes in both the nutrition and physical activity environment. Currently working on The Early Growth and Development Study, a a nationwide, prospective study of birth parents and adoptive families, investigating inherited traits related to dietary intake and physical activity.

Education:
BS, Health and Exercise, Syracuse University, 2008
MS, Kinesiology, University of Illinois, 2010

Awards/honors/scholarships:
Syracuse University Chancellor’s Scholarship
Pennsylvania Talent Search Scholarship
NCAA National Leadership Conference Representative

Courses Taught:
TA for NUTR 360: Disseminating Nutrition Information and NUTR 119: Elementary Foods


Mihaela Ciulei

Mihaela Ciulei

Advisor: Dr. Laura Murray-Kolb

mmc5819@psu.edu

Research interests:

  • iron deficiency (anemia)
  • postpartum depression
  • child cognitive effects due to iron deficiency
  • epigenetics and early life iron deficiency
  • iron deficiency and physical activity

Education:
BS: (Nutrition) University of Nevada, Las Vagas

Awards/honors/scholarships/fellowships/grants:
Excellence in Graduate Recruitment (FEGR) award: FA/SP 2015-2016

Courses taught:
TA for NUTR 452


Shizhao Duan

Shizhao Duan

Advisor: Dr. Connie Rogers

sdf5188@psu.edu

Research interests:
Nutritional factors on immune regulations and cancer development

Education:
B Med: (Forensic Medicine) Shanxi Medical University, China
MA: (Nutritional Science) Syracuse University

Awards/honors/scholarships/fellowships/grants:
Excellence in Graduate Recruitment (FEGR) award: FA/SP 2015-2016
Graduate Scholarship Syracuse University: Spring 2015

Course taught:
TA for BIO121 Introductory Biology at Syracuse University for Fall 2013


Sally Grace Eagleton

Sally Grace Eagleton

Advisor: Jennifer Savage Williams

sge5@psu.edu

Research interests:
The influence of family factors commonly associated with poverty on child feeding and the development of childhood obesity.

Education:
BS (Psychology) The University of Tampa
MS (Human Development and Family Science) Oklahoma State University

Awards/honors/scholarships/fellowships/grants:
Oklahoma State University Mildred H. and John W. Skinner Graduate Fellowship (2015)


Jennifer Lynn Ford, Ph.D. Student

Jennifer Ford

Advisor: Dr. Michael Green

jlf5271@psu.edu

Research interests:
Model-based compartmental analysis: mathematical modeling; emphasis in vitamin A metabolism and tracer kinetics

Education:
Pennsylvania State University, College of Health and Human Development
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Nutritional Sciences
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Kinesiology

Awards/honors/scholarships:
Excellence in Graduate Recruitment (FEGR) award: Fall/Spring 2014-2015

Recent Publications:
Green MH, Ford JL, Oxley A, Green JB, Park H, Berry P, Boddy AV, Lietz G. Plasma retinol kinetics and β-carotene bioefficacy are quantified by model-based compartmental analysis in healthy young adults with low vitamin A stores. J Nutr E-pub Aug 10, 2016.

Green MH, Ford JL, Green JB, Berry P, Boddy VA, Oxley A, Lietz G. A retinol isotope dilution equation predicts both group and individual total body vitamin A stores in adults based on data from an early postdosing blood sample. J Nutr E-pub Aug 10, 2016.


Shue Huang

Shue Huang

Advisor: Dr. Xiang Gao and Dr. Gregory Shearer

sph5357@psu.edu

Research interests:
Nutritional Epidemiology
Metabolic Syndrom pattern and its association with CVD events and mortality, and the potential mechanism

Education:
B Med: (Pre-Med) Sichuan University, China
M Med: Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Awards/honors/scholarships:
Excellence in Graduate Recruitment (FEGR) Award (2015-2016)


Brittany James, Ph.D. Student

Brittany James

Advisor: Dr. Barbara Rolls

bxj155@psu.edu

Research interests:
Behavioral and psychological determinants of weight loss and weight loss maintenance in adults, specifically the individual differences that serve as early predictors of program adherence and long-term success.

Education:
B.A. in Psychology and Neuroscience from Duke University
M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from The Pennsylvania State University


Emily Johnston, MPH, RD, CDE

Emily Johnston

Advisor: Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton

exj22@psu.edu

Research interests:
Prevention of cardiometabolic disease through lifestyle intervention; nutrition training for medical students and professionals.

Education:
BS: (Nutrition) UNC Greensboro
MPH: Rutgers University


Yaqi Li, Ph.D. Student

Yaqi Li

Advisor: Dr. A. Catharine Ross

yxl277@psu.edu

Research interests:
Vitamin A in infection and immunity

Education:
BS (Applied Biological Science)- Zhejiang University, China


Yi-Hsuan (Lisa) Liu, MS, RD

Lisa Liu

Advisor: Drs. Xiang Gao and Gordon Jensen

yxl476@psu.edu

Research interests:
Understanding the associations between nutrients and chronic diseases/metabolic disorders using epidemiological approaches

Education:
B.S. (Nutrition and Health Sciences)- Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
Dietetic Internship- Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
M.S. (Human Nutrition)- The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH


Chaoran Ma

Chaoran Ma

Advisor: Dr. Xiang Gao

cvm5720@psu.edu

Research interests:
Nutritional Epidemiology

Education:
B Med: (Clinical Medicine) Xi'an Jiaotong University, China
M Med: (Epidemiology and Biostatistics) Xi'an Jiaotong University, China

Awards/honors/scholarships:
Excellence in Graduate Recruitment (FEGR) Award (2015-2016)


Travis Masterson

Travis Masterson

Advisor: Dr. Kathleen Keller

tpm5262@psu.edu

Research interests:
Understanding how children's environments and daily activities can effect their eating behavior as well as their responsiveness to food cues through specialized tools such as fMRI.

Education:
BS: (Excercise Science) Brigham Young University
MS: (Exercise Science) Brigham Young University


Ester Soojung Oh

Ester Oh

Advisor: Dr. Connie Rogers

sxo35@psu.edu

Research interests:
The therapeutic effects of nutritional factors on inflammation and immune regulation

Education:
B.S. (Nutritional Science & Food Management) - Ewha Womans University, South Korea
M.S. (Nutritional Science & Food Management) - Ewha Womans University, South Korea


Ruth Adisetu Pobee MPhil. Ph.D. Student

Advisor: Dr. Laura Murray-Kolb

rap281@psu.edu

Research interests:

  • Iron deficiency and cognitive function in children and women of reproductive age
  • Genetic markers of Iron deficiency
  • Micronutrient fortification of cereal flours for infant nutrition
  • Food Product Development

Education:
BSc. Food Science and Nutrition: University of Ghana
MPhil Nutrition: University of Ghana

Awards/honors/scholarships:

  • AAUW 2016/17 Fellowship Award
  • Borlaug Fellowship Award (2013 Feed the Future Fellow),Research Scholar, Sponsored by USDA in collaboration with Pennsylvania State University.
  • 2012 EU-ACP Sponsorship for Food system: From Agronomy to Human Health held in University of Abomey Calavi, Benin.
  • NUFFIC Fellowship Award, 2012. Sponsored by the Netherland Government for a fellowship program on Monitoring, Evaluation and Impact Assessment of Food and Nutrition Security which was taken in Wageningen University.

Recent Publications:
Pobee R. A. Plahar W. A. Owusu W. B (2013) Association between Anthropometry and Blood Pressure among female teachers of child-bearing age in Ghana. Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Health Science IISTE Vol. 3 No. 3.
Pobee R. A. Plahar W. A. Owusu W. B (2013) “Prevalence of obesity among Female teachers of Child-bearing age in Ghana” AJFAND vol. 13 No. 3 pp. 7820-7838.


Alissa Smethers MS, RDN, Ph.D Student

Advisor: Dr. Barbara Rolls

azm243@psu.edu

Research interests:
Obesity prevention with emphasis on portion size and energy density

Education:
B.S. (Biology) - Juniata College
M.S (Nutrition) - Marywood University
Coordinated Internship Program in Nutrition and Dietetics- Marywood University 2012

Awards/honors/scholarships:
Kappa Oma Cron Nu Honor Society
Alpha Epsilon Lamba Honor Society


Alyssa Spaw, Ph.D. Student

Alyssa Spaw

Advisor:
Dr. Barbara Rolls

ads27@psu.edu

Research interests:
The psychological mechanisms behind the portion size effect, portion size choice, and how energy density in the standard American diet influences weight regulation in human populations.

Education:
B.S. (Psychology) – Pennsylvania State University

Awards/honors/scholarships/fellowships/grants:
USDA Childhood Obesity Prevention Training Program Fellow


Anita Subramanian

Anita Subramanian

Advisor: Dr. Alison Gernand

afs5465@psu.edu

Research interests:
Maternal Nutrition
Micronutrient Deficiencies

Education:
BA: (Nutrition) College of St. Benedict
MS: (Dietetics and Food Service Management) Indira Gandhi National Open University, India
Dietetic Internship: Dr. B.L. Kapur Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi, India

Awards/honors/scholarships/fellowships/grants:
Excellence in Graduate Recruitment(FEGR) for Fall 2015 and Spring 2016
UGC-NET, qualified for eligibility of Assistant Professor, June 2014, India


Valerie Sullivan

Valerie Sullivan

Advisor: Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton

vks5014@psu.edu

Research interests:
The effects of whole foods and their nutritional components on cardiometabolic risk factors.

Education:
B.S. Nutritional Sciences - Schreyer Honors College, Penn State University
Dietetic Internship: Sodexo Allentown

Awards/honors/scholarships/fellowships/grants:
College of Health and Human Development Alumni Recognition for Student Excellence (2011)
College of Health and Human Development Honors Scholarship (2007-2011)


Alyssa Tindall, RDN

Alyssa Tindall

Advisor: Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton

amt5284@psu.edu

Research interests:
The impact of dietary intervention in relation to the preclusion of cardiovascular disease risk.

Education:
BS: (Nutrition) Penn State University
Dietetic Internship: Penn State University

Awards/honors/scholarships/fellowships/grants:
Excellence in Graduate Recruitment (FEGR) award: FA/SP 2015-2016


Hannah VanEvery, Ph.D Student

Hannah Van Every

Advisor: Dr. Connie Rogers

hqv5028@psu.edu

Research interests:
The role of nutritional factors on inflammation and immune regulation.

Education:
BS: (Chemical Engineering) Iowa State University

Awards/honors/scholarships/fellowships/grants:
University Graduate Fellowship


Rachel Walker, MS, Ph.D. Student

Rachel Walker

Advisor: Dr. Greg Shearer

Research interests:
The effects of lipid metabolites and lipoproteins on the inflammatory process and insulin resistance

Education:
BS (Biology Education) Penn State University
MS (Exercise Science and Wellness) Old Dominion University

Awards/honors/scholarships:
Graham Fellowship (2014-2015
Excellence in Graduate Recruitment (FEGR) Award (2014-2015)

Courses Taught:
NUTR 445 (TA: Spring 2015)


Cheng-Hsin (Gina) Wei, Ph.D. Student

Cheng-Hsin (Gina) Wei

Advisor: Dr. A. Catharine Ross

ciw5093@psu.edu

Research interests:
Vitamin A metabolism and gene expression
Vitimin A immunity

Education:
B.S. (Chemical and Materials Engineering)- Chang Gung University, Taiwan
M.S. (Nutritional Sciences)- The Pennsylvania State University

Awards/honors/scholarships:
Dietary Supplement Research Practicum Travel Award (June 2012)
Woot-Tsuen We Leung Scholarship (2013-2014)
Penn State Department of Nutritional Sciences Travel Award (April 2014 & April 2015)

Publications:
Po-Hsun Huang, Nitesh Nama, Zhangming Mao, Peng Li, Joseph Rufo, Yuchao Chen, Yuliang Xie, Cheng-Hsin Wei, Lin Wang, Tony Jun Huang. A reliable, programmable acoustofluidic pump powered by oscillating sharp-edge structures. Lab on a Chip. 2014; 14:4319-4323. (Selected as a Lab on a Chip HOT Article of 2014, and featured as outside front cover image)
Xiaofeng Liao, Jingjing Ren, Cheng-Hsin Wei, A. Catharine Ross, Thomas E. Cecere, Bernard S. Jortner, S. Ansar Ahmed, Xin M. Luo. Paradoxical effects of all-trans-retinoic acid on lupus-like disease in the MRL/lpr mouse model. PLoS ONE. 2015; 10(3): e0118176.
Po-Hsun Huang, Liqiang Ren, Nitesh Nama, Sixing Li, Peng Li, Xianglan Yao, Rosemarie A. Cuento, Cheng-Hsin Wei, Yuchao Chen, Yuliang Xie, Ahmed Ahsan Nawaz, Yeal G. Alevy, Michael J. Holtzman, J. Phillip McCoy, Stewart J. Levine, Tony Jun Huang. An acoustofluidic sputum liquefier. Lab on a Chip. 2015; 15:3125-3131.
Po-Hsun Huang, Chung Yu Chan, Peng Li, Nitesh Nama, Yuliang Xie, Cheng-Hsin Wei, Yuchao Chen, Daniel Ahmed, Tony Jun Huang. A spatiotemporally controllable chemical gradient generator via acoustically oscillating sharp-edge structures. Lab on a Chip. 2015. (Accepted)
Qiuyan Chen, Katherine Restori, Tiffany Bernardo, Cheng-Hsin Wei, A. Catharine Ross. Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 3 and serotype 14 infections induce different lung pathogenesis in neonatal mice. (In preparation)

Courses taught: NUTR 445 (Spring 2014)


Xia Xiao, Ph.D Student

Xia Xiao

Advisor: Dr. M. Vijay Kumar

xzx107@psu.edu

Research interests:
Roles of lipocalin 2

Education:
B.S. in Nutrition Science—Colorado State University


Faris M. Zuraikat, Ph.D. Student

Faris Zuraikat

Advisor: Dr. Barbara J. Rolls

fmz105@psu.edu

Research interests:
Interested in examining how the built food environment, satiety, and food qualities, such as portion size and energy density, can influence eating behaviors and energy consumption in adults and children.

Education:
BA (psychology) – St. Bonaventure University

Awards/honors/scholarships:
Graham Fellowship (2014-2015)
FEGR Award (2014-2015)

Recent Publications:
Privitera, G. J. & Zuraikat, F. M. (2014). Proximity of foods in a competitive food environment influences consumption of a low calorie and a high calorie food. Appetite, 76, 175-179.