staff_voruganti
Saroja Voruganti, Ph.D., joined the UNC Nutrition Research Institute (NRI) in 2013 as assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition, UNC-Chapel Hill. Dr. Voruganti’s research investigates how genetic and environmental (particularly diet and nutrients) factors impact hyperuricemia, gout, kidney and cardiovascular disease, with the goal of finding new treatment options.
Dr. Voruganti earned her B.Sc. degree with honors in Foods and Nutrition at The University of Delhi, India, and a post-graduate diploma in Dietetics and Hospital Food Service. She received a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin and did post-doctoral work in Genetic Epidemiology at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute.
She has conducted several studies involving minority populations such as Mexican Americans, American Indians, Western Alaska Natives and Hispanic children. Her focus in all these studies is to understand genetic and environmental influences on renal-cardiovascular disease risk.
Dr. Voruganti has published or has in press more than 75 scholarly papers and has authored chapters in two books: Handbook of Anthropometry: Physical Measures of Human Form in Health and Disease and Human Variation: From the Laboratory to the Field.

 

Voruganti’s Research Team

Lauren Roppolo Brazell : Data Analyst, Voruganti Lab

Lauren Roppolo Brazell

Data Analyst, Voruganti Lab

Lauren joined the NRI in March 2020 as a data analyst in the Voruganti Lab. She has recently completed her Master of Science degree in Bioinformatics and Genomics, and will begin her Ph.D. in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics this fall. She is assisting the Voruganti Lab group with data analysis for the Viva La Familia study at NRI, and she is also working on an urban microbial metagenomics study at UNCC. Outside of the lab, she enjoys spending time with family, friends, and traveling.

lroppolo@unc.edu
Baba Mass : Research Technician, Voruganti Lab

Baba Mass

Research Technician, Voruganti Lab

Baba graduated from Gambia College School of Education with an AS in science and mathematics. He taught Junior Secondary School science for three years before migrating to the U.S. to pursue higher education. Baba joined the Voruganti lab as a student intern from RCCC before officially joining the team as research technician in July 2015.

bmass@live.unc.edu
Brea Correll Nance : Research Technician, Voruganti Lab

Brea Correll Nance

Research Technician, Voruganti Lab

Brea received her Associate’s in Applied Science in Biotechnology at RCCC. She was an intern for the Voruganti lab from May 2017 until being hired July 2017. Brea’s focus is helping to recruit for studies and helping manage the Precision Nutrition Core, as well as, lab work. She also learned and became certified in phlebotomy while working at NRI. Brea is from Advance, NC and when she is not at work, she enjoys time with her family, dogs, fishing, and going to the beach.

brea_correll@unc.edu
Kendra Lynn Nelson : Graduate Student, Voruganti Lab

Kendra Lynn Nelson

Graduate Student, Voruganti Lab

Kendra received her undergraduate degree in Nutrition from Southern Utah University and worked as a sanitarian prior to attending UNC. She is completing the final stages of her MPH/RD program at UNC-Chapel Hill while working in Dr. Voruganti's lab at NRI. Her prior research focused on the accuracy of consumer fitness trackers and their value as an assessment tool in dietetics practice and future nutrition research.

klnelson@live.unc.edu
Chinmayee Panda, PhD : Postdoctoral Research Associate, Voruganti Lab

Chinmayee Panda, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Voruganti Lab

Dr. Chinmayee Panda is passionate about research that benefits human health. She earned her PhD in Plant Biology from NCSU in August 2017, with a focus in genetics and molecular biology. She joined NRI thereafter as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Voruganti Lab to investigate the interaction between genetic and environmental factors in influencing renal-cardiovascular disease risk. She is currently involved in a project that aims to characterize the nutrigenetic and nutrigenomic determinants of obesity and related comorbidities in children. She also hopes to characterize key phenotypes and environmental factors that increase susceptibility to metabolic diseases in genetically isolated population like Parsis in North America. In her spare time, she dabbles in food photography and blogging. She enjoys travelling with her husband.

chinmayee_panda@unc.edu
Mayuri Patel : Data Analyst, Voruganti Lab

Mayuri Patel

Data Analyst, Voruganti Lab

Mayuri joined the NRI in March 2020, as a data analyst in the Voruganti Lab for her internship. She is working toward her professional degree in Bioinformatics and Genomics at UNC Charlotte and going to graduate this fall. Her Intern project is on Metabolomics, specifically on purine metabolites and how they respond to different concentrations of added sugars in transformed cells. Her prior research work was on A Meta-analysis on efficacy of Zinc in oral mucositis during Cancer Chemo and/or radiotherapy. In leisure time, Mayuri enjoys traveling with her husband, trying new food recipes, and relaxing with friends.

mayuri@ad.unc.edu
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