Carol L. Cheatham, PhD
Associate Professor, Psychology & Neuroscience
An important member of the UNC Nutrition Research Institute’s research team, Carol L. Cheatham, PhD, focuses on how nutrition can improve children’s brain function. Specifically, her team studies the importance of nutrients for the development of memory and attention abilities.
Broadly defined, Dr. Cheatham’s research focuses on the relationship between an individual’s genome and the metabolism of nutrients, and how this leads to differences in cognitive and social development. Specifically, she is interested in the development of memory and attention as they are the basis for learning, and therefore school readiness. For example, her research asks if the supplementation of children’s diets with omega-3 fatty acids have an effect on their memory abilities over a determined period of time. Many different methods and tools are used in the Cheatham lab to assess abilities, including taking turns with the children building unique toys and the use of special equipment to read their brain activity while they are watching pictures on a computer screen.
“Dr. Cheatham is an expert on the importance of omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils) for normal brain development,” said NRI Director Steven Zeisel, MD, PhD, “This is an exciting and promising area of research that is changing the way women eat during pregnancy and lactation.”
Research Technician (Lab Animal Coordinator), Cheatham Lab
Tanner joined the NRI in August 2021 as a Laboratory Animal Coordinator in the Cheatham Lab. She graduated from Western Carolina University in 2019 with a BS in Biology. While attending WCU she worked as a seasonal research technician studying Mississippi’s endangered dusky gopher frog and temporarily resided in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s facilities to assist with captive-rearing and mark-recapture surveys. From here, she gained great interest in both research and laboratory work, especially dealing with animals.
Lab Animal Coordinator, Cheatham Lab
Carsyn graduated from Wingate University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in biology. After returning to North Carolina, she joined the NRI as a Lab Animal Coordinator in the Cheatham Lab. Here she will be conducting research on the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure when coupled with choline and DHA supplementation.
Omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid intake of children and older adults in the U.S.: dietary intake in comparison to current dietary recommendations and the Healthy Eating Index.
Latent profile and cluster analysis of infant temperament: Comparisons across person-centered approaches.
Executive functions and the ω-6-to-ω-3 fatty acid ratio: a cross-sectional study.
Event-related potential differences in children supplemented with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids during infancy.