Home / Faculty and Research / Nutrition

Nutrition Faculty and Research

Nutrition faculty are engaged in research designed to promote health and well-being. Our faculty are committed to providing an excellent educational experience for our students and engaging in research with direct benefit to the community at large. Many faculty are leaders within their field and serve in professional organizations, review grants or edit journals. They are committed to mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, serving as role models for the next generation of nutrition professionals. Several of our faculty members have received awards in recognition of their instructional, research and service activities.

Three common themes connect our research in nutrition:

  • Reducing the incidence of excessive weight and obesity among Americans.
  • Lowering the risk of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Empowering individuals to assume greater responsibility for their own and their families’ health and well-being.

Researchers are funded from federal sources such as NIH and USDA, industry sources including food companies and manufacturers of physical activity-related equipment, state and local government programs, and private foundations. These grants support numerous graduate and undergraduate students, providing them with ongoing opportunities to expand their expertise and knowledge as they prepare for their own careers in health promotion and other areas of science.

Dorothy Sears
Interim Exec Dir & Professor

Sears has conducted cardiometabolic disease and cancer research since 1995 and is an internationally recognized expert. The scope of her research activities spans the molecular to population health levels.

Carol Johnston
Assoc Dean & Professor

Johnston is an expert in vitamin C metabolism, the medicinal use of vinegar, high protein diets, and vegetarian nutrition. She is also the associate dean for faculty success in the College of Health Solutions.

Stavros Kavouras
Assistant Dean & Professor

Kavouras directs the Hydration Science Lab where he is studying the mechanisms by which water intake impact health and performance.

Punam Ohri-Vachaspati
Director (ACD) & Professor

Ohri-Vachaspati is a professor of nutrition and leads the ASU Food Environment and Policy research group. Her research examines social and ecological determinants of health, specifically in low-income minority communities.

Shu Wang
Meg Bruening
Director & Assoc Professor

Meg Bruening's research interests include public health nutrition promotion and obesity prevention targeted to underserved, vulnerable youth and families.

Karen Sweazea
Assoc Professor

Sweazea is a physiologist who specializes in diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Natasha Tasevska
Assoc Professor

Dr. Tasevska is a nutrition scientist and nutritional epidemiologist. She joined ASU in 2013.

Sonia Vega Lopez
Assoc Professor

Vega-López's research focuses on studying lifestyle factors, such as diet and physical activity, and how to modify them for the prevention of chronic diseases among Hispanics.

Christopher Wharton
Asst Dean of Innovation &Strategic Initiatives

Wharton's research interests include: lifestyle-wide behavior change, voluntary simplicity, plant-based diets, food systems, food waste, screen time behaviors and active commuting.

Corrie Whisner
Assoc Professor

Whisner's research focuses on the effects of diet on human metabolism.

Floris Wardenaar
Assistant Professor, Nutrition

Wardenaar is an assistant professor at the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion (SNHP) and Sun Devil Athletics at Arizona State University with expertise on Sports Nutrition.

Robin DeWeese
Asst Research Professor (FSC)

DeWeese's research interests include examining the influence of the built environment on food and physical activity behaviors, as well as policies that make healthy choices easy.

Maricarmen Vizcaino
Research Scholar (FSC)
Kathleen Dixon
Clinical Professor, MY

Kathy Dixon is a clinical professor. She teaches courses in food science and nutrition. Her research interests include food service in healthcare and institutional settings, and pediatric diet therapy.

Sandra Mayol-Kreiser
Clinical Professor, MY

Mayol-Kreiser's research interests include clinical nutrition, nutrition and Hispanic population, maternal health and prevention of chronic diseases.

Christina Shepard
Clinical Professor, MY (FSC)

Shepard's research interests include nutrition education of the public and the health practitioner; nutrition and dietetic career education; weight control and childhood obesity issues.

Christy Alexon
Clinical Assoc Professor (FSC)

Alexon serves as director of summer programs for the College of Health Solutions and also coordinates the MS Medical Nutrition program.

Melinda Johnson
Clinical Assoc Professor

Johnson is a Registered Dietitian with specialties in nutrition communications and nutrition in the media. Her interests include health literacy, health marketing, and professional use of social media.

Simin Levinson
Clinical Assoc Professor (FSC)

Simin Levinson is faculty in Nutrition programs within the College of Health Solutions. She is the immediate past president of the University Senate.

Lisa Morse
Clinical Assoc Professor

Morse's research interests include: nutritional care of burn, trauma and critical care patients; nutrition support; clinical nutrition; medical nutrition therapy and therapeutic diets.

Sarah Martinelli
Clinical Asst Professor
Karen Gregory-Mercado
Lecturer Sr

Dr. Gregory-Mercado has 20+ years of experience in health education planning, implementation, promotion and evaluation, qualitative and quantitative data collection design, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination.

Traci Grgich
Lecturer Sr

Grgich is a lecturer. Her research interests include child nutrition, school nutrition programs, food safety and food management systems.

Teresa Hart
Lecturer Sr.

Hart teaches undergraduate courses in Nutrition and Health Care Delivery, and graduate courses in the online Masters of Dietetics program.

Maureen McCoy
Lecturer Sr
Shauna Grant
Jessica Lehmann

Jessica Lehmann is a Registered Dietitian and a Lecturer in the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University.

Christina Scribner

Scribner is an instructor and recognized as an international leader in nutrition therapy related to disordered eating and eating disorders.