Lifestyle factors such as physical activity and dietary intake are strongly implicated in the development of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, few Americans engage in sufficient levels of exercise or consume a healthy, calorically-appropriate diet.
During my doctoral studies at Virginia Tech, I have worked on NIH and industry-funded clinical trials exploring the efficacy and effectiveness of exercise and dietary/controlled-feeding interventions for improving metabolic and cardiovascular health. My dissertation research examines if a resistance training program is associated with spontaneous changes to dietary intake and non-resistance training physical activity in adults with prediabetes. This is a topic I became interested in while working as a research assistant on my mentor, Dr. Brenda Davy’s NIH-funded R01 “Resist Diabetes” project.
Other projects I have pursued outside of my dissertation and research assistant roles include: the association between added sugar intake and arterial stiffness; the changes in dietary intake, body mass and composition, and menstrual cycle during bodybuilding contest preparation and recovery; and the perceptions undergraduate and graduate nutrition and exercise students have of blogging as a required course component.
Prior to Virginia Tech I obtained research experience as an undergraduate at the University of Wyoming (in Dr. Enette Larson-Meyer’s lab) and as a dietetic intern and research assistant at the University of Houston. Projects I was involved with at those institutions focused on the interaction between nutrition and exercise on outcomes such as body composition and immune function in college athletes and active populations.