The Friedman School pursues cutting-edge research and education from cell to society, including in molecular nutrition, human metabolism, population studies, clinical trials, nutrition interventions and behavior change, communication, food systems and sustainability, global food insecurity, humanitarian crises, and food economics and policy.
Dr. Hennessy is an Assistant Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy within the Division of Nutrition Communications and Behavior Change. Through her research, Dr. Hennessy works with the ChildObesity180 initiative to advance their mission and impact of scaling evidence-based obesity preventions strategies nationwide.
Dr. Hennessy is committed to working with diverse communities to promote health through better nutrition and physical activity, and training the next generation of leaders and engaged citizens. To this end, she leads an active research portfolio including an $8.5 million award to test and evaluate the use of telehealth innovations in delivery of USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and, co-leads a $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, in partnership with the New York Road Runners organization, to create and implement a multilevel intervention to support physical literacy at school and home. She is also the Principal Investigator on several pilot studies related to infant feeding and adiposity. A methodologist at heart, Dr. Hennessy’s research has a strong foundation in developing innovative dietary assessment techniques, utilizing qualitative, participatory methods such as PhotoVOICE and Group Model Building, and integrating novel approaches such as agent-based modeling and social network analysis to advance community obesity prevention interventions.
Dr. Hennessy is a quadruple Jumbo having earned a PhD in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition and MS in Nutrition Communication from the Friedman School; an MPH from Tufts University School of Medicine; and, a BS in Biology and certificate in Community Health from Tufts University. Before being appointed to the Faculty at Tufts, Dr. Hennessy was a Senior Behavioral Scientist at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health and is an alumna of NCI’s Cancer Prevention Fellowship program, a postdoctoral training program. She is a former player and assistant coach of the Tufts University Women’s Varsity Soccer team, and now currently spends most weekends coaching youth soccer.
PhD, Food Policy and Applied Nutrition, Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
MS, Nutrition Communication, Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
MPH, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Tufts University School of Medicine