Academic Senate Faculty & Cooperative Extension

Lauren Au, Ph.D., R.D.

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition
  • Assistant Nutritionist in Agricultural Experiment Station
Dr. Au's research involves the assessment of dietary intakes and the food environment for the prevention of obesity in low-income, racially diverse infants and children. Her focus is on understanding how to promote healthier eating and prevent obesity in federal nutrition assistance programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children and the National School Lunch Program.
3215 Meyer Hall

Maria Chondronikola, Ph.D., R.D.N.

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition
  • Assistant Nutritionist in Agricultural Experiment Station
Dr. Chondronikola’s research interests include: the role of brown adipose tissue in cardiometabolic health in humans, pathophysiology of obesity and its related metabolic complications (e.g., insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia), nutritional approaches for prevention/treatment of obesity and metabolic diseases, mechanisms regulating carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in humans, tracer techniques in the study of human metabolism in vivo.
3209 Meyer Hall | Lab: 3426 Meyer Hall

Debbie S. Fetter, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Teaching Nutrition, Department of Nutrition
Dr. Fetter teaches Nutrition 10V and Nutrition 10, in addition to conducting research on education and pedagogy. She is passionate about helping people, especially with guiding students to make healthier nutrition and lifestyle choices. She also aspires to help bridge the gap between the science community and general public through teaching and writing about nutrition in an engaging and relatable way.
3211 Meyer Hall

Reina Engle-Stone, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition
  • Assistant Nutritionist in Agricultural Experiment Station
Dr. Engle-Stone's research is in global public health nutrition, with a focus on micronutrient nutrition among women and young children in low-income settings. Research themes include planning, monitoring, and evaluation of food fortification programs; cost-effectiveness and coherence among micronutrient intervention programs, and nutritional assessment.
3253A Meyer Hall | Lab: 3309 Meyer Hall

Peng Ji, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition
  • Assistant Nutritionist in Agricultural Experiment Station
My overarching goal is to evaluate the risks and opportunities of nutritional factors in enhancing neurodevelopment and host resilience to early-life adverse events (e.g. infection and stress). Our research use neonatal pigs as a translational model, becasue of broad resemblance between pigs and humans in many aspects, such as digestive physiology, components of immune system, anatomic structure of brain and perinatal neurodevelopment. Specifically, our current project investigates how unbalanced iron status in early life affects systemic and CNS iron hoemostasis, susceptibility to infections, brain energy metabolism, and social cognition using nursing pigs.
3145 Meyer Hall | Lab: 3329 Meyer Hall

Peter J. Havel, Ph.D.

  • Professor, Department of Nutrition
  • Professor, Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Havel is investigating the regulation of energy homeostasis and carbohydrate/lipid metabolism, and the involvement of endocrine systems in the pathophysiology of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
3426 Meyer Hall | Lab: 3426 Meyer Hall

Patricia I. Oteiza, Ph.D.

  • Professor, Department of Nutrition
  • Nutritionist in Agricultural Experiment Station
Dr. Oteiza has two primary areas of research. The first is centered on the characterization of the effects of trace mineral deficiencies and trace mineral toxicities on early developmental processes. Dr. Oteiza´s second area of research is focused on the putative health benefits of flavonoids.
3109 Meyer Hall | Lab: 4305 Meyer Hall

Gerardo G. Mackenzie, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition
  • Associate Nutritionist in Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Director, Nutritional Biology Graduate Admissions Pathways (NUTGAP) program
Dr. Mackenzie´s research focuses on the role of diet and other lifestyle factors in cancer development and prevention. Current research projects include: 1) Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the link between obesity, inflammation and cancer; 2) Evaluating the role of zinc in pancreatic carcinogenesis; and 3) Investigating the use of select nutraceuticals as potential chemopreventive agents.
3207 Meyer Hall | Lab: 3402 Meyer Hall

Francene M. Steinberg, Ph.D., R.D.

  • Professor and Chair, Department of Nutrition
  • Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics
  • Nutritionist in Agricultural Experiment Station
Dr. Steinberg’s research program focuses on the physiologic effects of bioactive food components to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular and obesity-related chronic diseases. Human trials and complementary research approaches are used to study metabolic markers of lipid and lipoprotein metabolism, endothelial function, inflammation and metabolic homeostasis; with a goal to examine nutritional phenotypes of individuals responding to intakes of food phytochemicals and characterize metabolic responses which promote health and chronic disease risk reduction.
3135B Meyer Hall | Lab: 3427 Meyer Hall

Fawaz G. Haj, Ph.D.

  • Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Nutrition
  • Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
  • Nutritionist in Agricultural Experiment Station
Dr. Haj's laboratory studies the molecular basis of metabolic diseases, mainly obesity and type 2 diabetes. In particular, we are interested in the role of tyrosine phosphorylation and how dysregulation of this key signaling mechanism contributes to metabolic diseases and their complications. We investigate the role of protein-tyrosine phosphatases and their interacting partners in metabolic homeostasis. This is achieved using a combination of genetic, biochemical, proteomic and pharmacological approaches in various experimental platforms (cells, rodent models of disease and humans).
3115 Meyer Hall | Lab: 4306 Meyer Hall