Be among the first to learn about cutting-edge research taking place at the Nutrition Research Institute and elsewhere in the field. Register now for free Appetite for Life presentations. Appetite for Life is a series of community programs that bring the latest scientific research down to earth in educational and interactive lectures, demonstrations and events. Our speakers, experts in their fields, present programs to help you understand what precision nutrition is and how we are using advanced methods of research to investigate it for your improved healthcare.

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Upcoming Events

Nutrition by Design: Exploring 3D Printing in Cognitive Development
UNC Nutrition Research Institute | Kannapolis, NC | Carol L. Cheatham, PhD
December 5, 6 PM

Join us on December 5 to explore the exciting convergence of 3D printing technology and nutrition research. Carol L. Cheatham, Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute, will delve into the innovative use of 3D printing to study the cognition and memory of infants and toddlers through imitation tasks. This event provides an opportunity to learn more about the evolving landscape of nutrition research and how it may impact early brain development. 

Event is located at the Lettuce Eat Café inside the UNC Nutrition Research Institute, 500 Laureate Way, Kannapolis, NC 28081. Doors open at 5:45 and the event will start at 6 PM. Refreshments and light snacks will be provided.

Wellness Workshop
High Performance Training | Kannapolis, NC
January 2024

Details coming soon.

Alice Ammerman and Good Bowls
April 2024

Details coming soon.

Previous Events

Nutrition and Cancer with Stephen Hursting, PhD
Zoom | UNC Nutrition Research Institute
October 25, 12 PM

A healthy lifestyle can help you feel great and maintain body weight, but it can also decrease your cancer risk. Stephen Hursting, PhD, MPH, NRI director and international leader in the area of nutrition, obesity, metabolism, and cancer, explains the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and its impact on your risk for developing cancer.

In honor of breast cancer awareness month, Hursting will present his research on the aggressive nature of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and the potential targets for future chemotherapeutic development. Other researchers at the NRI have contributed research that could facilitate the development of treatment options with fewer side effects than the current aggressive treatment plans for TNBC.

Cooking Demo + Nutrition Talk: Fitting the Fall Season into Your Rainbow Diet
Johnson and Wales University | Charlotte, NC
September 27, 6 PM

On September 27 we took our Appetite for Life series on the road to Johnson and Wales University for a cooking demo + nutrition talk. Chef Daina Soto-Sellers, a JWU professor, is a science-driven chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and beverage industry. Soto-Sellers prepared a fall inspired menu featuring a roasted butternut squash salad roll with maple orange dipping sauce, an entrée of creamy white stone ground grits with roasted vegetables and mushroom jus and an apple upside down cake for dessert.

Chef Soto-Sellers was joined by NRI’s Cinya Brand, MPH, CHES. Brand provided the nutritional benefits of each dish showing participants that healthy is also delicious. 

The Science of Beer
Old Armor Brewing Company | Kannapolis, NC
August 31 at 6 PM

Located in the heart of downtown Kannapolis, Old Armor is a one-of-a-kind brewery that features carefully crafted and locally brewed beers. We learned about the brewing process from Old Armor’s expert brewer, Stefan Perrin, co-founder and owner. From malting to fermentation, each flavor is hand-picked to include familiar tastes, new creations, and seasonal favorites.

The Nutrition Research Institute’s Sandra Mooney, PhD, shared a presentation on the science and health values of fermentation, nutritional facts about beer, as well as an introduction to precision nutrition research at the NRI. 

Sandra Mooney, PhD is an associate professor of Nutrition at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute. Her research program investigates the effects of environment and genes on brain development, with a focus on prenatal alcohol exposure. Mooney’s work has contributed to understanding that alcohol alters cell proliferation, migration, and death; all of which are critical for brain development.

Stefan Perrine, US ARMY veteran, graduated from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business Masters of Business in 2017 then attended California Polytechnic State University where he received his Brewing Certificate and trained at Innovation Brew Works in Pomona, CA. He and business partner Kyle Lingafelt started Old Armor Beer Co. in Kannapolis, NC, in order to give back to local veterans and first responders. Perrine is currently the co-owner and director of Brewing Operations for both Old Armor Beer Co. and Tipsy Hare Ciderworks, also in Kannapolis.



Epidemiology: the story of disease.
Julie Hasken, PhD, MPH
May 17, 2023

Every good story includes the “5 Ws”: Who, What, Where, When, and Why. In studying how disease begins and remains in a population, we’re writing the story of that disease, and we use the same technique. Julie Hasken, PhD, that highlighted various approaches to understanding the “5 Ws” of a given disease and how understanding them can lead to tailored intervention and prevention. This presentation is particularly timely today since there are several spreadable (communicable) diseases and lifestyle-linked (noncommunicable) diseases that scientists are working to discover the “5 Ws” of in order to improve health and wellbeing.

Dr. Hasken joined the NRI in 2012 as a Project Manager for Dr. Philip May focusing on the prevalence, child characteristics, and maternal risk factors of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) in the United States and South Africa. She earned her doctorate from the UNC-CH Department of Nutrition in 2021 and is now a postdoctoral research associate with Dr. May. Dr. Hasken earned her BS in Health Science from Truman State University and a Masters in Public Health, with a concentration in Health Education and Health Behavior, from UNC-CH. Dr. Hasken is also a Certified Health Education Specialist.

Appetite for Life: Better Health Outcomes Now and for the Future
March 2023

What if we can have better health outcomes, at a lower cost, now and for the future? Seriously.

Health is driven by four factors: clinical (10%), social (20%), genetics (30%), and behavior (40%). And yet, over 80% of our current health spending is on clinical services. The result? A declining life span and the highest cost per capita in the world. None of us should be satisfied with that result.

This event brought Katie Kaney, DrPH, FACHE, author of Both/And: Medicine & Public Health Together, and NRI’s Martin Kohlmeier, MD, PhD, professor of Nutrition, together to discuss this topic and more.

Katie Kaney is a C-suite healthcare thought leader with over 25 years of experience developing and implementing innovative programs to enhance care, promote health and expand business models for success. A bestselling author, Both/ And: Medicine and Public Health Together charts a practical path toward better health outcomes at a lower cost, for all. She is the founder of the Whole Person Index, an advisor for companies including PeraHealth / Rothman Index, Guideway Care and UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, among others.

Martin Kohlmeier focuses on laboratory diagnostics and nutritional genetics. With more than thirty years of experience in nutrition research, he has developed novel biochemical methods for the assessment of dietary intake and nutrient adequacy. Dedicated to helping the public benefit from recent advancements in genetics and nutrition, Kohlmeier uses this new technology to read the body’s DNA blueprint down to very fine details. His goal is to translate this data into practical directions for people’s health.

Speed Dating with the NRI: 3-Minute Nutrition Theories
February 2023

In February, we heard from eight of the Nutrition Research Institute’s scientists. They explained what it is they’re investigating and why it’s so important—in just 3 minutes each! Principal investigators, postdocs, doctoral students, and research specialists will take the mic to reveal the theories, concepts and ideas that underlie their exacting work in the laboratory and clinic. These 3-minute theory presentations are designed to effectively explain complex scientific research in down-to-earth language for a non-scientific audience. 

You can read the scripts of these talks by clicking the button to the left.

Nutrition Trivia
January 2023

What’s the difference between a vitamin and a mineral?  The UNC Nutrition Research Institute gathered at Gaelic Alley Irish Pub in downtown Kannapolis for Nutrition Trivia Night. The evening was full of food, drinks, trivia, and prizes at Gaelic Alley, Kannapolis’ brand-new pub featuring traditional Irish flavors. In addition, TasteBudz Gourmet Burgers food truck was on-site with a delicious menu of burgers, sandwiches, and cheesesteaks available for purchase.

Missed the fun night? You can still try your hand at nutrition trivia by clicking the button to the left

Nutrition and Other Factors to Combat Cancer
October 2022

Living a healthy lifestyle is a great way to decrease your cancer risk, but what does it mean to have a healthy lifestyle? On October 27, three scientists from the NRI talked about different approaches you can take to decrease cancer risk, including eating nutritious foods, maintaining a healthy body weight, and being physically active. They discussed evidence-based strategies for cancer prevention as well as dietary changes you can make if you are diagnosed with cancer. Cancer prevention and survival is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

Speakers included: Alyssa Ho, research technician; Violet Kiesel, postdoctoral research associate; Hannah Malian, graduate research assistant.

Precision Nutrition + Plant-based Eating
Sepetember 2022

The UNC Nutrition Research Institute hosted a special Appetite for Life featuring Monique May, MD, the Physician in the Kitchen, with an introduction on precision nutrition by Kendra Nelson, MPH, registered dietitian, and member of the NRI’s Voruganti Lab.


AFL Program Summaries

Appetite For Life Program Summaries: Sept. 2021-May 2022

Appetite For Life has been impacted by the pandemic like so many things. In 2020 we adapted and moved online with Appetite For Life with a Twist. This season we will offer a variety of virtual and in-person presentations. If you miss any of our programs, you can view PowerPoint presentations, Program Handouts and Program Videos here. Click the image to see a listing of the programs and the media materials associated with each one.  Enjoy!

Appetite For Life Program Summaries: Sept. 2020-May 2021

Appetite For Life was impacted by the pandemic like so many things. We adapted and moved online with Appetite For Life with a Twist. If you missed any of our programs this season, you can view PowerPoint presentations, Program Handouts and Program Videos here. Click the image to see a listing of the programs and the media materials associated with each one.  Enjoy!

Appetite For Life Program Summaries: Sept. 2019-May 2020

If you missed any of our programs so far this season, you can view PowerPoint presentations and videos of them here. Click the image to see a listing of the programs and the media materials associated with each one.  Enjoy!

Appetite For Life Program Summaries: Sept. 2018-May 2019

If you missed any of our programs last season, you can view PowerPoint presentations and videos of them here. Click the image to see a listing of the programs and the media materials associated with each one.  Enjoy!

Appetite For Life Program Summaries: Sept. 2017-May 2018

If you missed any of our programs during the 2017-2018 season, you can view PowerPoint presentations and videos of them here. Click the image to see a listing of the programs and the media materials associated with each one.  Enjoy!

Appetite For Life Program Archive

Appetite For Life, and its predecessor Appetite For Life Academy, has been presenting free, public presentations of the research of NRI and UNC Chapel Hill scientists since 2012. Click the image to navigate to the NRI’s YouTube channel. You will find all of our current programs as well as the programs posted prior to September 2017. If you want to receive a notification when a new AFL video has been posted, just click the Subscribe button on our YouTube page. Enjoy!