Joining the UNC Nutrition Research Institute in 2010, Dr. 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. Dr. Kohlmeier’s research explores how to help individuals safely navigate daily food choices and how those choices might affect cancer risk. Dedicated to helping the public benefit from recent advancements in genetics and nutrition, Dr. 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.
Currently, he is developing software that can use detailed genetic information to tell consumers which foods are healthiest for them. Notably, Dr. Kohlmeier authored Nutrient Metabolism, a textbook describing how the body handles about one hundred important compounds in food, from alcohol to zinc. The textbook outlines the major food sources of these compounds, and additional related information, such as our chemical senses, appetite and thirst, and the nutrient path from food to the using body part. The strength of the book is that a rich collection of information on each of the food ingredients is easily accessible in one place, making it a powerful resource for researchers, health professionals, and anyone needing nutrition facts at their fingertips. Dr. Kohlmeier earned doctorates in medicine, biochemistry and clinical biochemistry from Heidelberg University and Freie Universität, Berlin, and is the lead author of numerous online nutrition courses for healthcare professionals. In addition to his role at the UNC NRI, Dr. Kohlmeier maintains his appointment as a Research Professor with the Department of Nutrition, UNC-Chapel Hill, School of Medicine and School of Public Health and is also a Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge University, England.
Emmanuel Baah, MD, MPH
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Kohlmeier Lab
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.
Sandra Boucher-Bessent joins the NRI as part of the dental research study being led by the Kohlmeier Team. Sandra graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene and also holds a Master’s Degree in Family and Youth Ministry. She has worked in private dental practices, a naval dental clinic, a hospital dental clinic for indigent and medically compromised populations, Duke University Medical Center’s pediatric dental clinic. She served as the dental program manager for the Cabarrus Health Alliance and was the National Program Director for the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation. She has served as a clinical adjunct professor for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and also worked in oral health research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under Dr. Steven Offenbacher in the oral-systemic health link studies for cardiovascular disease and pre-term low birth-weight babies She looks forward to returning to research with the Kohlmeier study.
Research Dental Hygienist, Kohlmeier Lab
Neplus Hall joined the NRI in February 2022 as part of a new dental research study being led by the Kohlmeier Team. She has her dental assisting certification, is a certified emergency medical technician, and has an AAS in dental hygiene. She enjoys serving her dental community through prevention, dental therapy, and maintaining exceptional oral care. She is excited to embrace her journey into research. Neplus is very active in her church, enjoys teaching CPR, kayaking, and gardening.
Dental Research Assistant, Kohlmeier Lab
Chris joined the Nutrition Research Institute as a research assistant in February 2022 and brings over 20 years of professional experience to the NRI team. He holds degrees in Project Management and Software Development and is a U.S. Army veteran. As a native of Kannapolis, Chris strives to make a difference in his community. He has a deep appreciation for the city’s roots and is excited to be part of its future growth.
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