University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Deniz Azarmanesh Awarded the Virginia A. Beal Graduate Scholarship

Deniz Azarmanesh, Nutrition Department doctoral candidate and NAL member, was awarded the Virginia A. Beal 2016 Graduate Scholarship. This award is given to Nutrition Department graduate students who exhibit high academic and professional achievement. Deniz won for her outstanding work on co-designing the UMass Diet, Exercise, Sleep Patterns, Mood and Academic Performance Study (DESMAS).  The main purpose of DESMAS is to follow and examine college freshmen through the end of their sophomore year in order to assess lifestyle habits. Read more

Qiong Chen Wins ASN Emerging Leaders Award

Qiong Chen, UMass Nutrition Department Doctoral Candidate and Nutrition Assessment Laboratory (NAL) member, was awarded first place at the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Poster Competition, for her poster presentation titled, Higher Diet Quality and Decreased Inflammation in Young Women. Using data from the UMass Vitamin D status study, her research showed that young women who consistently adhere to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (a measure of diet quality) had lower levels of inflammation. The American Society for Nutrition poster competition occurred from April 2-6th 2016 at the San Diego...Read more

Dominique Deslauriers Heads to Dietetic Internship & Graduate Program

Dominique Deslauriers, recent UMass Nutrition department graduate and NAL member, will be attending Simmons College in Boston, MA for her dietetic internship and MS degree program. As an honors student, Dominique’s research in the NAL focused on protein source availability within specific neighborhoods in Springfield, MA. She found that processed meat was readily available and lean meat was limited in the area; however, many stores did include healthy protein sources in the form of seafood, nuts, and seeds. These alternative protein sources may be helpful in facilitating the consumption of a high quality diet within urban...Read more

Physical Activity Has Greater Impact on Body Composition in Postmenopausal Women

CLEVELAND, Ohio (October 19, 2015)—Everyone knows that exercise is good for you, regardless of your age. But a new study coming out of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and presented earlier this month at the 2015 annual meeting of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) shows that some types of physical activity have a greater impact on body composition in postmenopausal compared to premenopausal women. That’s good news for postmenopausal women; however, the study also found…...Read more

Qiong Chen Joins the NAL

The NAL is excited to welcome Qiong Chen, a Doctoral student in the Nutrition department, to the lab. Qiong received her bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Engineering in China, and her Master's degree in Nutrition from California State University, Chico. For her Master's thesis, she developed, implemented, and evaluated a four month school intervention among 600 K-2 students. The intervention with tasting and hands-on activities significantly increased students' familiarity, preference, and consumption of the featured vegetables, and significantly increased their involvement in food preparation at home.Read more

Dr. Lisa Troy selected to participate in the prestigious Butler-Williams Scholars Program

Dr. Lisa Troy, assistant professor of nutrition at UMass Amherst and a Family Research Scholar in 2013-14, was selected to participate in the prestigious Butler-Williams Scholars Program for emerging researchers in 2015.

The program, an initiative of the NIH’s National Institute on Aging (NIA), provided a weeklong series of lectures, seminars and small group discussions at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland in late July. The focus was on topics related to aging across the racial/ethnic spectrum, including the biology of aging, genetics and Alzheimer’s disease, and other issues dealing with health, behavior and aging. Additional discussion sessions focused on methodological approaches and policy-based interventions. Approximately thirty scholars and researchers from across the United States are invited to participate each year.Read more

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