University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Joyce Faraj, Niki Ratchford and Elayna DeBenedetto head to Dietetic Internship Programs

Joyce Faraj and Niki Ratchford, graduate students in the Nutrition department and NAL lab members, will attend Dietetic Internship Programs at UMass Amherst and Yale-New Haven Hospital. Elayna DeBenedetto, a psychology undergraduate and NAL member, will attend Boston University Dietetics/Master of Science & Dietetic Internship.

Joyce, a PhD candidate, conducts research focused on micronutrients, inflammation and mental health among women. For her doctoral dissertation, Joyce is building her expertise in Nutritional Epidemiology as she carries out a secondary data analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Her aim is to shed light on how inflammation and micronutrients, such as vitamins D and B6 affect the risk of depression in women of reproductive age in the US. Joyce begins her Dietetic Internship at UMass Amherst in August, 2015.Read more

Dominique Deslauriers joins the NAL

The NAL is pleased to welcome senior Nutrition student, Dominique Deslauriers. Dominique is a senior nutrition undergraduate on the Dietetics Track. She is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi Honors Societies as well as the recipient of the James Z. Naurison Scholarship and Academic Excellence in Nutrition Award. Currently in the NAL, she is working on the Food Systems Research Team assisting with data collection for USDA funded study on the environment, diet, physical activity and health of adults in Springfield, MA.Read more

Two NAL lab members present at Experimental Biology 2015

Deniz Azarmanesh and Joyce Faraj,  NAL members and doctoral students in the Department of Nutrition, presented their research in the 79th American Society for Nutrition Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2015.  Experimental Biology (EB) is a multidisciplinary, scientific meeting that brings together over 14,000 researchers and exhibitors representing six sponsoring societies.

Azarmanesh presented her poster, titled: “Early Bedtime and Late Wake-time is Associated with Lower Diet Quality among Young Women”. Her presentation was based on a secondary analysis of the University of Massachusetts Vitamin D Status Study, a cross-sectional study of college-aged women in Western Massachusetts initially designed to assess the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and evaluate health consequences of vitamin D Deficiency.  Azarmanesh found an association of sleep timing with diet quality and physical activity in different populations in the US. Deniz’s research contributes to finding the underlying causes of obesity and how sleep habits play a role in overall health of individuals.Read more

Bi-sek Hsiao awarded Peter L. Pellet Scholarship

Bi-sek Hsiao, Nutrition department MS candidate and NAL member, was awarded the Peter L. Pellet Scholarship in April, 2015, an award given to a graduate student with interests related to food security and international nutrition. Bi-sek's research focuses on measuring the food environment in Springfield and using the Mobile Produce Market in Springfield as a model to understand the dynamics of the food environment. She hopes to apply this experience to future research measuring food environments in the international setting.Read more

MPH student Willie Frazier joins the NAL

The NAL is delighted to welcome MPH student, Willie Frazier.  Willie has a BS degree from the department of Human Nutrition, Foods &Exercise at Virginia Tech and participated in the NIH R25 Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) in the UMass Kinesiology department before...Read more

Joyce Faraj wins National Research Travel Award

Joycelyn Faraj, UMass Nutrition Department Doctoral Candidate and Nutrition Assessment Laboratory (NAL) member, presented her research on vitamin B-6 status and Depression among women of reproductive age at the SACNAS national conference in October 2014. Findings from Joyce’s research showed that women with depressive symptoms have lower circulating vitamin...Read more