Agbemafle Named Emerging Leader in Nutrition Science Finalist

Food Science and Human Nutrition graduate student Isaac Agbemafle has been named an Emerging Leader in Nutrition Science Finalist.  The program of the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) recognizes the highest quality research presented by students and young investigators.

Agbemafle scored among the top 15 percent of more than 1,000 abstracts submitted by students and postdoctoral fellows.  Projects were rated by more than 500 nutrition scientists.  Agbemafle’s abstract is titled, "Drivers of Perceptions About Turkey Berry and Palm Weevil Larvae Among Ghanaian Women of Reproductive Age: A Mixed Methods Approach."

Pappas Awarded Postdoctoral Scholar Seed Grant

Dr. Colleen Pappas, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition under Dr. Auriel Willette, has won a 2020 Postdoctoral Scholar Seed Grant Award from Iowa State University.  These grants provide postdoctoral scholars research funding in the role of a principal investigator, while giving them an opportunity to develop independent research.

“I am very excited and grateful to have received the grant,” said Pappas. “It will give me the opportunity to further explore a timely topic in the field of Alzheimer's research.  I would not have been able to do so without the funding.”

Pappas’ project, "Neural Network Decline and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Relentless Synergy of Genetic and Metabolic Factors?," will use data from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative to compare people with and without a family history of Alzheimer's disease using a technique known as resting state functional MRI. This examines brain activation when people are in the scanner not paying attention to anything.  It’s known that brain metabolism changes with Alzheimer's disease, Pappas wants to see if metabolic factors (i.e. cholesterol, glucose) are different in people with or without a family history of Alzheimer's, and if this in turn influences the brain when it’s at rest. 

“From this work, we will gain a better understanding of how genetic factors and metabolic factors work together to explain changes in brain activity,” said Pappas. “Long term, we hope the results of our study, along with other current research, could be used to identify additional mechanisms related to Alzheimer’s disease pathology and improve potential treatments.”

Researchers’ Study Named Editor’s Choice

A bouillon cube added to food not only adds rich flavor, but it can also aid the body in better iron absorption.  Research by Iowa State University professor Dr. Manju Reddy and graduate student Amanda Bries found that bouillon cubes fortified with iron-enriched A. oryzae improved the iron absorption better than bouillon cubes fortified with FePP (the traditional iron fortificant).  A. oryzae is a koji fungus that has been used for centuries in the fermentation of soy and rice products.

“Instead of recommending a new diet or new food to increase iron absorption, we utilized something people are already consuming and is readily available,” said Bries.

Iron deficiency anemia is one of the most common micronutrient deficiencies in the world.

The challenge of the study was to find an iron compound that would provide adequate absorption for the body, without changing the taste and properties of the food.  The unique thing about this particular study is that researchers administered two different stable iron isotope compounds to the same patient and then measured the results two weeks later.

“We were able to look at the absorption of two different iron compounds simultaneously because of the stable isotopes that we used,” said Bries.  “It allowed us to make a direct comparison on the level of iron absorption.”

Their findings were recently featured as an Editor’s Choice in The Journal of Nutrition and featured by the American Society for Nutrition.

We are proud of our FSHN graduates!

FSHN graduates, we are so proud of you and the work you've done and the work you will do in the future. Sorry we can't celebrate in person, but we wanted to share our wishes with you.

2020 McNair Graduate Student Mentor of the Year

Congratulations to Graham Redweik, Food Science and Human Nutrition microbiology major, for being named this year’s McNair Graduate Student Mentor of the Year.  Each year, the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program honors an outstanding Mentor as nominated by a graduate Scholar mentee. 

Redweik was nominated by Sasha Celada.  In her submission, Celada talked about Redweik’s patience and understanding.  She writes that he taught her transferable skills both in and outside the lab, and that Redweik was helpful in her transfer to Iowa State University from another college.  

“It's really a great honor to be recognized for this award,” said Redweik.  “In my time at Iowa State, I have been surrounded by motivated and talented undergraduate students like Sasha.  It wasn't too long ago that I was in her shoes, and I take a lot of pride in helping students discover a passion for research in the same way my undergrad mentors helped me.”

McNair Graduate Student Mentor Program

The relationship between the graduate student Mentors and McNair Scholars is essential to the program. As new McNair Scholars learn the language of academic research and expectations of graduate school, Graduate Student Mentors walk side-by-side with McNair Scholars to:

  • Assist as McNair Scholars navigate the graduate school culture in classrooms and labs
  • Support McNair Scholars in research and graduate school processes that have become second nature to Graduate Student Mentors

Enter the ice cream flavor contest today

We want your ideas!  ISU Creamery, in cooperation with the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN) and Department of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management (AESHM) chairs, announce Ice Cream Flavors of Iowa State Colleges Contest.

Iowa State University students, faculty, staff, and alumni are invited to participate!  We are not asking participants to make any ice cream. We simply invite you to describe an ice cream concept and why it represents your college.  Entries are due midnight, June 15

Winners will be announced in July in anticipation of the grand opening of the Student Innovation Center (SIC) in the fall.  Winners will receive a free quart of the ice cream representing their college and will be featured at an SIC event. 


The Iowa State University Creamery is re-launching after a 51-year hiatus. Located in the Center for Crops Utilization Research (CCUR) pilot plant with a retail store located on the 2nd floor of the Food Sciences building, the ISU Creamery will offer a variety of ice cream flavors, available by the scoop, 8 ounce, and quart containers. The flavors that you can expect at the retail store’s grand opening this fall are:

  • “Two Swans” – Vanilla
  • “1858” – Dark Chocolate
  • “Legacy” – Peanut Butter & Butterscotch Ice Cream with Chocolate-Covered Rice Crisps
  • “Campanile Kiss” – White Strawberry Ice Cream with Strawberry Swirls
  • “Cardinal Tracks” – Chocolate Ice Cream with Chocolate-Covered Raspberry Cups and Fudge Swirls
  • “Wintersgreen” – Mint Chocolate Flake
  • “Jack Spice” – Pumpkin Spice (seasonal)

2020-2021 FSHN Faculty Promotions

The Iowa Board of Regents approved promotion of the following Food Science and Human Nutrition term faculty, effective in the 2020-2021 academic year.  The professors rank indicates faculty who have proven their excellence in the primary responsibilities and effectiveness in any other areas, or who have demonstrated substantial contributions to their professional field.

  • Erica Beirman – Teaching Professor
  • Erin Bergquist – Clinical Professor
  • Kate Gilbert – Teaching Associate Professor
  • Janet Johnson – Clinical Professor
  • Alison St Germain – Clinical Associate Professor
  • Linda Svendsen – Teaching Professor