Our nutrition faculty lead investigations over a far-reaching range of contemporary issues including obesity, infant and child feeding, epigenetics, micronutrient requirements and maternal-infant health in both national and international settings. Specific areas of research are described below, including links to investigators conducting research in each area.
Together our faculty members conduct diverse research focused on early origins of obesity development, prevention, and treatment ranging from animal models to children and families across multiple settings locally and state-wide, including homes, schools, communities, and health care facilities. Faculty currently conducting obesity related research include: Nancy F. Krebs, MD, MS; Susan L. Johnson, PhD; Darcy Thompson, MD, MPH; Richard Boles, PhD; Kristen Boyle, PhD; Sarah Borengasser, PhD; Janine Higgins, PhD; Jill Kaar, PhD; Matthew Haemer, MD; Kimberly Gracey, PA-C; and Renee Porter, RN, MS, ND.
A selection of current Obesity Research Topics:
Infant and Child Feeding
Our faculty has broad research interests on infant and child feeding, including the role of prenatal maternal influences, breastfeeding, and complementary feeding on infant growth and body composition, as well as development of children’s eating behaviors and food preferences. Faculty currently conducting infant and child feeding related research include: Nancy Krebs, MD, MS; Susan Johnson, PhD; Darcy Thompson, MD, MPH; Richard Boles, PhD; Jill Kaar, PhD; Bridget Young, PhD, Matthew Haemer, MD; and Rebecca Lander PhD
A selection of current Infant and Child Feeding Research Topics:
- Influence of maternal phenotype on bioactive components of human milk, infant growth and body composition, and development of infant microbiome (Nancy Krebs, MD, MS, Bridget Young, PhD)
- Breastfeeding & infant feeding from birth through the complementary feeding period (Nancy Krebs, MD, MS)
- Feeding & eating behavior evaluation & therapy (Susan Johnson, PhD, Richard Boles, PhD)
- Influence of maternal phenotype on breastmilk
composition and the impact of bioactive components in human milk on infant
metabolism and growth patterns (Bridget Young, PhD)
The international research program of Michael Hambidge, MD, ScD and Nancy Krebs, MD, MS utilizes randomized controlled trials to test new hypotheses directed to improving maternal and offspring nutrition and health and stable isotope metabolic studies to advance understanding of micronutrient homeostasis.
Other funded projects in India oriented toward improvement of infant growth and nutrition have been conducted by Susan Johnson, PhD.
A selection of current International/Global Health Research Topics:
- Intrauterine and post-natal benefits, including linear growth and epigenetic benefits, of optimized pre-conception maternal nutrition (Michael Hambidge,MD, ScD; Nancy Krebs, MD, MS; Rebecca Lander, PhD, Sarah J. Borengasser, PhD)
- Basic science outcomes of interventions include metabolic phenotyping, epigenetics, and microbiome (Michael Hambidge, MD, ScD; Nancy Krebs, MD, MS, Sarah J. Borengasser, PhD)
- Micronutrient (zinc, iron) bioavailability and requirements in impoverished settings with high rates of malnutrition, infectious disease, and environmental enteropathy, utilizing stable isotope methodology and mathematical modeling. Interventions include local food sources, biofortified foods, micronutrient powders, lipid based nutrient supplements. (Nancy Krebs, MD, MS and Michael Hambidge, MD, ScD)
- Read a description of current multi-country preconception nutrition intervention
Our nutrition faculty are exploring micronutrient requirements (especially zinc and iron) in women and infants. Currently, we are conducting interventions which are examining the effects of nutrition on the enteric microbiome and interventions specifically for the prevention of micronutrient deficiencies. We also have expertise in the development of methodology for both elemental and isotope ratio analyses of several mineral elements. Micronutrient requirements & deficiencies are currently being studied in Iron and Zinc. (Nancy Krebs, MD, MS)