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.
Sears has conducted cardiometabolic disease and cancer research since 1995 and is an internationally recognized expert. Her research scope of study spans the molecular to population health levels.
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.
Kavouras directs the Hydration Science Lab where he is studying the mechanisms by which water intake impact health and performance.
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.
Meg Bruening's research interests include public health nutrition promotion and obesity prevention targeted to underserved, vulnerable youth and families.
Sweazea is a physiologist who specializes in diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Tasevska is a nutrition scientist and nutritional epidemiologist. She joined ASU in 2013.
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.
Wharton's research interests include: lifestyle-wide behavior change, voluntary simplicity, plant-based diets, food systems, food waste, screen time behaviors and active commuting.
Whisner's research focuses on the effects of diet on human metabolism.
Gu's research interests focus on MS-based metabolomics and its applications in early disease diagnosis, drug metabolism, and biological sciences.
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.
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.
Mayol-Kreiser's research interests include clinical nutrition, nutrition and Hispanic population, maternal health and prevention of chronic diseases.
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.
Alexon serves as director of summer programs for the College of Health Solutions and also coordinates the MS Medical Nutrition program.
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 is faculty in Nutrition programs in the College of Health Solutions. She is the University Senate President and Chair of the University Academic Council for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Morse's research interests include: nutritional care of burn, trauma and critical care patients; nutrition support; clinical nutrition; medical nutrition therapy and therapeutic diets.
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.
Grgich is a lecturer. Her research interests include child nutrition, school nutrition programs, food safety and food management systems.
Hart teaches undergraduate courses in Nutrition and Health Care Delivery, and graduate courses in the online Masters of Dietetics program.
Jessica Lehmann is a Registered Dietitian and a Lecturer in the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University.
McCoy serves as the Degree Coordinator for the Nutrition program. Her research interests include child nutrition, school nutrition, health policy and equity.
Pearl is an innovative educator, wellness consultant, and professional speaker.