Research news


Elizabeth McNeill receives funding to explore impact of individual microRNAs on the aging heart
Elizabeth McNeill, an assistant professor in food science and human nutrition, was awarded $202,106 from the American Heart Association to pursue research on the function of small pieces of genetic material linked to cardiovascular disease called microRNAs (miRNAs), which act on genes to change their expression. A deeper understanding of miRNAs and their gene targets will expand the ability to develop new therapeutic strategies to treat heart disease.

Midwest Dairy Food Research Center provides funding for College of Human Sciences’ research projects
Midwest Dairy Food Research Center awards $90,000 to Iowa State University for two new research projects and three continuing research projects. Four of the awarded projects are based in the College of Human Sciences. Annually, Iowa State receives $90,000, which supports up to three continuing research projects, and up to three new research projects.

The two new projects, funded in 2018, include
  • Food science and human nutrition (FSHN) professor, Stephanie Clark’s project, “Expanding the potential for lactose-rich dairy product utilization”
  • Materials science and engineering adjunct assistant professor, Rebecca Cademartiri’s project “Application of commercial bacteriophage cocktail to kill Listeria in queso fresco.”
The three projects that received their second year of funding, include

  • FSHN associate professor, Byron Brehm-Stecher’s project “Developing fast acting, extended efficacy surface sanitizers for protecting dairy environments”
  • FHSN professor, Tong Wang and Clark’s project “Technology for novel and scalable isolation of dairy phospholipids”
  • FSHN assistant professor, Nuria Acevedo and Clark’s project, “Dairy based phospholipid gels for development of yogurt rich in probiotics and milk bioactive”
Two of the continuing collaborative projects, those of Wang and Clark and Acevedo and Clark, are related. Technology and insights gained from these projects, designed to isolate, concentrate, and utilize dairy-based phospholipids to protect and nourish probiotic bacteria, should enable the food industry to enhance the nutritional profile and extend the shelf life of yogurt. Additionally, these two projects have supported Ph.D. student, Nathan Price, M.S. student, Nicole Gaudino, and undergraduate research of Xiaoqing Zhuang.

Greg Welk and an interdisciplinary research team receives new year of funding for SWITCH school wellness program
College of Human Sciences researchers Greg Welk, Spyridoula Vazou, and Lorraine Lanningham-Foster, as well as a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences researcher Doug Gentile, received continuation funding from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture for the expansion of the School Wellness Integration Targeting Child Health (SWITCH) Project. The team of researchers are working closely with the 4H program run by ISU Extension and Outreach to disseminate the program across Iowa.
Brain activity, reactivity help explain diabetics' negative feelings and risk for depressionAMES, Iowa – For millions of Americans who are obese and living with diabetes or prediabetes, feelings of sadness, anger and anxiety are often part of daily life.

A new Iowa State University study suggests those negative feelings may stem from problems regulating blood sugar levels that influence...

FSHN students among undergraduates to present research at national conferenceBeing from a small Iowa town, Iowa State University nutritional science and genetics student Benjamin Dralle has been researching how primary care providers in Iowa view the assessment and treatment of children with obesity....

Human scientists among undergraduates to present research at national conferenceWith four years of undergraduate research under her belt and a passion for helping people to adopt healthier behaviors, Iowa State University kinesiology and health student Jenna Petersen will share her research on a national platform next week.

Discovering how much low-socioeconomic women know about beansWhile healthy diets can decrease a person’s likelihood of developing chronic health conditions, having the means and resources to purchase nutritious foods can prove a challenge for low-socioeconomic populations.


Sarah Francis receives funding for work with the Linn County Innovations in Nutrition Program
Sarah Francis, an associate professor in food science and human nutrition, was awarded $25,926 from the Iowa Department on Aging. She will conduct needs and preference assessments to identify meal site preferences and participation motivators, as well as develop assessment tools to assess program impact.

Manju Reddy receives grant for iron absorption supplement study
Manju Reddy, a professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition receives $26,856 from Cura Global Health Inc. After working on a new organic iron supplement for a couple of years, Reddy and her team are testing whether the new supplement can cause less side effects than commonly used ferrous sulfate, without compromising the iron absorption. Ferrous sulfate is an iron supplement which when taken in high doses to treat anemia causes many side effects in humans. This study is important to identify alternate iron supplement in treating anemia.
Rossmann Manatt awardee strives to provide research experiences to studentsThey say it’s never too early to begin gaining research experience, and that is just what Kevin Schalinske provides in his lab for not only graduate students, but undergraduates, as well.

Schalinske, professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, was selected as the 2017...