I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences. I joined the Milken Institute School of Public Health in Spring 2014 as a Visiting Assistant Professor, before which, I was post-doctoral fellow in the Intramural Program at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive, and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
My primary research interest is in studying the metabolic and health effects of low-calorie (artificial) sweeteners. I am currently the PI of a pilot study to determine whether repeated exposure to low-calorie sweeteners promotes adipogenesis and dysregulates metabolism. I am also a co-investigator on a recently funded bench-to-bedside proposal focused on investigating effects of sucralose on drug transporters and gut microbiota among minority women. In addition, my K01 (NIDDK Mentored Research Scientist Development Award) originally scored a 23 but was not funded. I recently re-submitted the proposal (Nov 2016) and received a score of 22.
In addition to conducting a variety of research studies focused on low-calorie sweeteners and more broadly, on diet and chronic disease, I have remained highly productive in publishing. This is evidenced by publishing five first-authored manuscripts since the last annual review. I have also made significant teaching and administrative contributions within our department and school. These have included designing, filming, and directing a brand new Fundamentals of Nutrition Science in the online MPH@GW program as well as developing and drafting a detailed proposal for the creation of a Bachelors of Science in Nutrition Science degree program, which was recently approved at the departmental level and is currently awaiting review by the School-wide Curriculum Committee. In addition, I have had the opportunity to co-chair a strategic planning committee focused on genomics and am also currently serving on a lab scientist search committee and a School Wide strategic planning committee.
I have also remained highly committed to my career development in research, teaching, and service alike. This is evidenced by attending several formal trainings over the past year including a 2 full-day long course on dietary assessment (NDSR course, University of Minnesota Nutrition Coordinating Cener), a 3-day long dietary supplement research program, as well as several microbiome workshops at the American Society for Microbiology Annual Meeting (ASM Microbe) and a career development workshop for junior faculty at the Obesity Society Annual Meeting. In order to further develop my leadership and administrative skill set, I applied and was recently accepted to the Dannon Nutrition Science Leadership Institute. This five-full day long course in June will provide extensive training in leadership as it relates to the nutrition science field and is geared toward preparing junior faculty for future roles as departmental and institutional leaders.