University of Massachusetts Amherst

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The NAL congratulates undergrad RAs on entrance into nursing school

We are pleased to announce that Amy Bessey, Mary Lavery, and Eric Sullivan, NAL undergraduate research assistants, will be joining nursing programs at Northeastern University, Johns Hopkins University, and Belmont University, respectively.

Amy Bessey received her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition. During her time in the NAL, Amy worked as an interviewer using the NDSR software to obtain dietary intake data. She joined the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Northeastern University in 2017.

Mary Lavery completed a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and a Bachelor of Fine Arts...Read more

Kiara and Deniz present at ASN

Kiara Amaro-Rivera and Deniz Azarmanesh, NAL members and doctoral students in the Department of Nutrition, presented their research at Nutrition 2018, the inaugural meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, held in Boston.

Amaro-Rivera presented her poster, titled: “Associations between Hair Cortisol Concentration, Anthropometric Measures and Macronutrient Intakes among First-Year College Students.” Her presentation was based on an analysis among 192 freshmen students’ participants of the UMass Healthy Campus Study (140 women and 52 men, mean aged 18.4 years). She found that for a 10% increase in hair cortisol concentration, body...Read more

NAL Welcomes Sara

The NAL is excited to welcome Sara Donnelly, an undergraduate student in the Nutrition Department, to the lab. Sara has been an active member of the UMass community. Sara helped expand the Plant-Based Nutrition Club and volunteers with the Student Food Recovery Network which brings food from UMass dining to various locations in Amherst to provide free and healthy food for individuals who are food insecure. This summer Sara volunteered in Leogane, Haiti with YourStory International, which provides public health education and free health care to an impoverished region of Haiti.

In the NAL...Read more

Kiara and Luotao win awards

Kiara Amaro-Rivera and Luotao Lin, Nutrition Department graduate students and NAL members, were awarded the Virginia A. Beal 2018 Graduate Scholarship. This award is given to Nutrition Department graduate students who exhibit high academic and professional achievement. Kiara and Luotao won this award due to their accomplishments in nutrition research. Kiara is working in the NAL assessing hair cortisol concentration, as a measure of long-term chronic stress, and its associations with anthropometric measurements and macronutrient intake among UMass Freshman. She also developed a community assessment to evaluate the needs of the community where...Read more

NAL Welcomes Luotao

The NAL is happy to welcome Luotao Lin, a MS student in the Nutrition Department, to the lab. Luotao achieved his bachelor’s degree in medicine from Chongqing Medical University in China. After graduation, he worked in Chongqing Yuzhong district Health Inspection Bureau. As a health inspection officer, he took part in the evaluation of medical institutions, radioactive health surveillance, occupational and school health inspection, and infectious disease control.

After several years of work, he decided to go back to school and now is pursuing his master’s degree at UMass. Currently, in the NAL, he...Read more

Bi-sek Hsiao presents at 2017 American Public Health Association Conference in Atlanta


Bi-sek Hsiao, doctoral student in the Nutrition Department and NAL member, presented her research at the American Public Health Association (APHA) Conference in Atlanta, GA. Founded in 1872, the mission of the APHA is to “improve the health of the public and achieve equity in health status.” In 2017, the APHA conference brought together more than 12,000 public health professionals in Atlanta.

Hsiao’s presentation was entitled: “Mobile produce market facilitates access to fruits and vegetables in an urban environment.” The purpose of her study was...Read more

Deniz Azarmanesh Presents at Experimental Biology Conference

Deniz Azarmanesh, NAL member and doctoral candidate in the Department of Nutrition, presented her research in the American Society for Nutrition Scientific Session and Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2017.  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: "Yogurt Intake is Associated with Higher Weight Status among Female Adolescents.” Her presentation was based on analysis of among 81 college freshmen (28 men, 53 women), mean age 18.3 years. Azarmanesh found...Read more

NAL and Community Partners Awarded Tufts Foundation Grant for Go Fresh Mobile Market

NAL provides pilot data to secure Tufts Foundation grant funding for The Springfield Go Fresh Mobile Farmer’s Market.  The Go Fresh Mobile Market aims to increase access to fresh, culturally appropriate local produce to low income communities of color with dense populations of adults over 65. The grant will be used to develop, test, and document a sustainable mobile market model, manage the market, and to engage and develop capacity among other Massachusetts mobile markets to improve access to produce in food deserts.

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Cara Leonard Joins the NAL

The NAL is delighted to welcome Cara Leonard, a MS student in the Nutrition Department, to the lab. Cara received her BS degree in Nutrition from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. For her Honors Thesis, she researched the utilization of the “Maudsley Approach” in the treatment of adolescents with anorexia nervosa. The study examined the various methods which health care providers from the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) use when combating the disorder. Cara found that American SAHM providers were familiar with the Maudsley treatment technique, but only 81% were utilizing it. Since the “Maudsley Approach” is considered the “gold standard” of treatment,...Read more

Qiong Chen Awarded the Peter L. Pellett Graduate Scholarship

Qiong Chen, Nutrition Department doctoral candidate and NAL member, was awarded the Peter L. Pellett Graduate Scholarship. This award is given to Nutrition Department graduate students with interests related to nutrition, food security, and international nutrition. Qiong won due to her interest in exploring technology and how it can work to improve health related behaviors among both U.S. and Chinese populations. Her goal is to become an instructor and researcher at an academic institution in China, since nutrition is a relatively new research field there. Qiong believes her experiences and education in the U.S. will...Read more