Directory

Leadership

Steven H. Zeisel, MD, PhD : Institute Director, Professor of Nutrition and Pediatrics

Steven H. Zeisel, MD, PhD

Institute Director, Professor of Nutrition and Pediatrics

Dr. Zeisel is recognized as an international leader in nutrition research. His team's work established the requirement for choline, a newly recognized essential part of our diet. His work on nutrition and brain development, genetic variation and diet requirements, environment and nutrition, and medical education are supported by grants from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Zeisel directs one of the NIH national centers of excellence in human nutrition research. Learn More.  Lab Website

steven_zeisel@unc.edu
Susan M. Smith, PhD : Professor of Nutrition and Deputy Director for Science

Susan M. Smith, PhD

Professor of Nutrition and Deputy Director for Science

Dr. Susan Smith, Deputy Director for Science, joined the NRI in July 2016 after a long career as Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from UW-Madison and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School in developmental biology. Her research investigates how genes and dietary factors interact to direct fetal outcome in alcohol-exposed pregnancies, and her work uses both animal models and clinical populations. Her work is supported by the National Institutes of Health, where she was a MERIT recipient and currently sits on the NIAAA Advisory Council. Learn More.

susan_smith@unc.edu
Eddie Serrano : Deputy Director, Research Business and Operations

Eddie Serrano

Deputy Director, Research Business and Operations

Eddie joined the NRI in March 2018 as the Deputy Director of Research Business and Operations. Eddie has over eighteen years working in academic research administration supplemented with operational leadership experience, in depth knowledge of eRA systems, and a strong research compliance perspective. Eddie joined us from Huron Consulting Group and was fortunate to work at many top universities and hospitals on interim staffing positions and transformational projects during his time as a consultant.  These engagements have proven to be invaluable opportunities which have molded him into well-rounded research administration professional.  Eddie received his Masters of Science in Information Systems Engineering at Florida International University.

eduardo_serrano@unc.edu
Suzanne Dane : Director of Development and Community Outreach

Suzanne Dane

Director of Development and Community Outreach

Suzanne joined the NRI in May 2014 as the director of development and community outreach. She brings more than 20 years of nonprofit development experience, having worked previously at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and Blumenthal Performing Arts in Charlotte, and with the National Main Street Center and Historic Hotels of America at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C. Suzanne is a graduate of George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.

suzanne_dane@unc.edu
Brandi Childers : Assistant Director for Training, Programs and Partnerships

Brandi Childers

Assistant Director for Training, Programs and Partnerships

In April 2018, Brandi was promoted to the new position of Assistant Director for Training, Programs and Partnerships. She brings to her new position more than eight years experience in administration and community partnership management, and 11 years of experience at the NRI. She assists Eddie Serrano, Deputy Director of Research Administration, with Institute operations, oversee HR and administrative functions, plan and implement research-related programming, and continue to be the NRI liaison with the NCRC. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Brandi is a native of Kannapolis, where she has chosen to raise her family.

brandi_childers@unc.edu

Faculty

Carol L. Cheatham, PhD : Associate Professor, Psychology and Neuroscience

Carol L. Cheatham, PhD

Associate Professor, Psychology and Neuroscience

Dr. Carol L. Cheatham earned her PhD in child psychology and neuroscience in 2004 at the University of Minnesota. She is part of the Institute's brain research team. In addition to her appointment with the NRI, Dr. Cheatham holds an appointment as an associate professor in UNC's Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. She has published research on memory recall in pre-term infants, the role of fatty acids in neonatal brains and how stress impacts brain development, as well as other topics.   Learn More.    Lab Website

carol_cheatham@unc.edu
John E. “Jef” French, PhD : Professor, Nutrition

John E. “Jef” French, PhD

Professor, Nutrition

Dr. French is Professor of Nutrition at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute, Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Kannapolis, NC and Adjunct Associate Professor, Center for Pharmacogenetics and Individualized Therapy, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, an international leader in the investigation of  gene x environment interactions (GEI) using pre-clinical genetically-diverse and genetically-engineered mouse models to discover genetic and epigenetic variants associated with inter-individual differences in metabolism and disease.  Learn more.

jfren43@email.unc.edu
Stephen D. Hursting, PhD, MPH : Professor of Nutrition

Stephen D. Hursting, PhD, MPH

Professor of Nutrition

Dr. Hursting is Professor of Nutrition at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute in Kannapolis, NC. He is also Professor in the Department of Nutrition and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. An international leader in the area of nutrition, obesity, metabolism and cancer, his lab focuses on the molecular and metabolic mechanisms underlying obesity-cancer associations, and the impact of obesity- energy balance modulation (eg, calorie restriction and exercise) or pharmacologic agents on cancer development, progression, and responses to chemotherapy. Learn More

hursting@email.unc.edu
Martin Kohlmeier, MD, PhD : Professor, Nutrition

Martin Kohlmeier, MD, PhD

Professor, Nutrition

Joining the UNC Nutrition Research Institute in 2010, Dr. Martin Kohlmeier serves as faculty and primary investigator in the NRI Nutrigenetics Laboratory. He 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. Dr. Kohlmeier’s research explores how to help individuals safely navigate daily food choices and how those choices might affect cancer risk. Learn More.

mkohlmeier@unc.edu
Natalia Krupenko, PhD : Associate Professor of Nutrition

Natalia Krupenko, PhD

Associate Professor of Nutrition

Natalia Krupenko, PhD, joined the UNC Nutrition Research Institute in April 2014 as Assistant Professor of Nutrition. She was promoted to Associate Professor of Nutrition with tenure in April 2020. Dr. Krupenko’s research is focused on the role of folate (vitamin B9) in promoting health and preventing disease in humans. Learn more 

natalia_krupenko@unc.edu
Sergey A. Krupenko, PhD : Professor of Nutrition

Sergey A. Krupenko, PhD

Professor of Nutrition

Sergey A. Krupenko, PhD, joined the UNC Nutrition Research Institute in 2014. Dr. Krupenko’s research focuses on vitamin folate and its role in liver function and cancer disease. Learn more 

sergey_krupenko@unc.edu
Philip May, PhD : Professor of Nutrition

Philip May, PhD

Professor of Nutrition

Philip A. May, PhD, joined the UNC Chapel Hill Nutrition Research Institute in 2011 as a Professor of Nutrition. He is an expert in the epidemiology of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Learn More.

philip_may@unc.edu
Katie Meyer, ScD : Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Katie Meyer, ScD

Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Dr. Meyer is a nutritional and cardiovascular disease epidemiologist. Her research focuses on diet-related health behaviors and nutritional risk factors for cardiometabolic disease.  She is a recipient of a Research Scientist Development Award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to study the gut microbiota, nutrient metabolites, and cardiovascular disease in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study.  Learn more

ktmeyer@email.unc.edu
Sandra M. Mooney, PhD : Associate Professor of Nutrition

Sandra M. Mooney, PhD

Associate Professor of Nutrition

Sandra Mooney, PhD joined the UNC Chapel Hill Nutrition Research Institute in August 2018 as an Associate Professor of Nutrition. Her research program investigates the effect(s) of environment and genes on brain development, with a focus on prenatal alcohol exposure. .  Learn more.

sandra_mooney@unc.edu
Wimal Pathmasiri, PhD : Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Wimal Pathmasiri, PhD

Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Wimal Pathmasiri, PhD  is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Nutrition Research Institute (NRI).  An overarching goal of Dr. Pathmasiri’ s research includes understanding the links between exposures (diet, constituents in natural projects, environmental chemicals, drugs), microbial metabolism, and human health. He was worked with the Sumner-Lab for over 12 years, as the director of a technology core for the NIH Common Fund Eastern Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Core (ERCMRC), and as a co-investigator in the North Carolina Human Health Exposure Analysis Resource Untargeted Analysis Laboratory (NC HHEAR UAL).  Dr. Pathmasiri develops and applies metabolomics to reveal metabolic pathway perturbations associated with disease states, therapeutic treatments, and environmentally relevant exposures. He has contributed to research in the areas of cancer, childhood obesity, early-life exposure to antibiotics, environmental exposure, kidney disease, osteoarthritis, rare diseases, and toxicology.  Dr. Pathmasiri earned a BSc and MPhil from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, and a Licentiate of Philosophy from the Uppsala University, Sweden. He earned a PhD in Chemistry from Uppsala University and conducted postdoctoral research at UNC Chapel Hill, and at RTI International. Learn More

wimal_pathmasiri@unc.edu
Delisha Stewart, PhD : Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Delisha Stewart, PhD

Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Delisha Stewart, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Nutrition Research Institute. Dr. Stewart has over 10 years of experience using genomics, metabolomics and high-throughput molecular bioassays to investigate mechanisms involved in cancer and inflammation. Dr. Stewart’s primary research includes a portfolio of studies aimed at understanding the impact of diet (high fat, high carbohydrate) on weight gain, and breast cancer endpoints.  She uses both in vitro and in vivo model systems of genetic diversity to gain insights into health disparities associated with cancer endpoints. Since 2012, she has worked with the Sumner-Lab to provide oversight for cancer and immunology studies conducted by the NIH Eastern Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Core (ERCMRC), and will continue in this role for the North Carolina Human Health Exposure Analysis Resource Untargeted Analysis Laboratory (NC HHEAR UAL) that was established in August 2019. Dr. Stewart earned a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and conducted postdoctoral research at UNC-Chapel Hill and at RTI International. Learn More 

delisha_stewart@unc.edu
Susan Sumner, PhD : Professor of Nutrition

Susan Sumner, PhD

Professor of Nutrition

Susan Sumner, PhD is a Professor of Nutrition at UNC Chapel Hill’s Nutrition Research Institute, and the Director of the Metabolomics and Exposome Laboratory (MEL) at UNC Chapel Hill. Dr. Sumner is working to make personalized medicine and precision nutrition a reality. Learn More.

susan_sumner@unc.edu
Saroja Voruganti, PhD : Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Saroja Voruganti, PhD

Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Saroja Voruganti, PhD, joined the UNC Nutrition Research Institute 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. Learn More.

 

saroja@unc.edu

Staff

Jody Albright : Research Technician, Hursting Lab

Jody Albright

Research Technician, Hursting Lab

Jody Albright, a former business owner from Salisbury, is a 2011 graduate of Rowan-Cabarrus Comunity College with AS and AAS in Biotechnology degrees. He has recently joined the NRI in Dr. Bennett's lab as a laboratory technician. Jody is excited to use his recent education to develop several new protocols for the laboratory .

jodyalb@email.unc.edu
Emmanuel Baah, MD, MPH : Postdoctoral Research Associate, HRC

Emmanuel Baah, MD, MPH

Postdoctoral Research Associate, HRC

Dr. Baah is from Ghana where he practiced medicine before migrating to the United States. He says, "My passion to go into medicine stems from the experiences I had growing up in a small town of about a thousand people with limited access to healthcare. I developed the passion to go into research because I believe it is the driving force to the future of medicine." He graduated from UNC-Charlotte with a Master's in Epidemiology in May 2020. His areas of interest include genetic epidemiology, nutrigenomics, and nutrigenetics. He currently works with Dr. Martin Kohlmeier to strengthen training programs in precision nutrition, particularly for physicians.

ebaah@unc.edu
Jenna Baker : Executive Assistant to the Director

Jenna Baker

Executive Assistant to the Director

Jenna Baker joined the Nutrition Research Institute in June 2018. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Communication Studies. Jenna joined us from UNC Charlotte where she served as administrative staff for five years within academic departments. She is a native of Concord and currently lives in Kannapolis with her husband. In her spare time she enjoys exercising, traveling or anything outdoors.

jenna_baker@unc.edu
Keri Barron, PhD : Postdoctoral Research Associate, N. Krupenko Lab

Keri Barron, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate, N. Krupenko Lab

Keri Barron joined the NRI in August 2014 as a doctoral student in the Nutrition department at UNC Chapel Hill. She completed her undergraduate and masters programs at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. She graduated in May 2014 with her BS and MS in Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism. She successfully defended her thesis on how ceramics, a group of bioactive lipids, respond to folate in April 2020. Dr. Barron is looking forward to more work on this study, which is so large the data collection alone took a full year. In the future, she would like to teach, as she loves nutrition and talking about nearly every aspect of it.

kab154@email.unc.edu
Joshua Baulch : Research Technician, Smith Lab

Joshua Baulch

Research Technician, Smith Lab

Joshua received his B.S. in Biology in May of 2016 from High Point University in High Point, NC. His undergraduate research focused on the phylogenetic differences of parasitic wasps in the piedmont area. His previous work at the NRI consisted of assisting the research of the Ideraabdullah lab during the summer of 2015. He joined the NRI in September 2016 where he currently assists the Smith lab with their research of ethanol and the impacts it has upon fetal neurological growth and development.

joshua_baulch@unc.edu
Tondra Blevins : Medical Lab Technician

Tondra Blevins

Medical Lab Technician

Tondra Blevins is the Institute's medical laboratory and clinical services technician. She works with research subjects for the NRI's human research studies and clinical trials. Tondra also serves as the Institute’s phlebotomist. Tondra has more than 20 years of medical laboratory experience and has been employed by the Nutrition Research Institute since 2009.

tondra_blevins@unc.edu
Sierra Bonney, MS : Clinical Research Coordinator, Human Research Core

Sierra Bonney, MS

Clinical Research Coordinator, Human Research Core

Sierra Bonney worked as a graduate research assistant in Dr. Esposito’s lab at the Plants for Human Health Institute from 2016 to 2019. She received her MS in Animal Science from NCSU where her research focused on the role of plant bioactives in wound healing, inflammation, and muscle health. After graduation, she joined the NRI in December 2019 as the Clinical Research Coordinator for the Human Research Core. In her free time, she enjoys horseback riding on her family’s farm in New London, baking, and running with the NCRC running club.

sierra1@email.unc.edu
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
Walden Cash : Technology Support Technician

Walden Cash

Technology Support Technician

Walden joined the NRI in September 2015, in the role of Technology Support Technician. He has a passion for all things technology related, and enjoys tinkering and learning about new tech. He comes to the NRI after serving T-Mobile, AT&T, and CompUSA. He is excited to bring that knowledge and passion, as well as a strong desire to help people, to the NRI. Walden is currently attending UNC-Charlotte, pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science with a concentration in Software, Systems, and Networks.

walden_cash@unc.edu
Justin Chandler : Research Technician, Sumner Lab

Justin Chandler

Research Technician, Sumner Lab

Mr. Chandler graduated with a B.S. in Human Biology from North Carolina State University in May 2019. He joined the Sumner Lab as a Research Technician in September 2019. He hopes to learn more about the importance of metabolomics and it's applications for human health and wellness during his time at the NRI.

jkchandl@email.unc.edu
Ryan Dayvault : Facilities and Special Projects Coordinator

Ryan Dayvault

Facilities and Special Projects Coordinator

Ryan Dayvault joined the NRI in May 2008, where he serves as the Assistant to the Deputy Director and Special Projects Coordinator. A native of Kannapolis and 2008 graduate of Catawba College, Ryan holds a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in public administration and a minor in business administration. An avid supporter of the efforts at the North Carolina Research Campus, Ryan has served in various capacities throughout the development of this project while in college and maintaining his residency in Kannapolis.

ryan_dayvault@unc.edu
Malick Dieng : Business Manager

Malick Dieng

Business Manager

Malick's career experience in program administration began in 1995 with managing research projects for Fulbright Fellows, academics, and others working in his home country of Senegal.  He comes to us with more than 18 years of experience in the following areas: extensive experience in grants administration, particularly US government grants, and has worked on various projects at the Children’s Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Institute for Community Inclusion, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Neurologic Diseases, Northeastern University’s Graduate School of Engineering and the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health,  (to name but a few).

"The sum of my background and experience has prepared me for the Research Business Manager and I am confident that I will contribute to the very important work of NRI."

malick_dieng@unc.edu
Rodney Edwards : Cashier, Lettuce Eat Café

Rodney Edwards

Cashier, Lettuce Eat Café

Rodney was born and raised in Kannapolis, and he and his family now live in Concord. Before retiring, Rodney worked as a corporate traffic director for a national display company, and production manager for a technology company that specialized in control panels and vision systems. In addition to helping NRI in the café, he also works as a real estate photographer. Rodney is excited to be a part of the team at the Lettuce Eat Café. His hobbies include photography, softball, basketball, and traveling. He’s a huge Tar Heel, Panthers, and Braves fan as well!

rodney1@email.unc.edu
George Flentke, PhD : Research Specialist, Smith Lab

George Flentke, PhD

Research Specialist, Smith Lab

George Flentke received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where his dissertation focused on the structure and catalytic activity of the enzyme UDP-galactose-4-epimerase,  which is crucial for galactose metabolism. His postdoctoral research in Biochemistry and Pharmacology at Tufts University / New England Medical School focused on the design of inhibitors of dipeptidyl peptidase enzymes, which control immune function and HIV infection.  After returning to UW-Madison he continued working with the immunosupressives cyclosporine and rapamycin. He is an experienced enzymologist/protein chemist and synthetic organic chemist. Currently, he manages Dr. Smith’s lab, where he investigates the mechanism by which alcohol alters ribosomal signaling and mTOR activity in alcohol-exposed neural crest.

gflentke@email.unc.edu
Herman Freeman III : Research Technician, Sumner Lab

Herman Freeman III

Research Technician, Sumner Lab

Mr. Freeman joined the Nutrition Research Institute as a Lab Technician in the Sumner Lab in October 2019. He is learning the foundations of, and expanding his knowledge of, metabolomics research and how it is applied in fields today. He works closely with Dr. Stewart where he is learning mechanisms of certain cancers and how nutrition can impact chemotherapeutic drug metabolism.

herman_freeman@unc.edu
Walter Friday : Research Technician, Zeisel Lab

Walter Friday

Research Technician, Zeisel Lab

Walter Friday, a Kannapolis native, recently returned to Cabarrus County to get married. He is a 2010 graduate of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College with an AAS in Biotechnology. He is pleased to be working at the Nutrition Research Institute as a research technician. He enjoys spending time with his wife, reading, and traveling.

walter_friday@unc.edu
Denzel France : Business Officer

Denzel France

Business Officer

Denzel graduated from UNC Charlotte in December 2016, with a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems. In Denzel’s spare time, he enjoys exploring the city with friends, trying new places to eat, going to the movies, reading, and he is also a member of a car club!

 

denzel_france@unc.edu
Claire Gates : Research Technician, S. Krupenko Lab

Claire Gates

Research Technician, S. Krupenko Lab

Claire Gates received Bachelor's degrees in Biology, with a concentration in cellular physiology, and Chemistry from UNCC in 2019. Her previous research focused on the elucidation and characterization of pathways involved in bacterial glycan synthesis. She is currently serving as a research technician in the Sergey Krupenko group, who are interested in the influence of folate on liver function and carcinogenesis. She hopes to begin her PhD in Biochemistry in 2020.

ceg@email.unc.edu
Doretha Grier : Social/Clinical Research Associate, Zeisel Lab

Doretha Grier

Social/Clinical Research Associate, Zeisel Lab

Doretha Grier, a native of Kannapolis, joined the Nutrition Research Institute in March 2020. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and holds a Masters in Middle Grades Science Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  Certifications include Academically Gifted Certification from the University of Chapel Hill and National Board Certification for Professional Teachers. Her work experiences include teaching science for over 20 years in Kannapolis. She is married with two grown children, two special nieces, and a nephew she considers her own. In her spare time she enjoys reading, spending time with family and traveling. She is pleased to be a part of the NRI.

doretha_grier@unc.edu
Madeline Hall : Research Technician, N. Krupenko Lab

Madeline Hall

Research Technician, N. Krupenko Lab

Madeline received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Alabama in May 2018, with minors in Chemistry and Spanish. After moving to North Carolina, she joined the NRI in March 2019 where she currently assists the Natalia Krupenko Lab with their research on the impact of folate on human health. Madeline hopes to begin her PhD in Biochemsitry in 2020.

madeline_hall@unc.edu
Julie Hasken, MPH : Doctoral Student in Nutrition, UNC-CH; Project Manager, May Lab

Julie Hasken, MPH

Doctoral Student in Nutrition, UNC-CH; Project Manager, May Lab

Julie earned a BS in Health Science from Truman State University and a Masters in Public Health, with a concentration in Health Education and Health Behavior, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a Certified Health Education Specialist, her prior work focused on tobacco prevention and control. At the NRI, Julie works with Philip May, PhD, on dataset management, quality assurance, data analysis, and manuscript preparation on the epidemiology of FASD in the United States and South Africa.

 

jhasken@email.unc.edu
Dixie Marie Hedrick, MPH : Research Assistant, May Lab

Dixie Marie Hedrick, MPH

Research Assistant, May Lab

Dixie Hedrick joined the NRI in April 2018 as a research assistant in the May lab. Prior to joining NRI, she worked as a Dietetic Technician for 2 years at Park Ridge Health Hospital in Hendersonville, NC. She earned a BS in Nutrition and Foods, with a focus in Dietetics, from Appalachian State University and a Masters in Public Health, with a concentration in Community Health, from Lenoir-Rhyne University. Dixie is a native of Western North Carolina.

dixie_hedrick@unc.edu
Kaylee Helfrich : Doctoral Student in Nutrition, Smith Lab

Kaylee Helfrich

Doctoral Student in Nutrition, Smith Lab

Kaylee Helfrich joined the NRI as a doctoral student in nutrition in August 2016. She completed her BS degree in Biochemistry at Clemson University in December 2015. Her research focused on signaling mechanisms that controlled energy expenditure in plants. Kaylee works with Dr. Susan Smith to research prenatal alcohol exposure and its interaction with iron metabolism in the mother and infant.

khelfri@live.unc.edu
Lauren Hinkle : Research Technician, Zeisel Lab

Lauren Hinkle

Research Technician, Zeisel Lab

Lauren joined the NRI in July 2018 as a Research Technician for the Zeisel Lab. She is currently a senior at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology with a minor in Public Health. Lauren is a Charlotte native and enjoys traveling, and spending time with her family.

lauren_hinkle@unc.edu
Rachel Hodges : Research Technician, Smith Lab

Rachel Hodges

Research Technician, Smith Lab

rachelho@ad.unc.edu
Rick Hoffärth : Communication Specialist

Rick Hoffärth

Communication Specialist

Rick joined the NRI in 2017 as a communication specialist in Development and Outreach. He earned a BS in Criminal Justice Sciences at Illinois State University and was a juvenile probation officer and program developer for three years. He earned his Master of Divinity (M.Div.) at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ and was a full time pastor for 27 years. After retiring, Rick added a degree in Digital Design from the Art Institute of Charlotte in 2014 . He works with Suzanne Dane to interpret the work of the NRI to current and potential donors.

rick_hoffarth@unc.edu
David Horita, PhD : Scientific Grant Writer

David Horita, PhD

Scientific Grant Writer

David Horita joined the NRI in 2013 as a grant writer. He assists faculty by identifying funding opportunities and writing/editing research proposals. David developed research and writing experience in metabolism and cell signaling during his 13 years as a faculty member in Biochemistry at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He did postdoctoral work at the NCI/NIH and obtained a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin and a BA in chemistry from Carleton College.

david_horita@unc.edu
Sarah Hreyo : Development Associate

Sarah Hreyo

Development Associate

Sarah is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, and is a few classes away from completing a graduate degree at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. In Sarah’s spare time, she loves reading, cooking, baking, and spending time outdoors (especially at the Whitewater Center). Sarah loves trivia and once appeared on an episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire!

sarah_hreyo@unc.edu
Scott Jaworski : Applications Analyst

Scott Jaworski

Applications Analyst

Scott Jaworski joined the NRI in May 2008, where he serves as the Applications Analyst and IT Consultant. Scott brings years of experience in the University IT field, having worked in the IT Technical Support field both as a student and staff member at UNC Charlotte, where he graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science in 2001.

scott_jaworski@unc.edu
Kristine Kay, PhD : Postdoctoral Research Associate, Sumner Lab

Kristine Kay, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Sumner Lab

Kristine Kay, PhD joined the Sumner-Lab as a postdoctoral fellow in 2019.  Her research interests focus on improving human health through characterization of bioactive compounds and structure-function relationships within cellular pathways. Dr. Kay has over 10 years of experience using NMR and Mass Spectrometry for the detection and identification of small molecules, peptides, and proteins. She earned a PhD in inorganic biochemistry in 2017 from The University of East Anglia (UEA, Norwich, UK), where she developed intact protein mass spectrometry and molecular spectroscopy methods to characterize highly conserved copper-binding proteins.  Prior to completing a PhD, Dr. Kay conducted research at the Quadram Institute, UK, where she used mass spectrometry and biomolecular NMR to design peptidomimetic therapeutics for proteins and receptors involved in pathways upregulated in cancer.  Dr. Kay will use her training to conduct metabolomics analysis for the Sumner-Lab.

klkay@email.unc.edu
David Kirchner, MS : Research Associate, Sumner Lab

David Kirchner, MS

Research Associate, Sumner Lab

David Kirchner, MS is a Research Associate in the Sumner-Lab at NRI. He uses his training in mass spectrometry to analyze proteins and metabolites in biospecimens. Mr Kirchner has over 20 years of experience working in laboratories to conduct studies using genetic, molecular and cell biology, bioanalytical chemistry and bioinformatics approaches. He will contribute his knowledge to studies conducted for the Sumner-Lab.  Mr. Kirchner earned a MS in Biochemistry from Indiana University of PA in 2010.

david_kirchner@unc.edu
Cecilia Kwan, PhD, RD : Postdoctoral Research Associate, Smith Lab

Cecilia Kwan, PhD, RD

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Smith Lab

Cecilia received her PhD in molecular nutrition from Cornell University. Her dissertation project focused on the effect of maternal choline supplementation during mouse pregnancy on placental function and offspring development. While at Cornell University, Cecilia also completed the dietetic internship and is currently certified as a Registered Dietitian. Cecilia joined the NRI in the fall of 2017 to work with Dr. Smith where she will conduct studies examining how maternal nutritional status interacts with alcohol consumption to modulate placental development and offspring health. This understanding will facilitate the development of dietary interventions to improve outcomes in children who are prenatally exposed to alcohol.

cecilia_kwan@unc.edu
Maricela Lara-Segura : Research Technician, Meyer Lab

Maricela Lara-Segura

Research Technician, Meyer Lab

Maricela came to the Nutrition Research Institute (NRI) as an intern student from RCCC. She was hired in May 2018 as a research technician by Dr. Meyer. Her work involves the diet of rodents and primates. The research focuses on how the Gut Microbiome relates to health.

maricela_lara@unc.edu
Yuan Li, PhD : Mass Spectrometry Lab Manager, Sumner Lab

Yuan Li, PhD

Mass Spectrometry Lab Manager, Sumner Lab

Yuanyuan Li, PhD is the manager of the mass spectrometry facility in the Sumner-Lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Nutrition Research Institute (NRI).  Dr. Li oversaw the development of the Sumner-Lab untargeted analysis workflow for the NIEHS-funded Children’s Health Exposure Analysis Resource (CHEAR) program, and serves as the technology core leader for untargeted analysis for the North Carolina Human Health Exposure Analysis Resource Untargeted Analysis Laboratory (NC HHEAR UAL).  She has extensive experience in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and incorporates that knowledge in her research at NRI which focusses on prevention and management of metabolic syndromes, including obesity, diabetes, and their complications, through nutritional approaches and herbal remedies. Dr. Li  earned a BS in 2003 Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China and a PhD in biochemistry from City University of Hong Kong in 2014.

yuanyli4@unc.edu
Anju Lulla, PhD : Research Associate, Meyer Lab

Anju Lulla, PhD

Research Associate, Meyer Lab

Anju Lulla, PhD joined the NRI as a Research Associate in August 2018. She received her Phd from St. John’s University, NY, in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a focus in pharmacology. Prior to joining NRI, Anju was a research assistant at UNC Charlotte in the Bioinformatics Department. She brings with her expertise in bioinformatics and statistical analyses of genomic and microbiome data. She is working with Dr. Katie Meyer to study associations between nutritional metabolites, gut microbiome and cardiovascular health.

anju_lulla@unc.edu
Michael Mackin : Lead Accounting Technician

Michael Mackin

Lead Accounting Technician

Michael Mackin joined the Nutrition Research Institute in March 2016 as an Accounting Technician.  As a local native, Michael once worked at the Pillowtex plant, before it ceased operations, where the NRI was later built.  He enjoys spending time with his daughter, walking, and watching sports.

michael_mackin@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
Susan McRitchie, MA, MS : Program Manager, Sumner Lab

Susan McRitchie, MA, MS

Program Manager, Sumner Lab

Susan McRitchie, MA, MS, is the lead biostatistician in the Sumner-Lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Nutrition Research Institute (NRI). She has over 20 years of experience using statistics and modeling approaches to associate survey data and laboratory measures from basic, clinical, and epidemiology investigations with a wide variety of health outcomes.  She served as the Program Coordinator for the NIH-Common Fund Eastern Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Core (ERCMRC, 2012-2019), and contributed to working groups on data analysis and visualization, and promotion and outreach. She is currently the Program Coordinator for the North Carolina Human Health Exposure Analysis Resource Untargeted Analysis Laboratory (NC HHEAR UAL) that was established in August 2019.  Ms. McRitchie’s research interest lies in understanding how diet, and nutrients, can mitigate against adverse effects from exposures to drugs, medications, and environmentally relevant chemicals. Ms. McRitchie earned a MA in Mathematics from UCLA and a MS in Biostatistics from UNC Chapel Hill.

susan_mcritchie@unc.edu
Tim Mills : Food Services Supervisor, Café

Tim Mills

Food Services Supervisor, Café

Tim is currently the Research Chef for the University of North Carolina metabolic kitchen in Kannapolis. He also is the Food Service Supervisor for the Lettuce Eat Café at the Nutrition Research Institute. He brings more than 30 years’ experience in food service and nutrition to our team. Tim is a local resident who relocated to the area after a successful career in the resort hospitality industry. Since returning to the area, he has been the Executive Chef of The Club at Irish Creek and was the owner of Chef’s Choice Gourmet Pastries. In 2014 he was provided the opportunity to work with the University of North Carolina to offer personalized nutrition. His passion for nutrition is evident in the food he creates.

tmills29@email.unc.edu
Carolyn Munson : Research Technician, Mooney Lab

Carolyn Munson

Research Technician, Mooney Lab

Carolyn Munson graduated in 2015 from Rowan Cabarrus Community College with an AAS in biotechnology. She is working as a research technician in the Surzenko Lab at the NRI. Much of her work is directed by Dr. Natalia Surzenko performing immunohistochemistry work.

camunson@email.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
Evan Paules : Graduate Student, Zeisel Lab

Evan Paules

Graduate Student, Zeisel Lab

Evan Paules joined the NRI in August 2016 as a doctoral student in the Nutrition Department. He completed his undergraduate program at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ. He received his BS in 2016 with a double major in Biochemistry and Behavioral Neuroscience. His research interests include folate metabolism with relation to its role within the central nervous system, as well as cellular homeostasis. Evan was a 4-year member of Rider University’s Division 1 swim team.

paulese@live.unc.edu
Peter Pediaditakis, PhD : Research Scientist, N. Krupenko Lab

Peter Pediaditakis, PhD

Research Scientist, N. Krupenko Lab

Dr. Peter Pediaditakis joined UNC Nutrition Research Institute in 2015 as a research scientist in the N. Krupenko Lab after several years in an academic setting.  His work involves understanding how folate metabolism affects hepatocytes and how those hepatocyte effects influence the whole body. Additionally, Dr. Pediaditakis is creating specific genetic mutants in immortalized cultured hepatocytes to more clearly understand the role of the liver using metabolomics-based methods. Dr. Peter Pediaditakis received his PhD in Cellular and Molecular Pathology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2002. His thesis work was in the laboratory of Dr. George Michalopoulos where he explored the role of hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor in liver homeostasis and regeneration. Upon completion of his doctorate, Dr. Pediaditakis joined the laboratory of Dr. John Lemasters at UNC Chapel Hill where he received an individual Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award. The focus of his post-doctoral work explored the role of protein kinases A and G in the protection of hepatocytes from mitochondrial-induced cell death. After his fellowship, Dr. Pediaditakis worked as a scientist at various institutions and private companies where he continued his work on human and mammalian hepatocyte isolation and metabolism. Dr. Pediaditakis left the laboratory for several years and taught biology, anatomy and physiology, and chemistry at both the high school and college level.

pathos@unc.edu
Betty Peterson : Cashier, Café

Betty Peterson

Cashier, Café

Betty has served Lettuce Eat Café customers with a positive attitude and a smile since joining the NRI in 2016! She is a career service industry professional. Betty is a North Carolina native, growing up in the eastern part of the state, then raising her family locally. In her spare time, Betty enjoys classic titles from her extensive movie collection, and enjoying time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren!

betty_peterson@unc.edu
William Pressel III : Research Technician, Hursting Lab

William Pressel III

Research Technician, Hursting Lab

Before getting a B.S. in Biology from UNC Charlotte, Bill completed an A.A.S. in Biotechnology at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and worked with protein-polyphenol aggregates as a technician in Dr. Lila's lab at PHHI.  After graduating, their interests in the intersections of Nutritional Biology and Social Ecology have led their work/study through diverse occupations such as greenhouse management, restoration agriculture, community organizing, and worker cooperatives (currently they are involved in an exploratory group to build natural houses and pools, and do permaculture landscaping).  They are also very excited to be back in a lab environment and interested in continuing their education by entering a graduate program in the near future.

william_pressel@unc.edu
Brandon Presswood : Research Technician, Smith Lab

Brandon Presswood

Research Technician, Smith Lab

Brandon received his B.S. in Biology in August of 2018 from the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC.  His undergraduate research focused on investigating long non-coding RNAs in translation and ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis.  Before that he was in the US Air Force from January 2007 to January 2016.  Brandon joined the NRI in August 2018 where he currently assists the Smith lab with their research of ethanol and the impacts it has upon fetal neurological growth and development.

brandon_presswood@unc.edu
Dane Ricketts : Research Technician, Mooney Lab

Dane Ricketts

Research Technician, Mooney Lab

Dane received his BS in Marine Biology from UNC Wilmington in 2012.  After graduating he spent 3 years abroad working and traveling in Australia, where he worked as a Dive Master on the Great Barrier Reef; in Fiji, where he became a SCUBA Instructor and helped start a coral transplanting project; working and backpacking in New Zealand, and working as a SCUBA Instructor in Thailand.  Dane moved back to the United States in October of 2015 and decided to return to the lab, leading him to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to earn an AAS in Biotechnology in May of 2018.  He worked as a contractor at DHMRI in the Analytical Science lab over the summer and in September 2018 became a part of Dr. Mooney’s lab as a Research Technician.

dane_ricketts@unc.edu
Olivia Rivera, PhD : Postdoctoral Research Associate, Smith Lab

Olivia Rivera, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Smith Lab

Olivia completed her PhD in Biomedical Sciences at Penn State University, where she investigated the role of the micronutrient zinc in mammary gland development and the influence of genetic variation on lactation outcomes. Olivia joined the NRI in July 2019 to focus on nutrient-gene interactions and precision nutrition during development. As a postdoctoral research associate in Dr. Smith’s lab, she will explore epigenetic mechanisms to understand how alcohol disrupts fetal development.

olivia_rivera@unc.edu
Blake Rushing, PhD : Postdoctoral Research Associate, Sumner Lab

Blake Rushing, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Sumner Lab

Blake Rushing, PhD, is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Nutrition Research Institute (NRI). Dr. Rushing’s is trained in pharmacology and toxicology, and has experience using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, in vitro model systems, and various biochemical assays to study the interactions between small molecule toxins/drugs with macromolecular targets such as proteins and DNA. He is well versed in using analytical instrumentation to study metabolic products of exogenous small molecule agents and their biological effects. Dr. Rushing earned BS in Chemistry for Catawba College, a PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology in 2018 from East Carolina University. Dr. Rushing will use his background in drug/chemical metabolism and toxicology to contribute to the identification of unknown signals in untargeted analyses for the Sumner-Lab.

blake_rushing@unc.edu
Nipun Saini, PhD : Postdoctoral Research Associate, Smith Lab

Nipun Saini, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Smith Lab

Nipun Saini joined the NRI in the summer of 2017 for her second postdoctoral position and will be working with Dr. Smith on fetal alcohol syndrome. She completed her PhD. in Biochemistry from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where her dissertation was focused on the characterization of inhibitors of fatty acid transport protein-2 in cell and animal models to reduce obesity, lipotoxicity and related diseases. After earning her PhD, she moved to the North Carolina Research Campus as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at North Carolina Central University and worked on understanding the mechanism of microRNA-mediated regulation in metformin treated breast cancer cells.

nipun_saini@unc.edu
Teresa Seagroves : Business Services Coordinator

Teresa Seagroves

Business Services Coordinator

Teresa is the face of the second floor administrative suite in her role as business services coordinator. Teresa grew up and raised her family in China Grove, just a few miles north of Kannapolis, where she also spent many years working in the Rowan-Salisbury School system in administrative roles. Teresa loves the beach and everything turtle-related, and is excited to be a part of the NRI!

teresa_seagroves@unc.edu
Alyson Hope Selchick : Research Technician, Mooney Lab

Alyson Hope Selchick

Research Technician, Mooney Lab

Alyson received her B.S. in Biology from the College of Charleston in May of 2017.  Shortly after, she began her career as a Research Specialist at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina.  She assisted with research focused on the effect(s) of alcohol exposure on the brain.  After moving to North Carolina, Alyson joined the NRI in February 2019 as a Research Technician and is currently assisting the Mooney Lab with their research of the effect(s) of environment and genes on brain development, with a focus on prenatal alcohol exposure.

aly_selchick@unc.edu
Melissa Shaffer : Social/Clinical Research Assistant, Cheatham Lab

Melissa Shaffer

Social/Clinical Research Assistant, Cheatham Lab

Melissa Shaffer joined the Nutrition Research Institute in January of 2020 as a research assistant in Dr. Cheatham’s Nutrition and Cognition Lab.  In 2015 she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee. Melissa has a professional background working directly with underserved populations with addictions in the city of Philadelphia, but she is grateful and excited for the opportunity to begin a career in research. Melissa is passionate about how the research being conducted in the Cheatham Lab positively impacts both the immediate community surrounding it, as well as its potential to impact the global community.  Melissa hails from New Jersey, but she is enjoying discovering all the charms North Carolina has to offer.

melissa_shaffer@unc.edu
Jaspreet Sharma, PhD : Postdoctoral Research Associate, S. Krupenko Lab

Jaspreet Sharma, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate, S. Krupenko Lab

Jaspreet Sharma joined the NRI in the summer of 2017 in the S. Krupenko’s Lab to investigate the role of folate-metabolizing enzymes in cancer progression and metastasis. She received her PhD from the Graduate Program in the Department of Gastroenterology, PGIMER, Chandigarh (India). Her graduate studies focused on prevention of colon cancer by dietary supplements. She has received her postdoctoral training in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Colorado, Denver, working on the receptor-mediating signaling in tumorigenesis.

 

sharmaj@email.unc.edu
Jon Shea : Research Services Coordinator

Jon Shea

Research Services Coordinator

Jon Shea joined the Nutrition Research Institute in the summer of 2017. He is a graduate of UNC Charlotte’s Bioinformatics program.  He has worked in several labs working on research in single cell sequencing studying the transcriptomic changes in yeast and c. elegans as well as plant metabolites using HPLC and mass spectrometry.

jon_shea@unc.edu
Susie Smith : Programs and Operations Specialist

Susie Smith

Programs and Operations Specialist

Susie Smith joined the Nutrition Research Institute in March 2016. As Programs and Operations Specialist she works with human resources matters and Institute programming such as symposia, workshops, and invited seminar speakers. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Her work experiences include Social Work, Hospice Care, Business and Marketing. She is married with two grown children. In her spare time she enjoys reading, cycling and traveling. She is pleased to be a part of the NRI.

 

susie_smith@unc.edu
Julie Stegall : Study Coordinator, Zeisel Lab

Julie Stegall

Study Coordinator, Zeisel Lab

Julie joined the NRI in 2009 with Dr. Carol Cheatham’s Nutrition & Cognition Lab where she helped launch some of the first human studies completed on the NCRC.  In her time with the NRI, she has also enjoyed working with Dr. Phil May to learn more about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs). She and has worked on research studies with babies, toddlers, school age children, and adults of all ages.  Julie earned a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications and a Masters in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Julie’s current project is coordinating the Choline Status Study for Dr. Zeisel’s lab.

julie_stegall@unc.edu
Isis Trujillo, PhD : Postdoctoral Research Associate, Zeisel Lab

Isis Trujillo, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Zeisel Lab

Isis Trujillo received her PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Her research was focused on the role of metabolic proteins associated with biotin in transcriptional regulation. She also collaborated on breast cancer research projects. Her interests include nutrigenomics, epigenetics and metabolism. She is now investigating how bioavailability of choline affects epigenetics neural progenitor cells.

isis_trujillo@unc.edu
Melissa VerHague, PhD : Research Associate, Hursting Lab

Melissa VerHague, PhD

Research Associate, Hursting Lab

Melissa VerHague earned her PhD in molecular pathology from Wake Forest University. Her dissertation investigated the impact of apolipoprotein A-IV on triglyceride secretion and lipoprotein particle expansion associated with hepatic steatosis. A native of Buffalo, NY, she joined the NRI as a postdoctoral research associate in September of 2014. Her primary research focus is understanding the role of CD44 in atherosclerosis and metabolic syndrome.

melissa_verhague@unc.edu
Manjot Virdee : Research Associate, Smith Lab

Manjot Virdee

Research Associate, Smith Lab

Manjot joined the NRI in June 2019 as a research associate, conducting statistical analyses for the lab. He received his MS in Bioinformatics from the University of Birmingham in England where he focused on machine learning methods in Genomics and Metabolomics. His long-term interests are in how science policy will integrate new technologies and discoveries from genomics into healthcare. In his spare time, Manjot enjoys debating philosophy, playing chess, and reading fantasy.

manjot_virdee@unc.edu
Kathleen Walter, PhD : Postdoctoral Research Associate, Mooney Lab

Kathleen Walter, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Mooney Lab

Katie joined the NRI in August of 2019. She is a nutritional immunologist and received her PhD in Animal Science from North Carolina State University. Her dissertation focused on long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) supplementation as a means to dampen immunosuppressive effects of respiratory pathogens. She is now investigating impacts of fetal alcohol syndrome on Alzheimer-related pathologies and behavioral impairments.

kathleen_walter@unc.edu