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.
My research aims to eliminate nutrition-related health disparities across the life course and to investigate how organizations and collaborative groups, such as coalitions and Food Policy Councils, can support healthy, sustainable communities. I employ qualitative and quantitative methods to better understand and intervene to improve complex nutrition and public health challenges, ranging from studying the influence of taste perception genes on participants’ response to a community-based dietary intervention, to implementing a school district-wide initiative to strengthen their school meals program, to using systems science approaches to study and support multi-sector coalitions working together to reduce childhood obesity prevalence in their communities. I joined the Friedman faculty as a Research Assistant Professor working with the ChildObesity180 team after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Health Equity Research in the School of Medicine at UNC Chapel Hill. I completed my PhD in Nutrition with an emphasis on Interventions and Policy at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC. Prior to beginning graduate work, I worked in a nutrition biochemistry lab at Columbia University and then got hands-on agricultural experience by working on farms in France, Italy, and Turkey.