Nutrition Sciences

Academic Department

People

Faculty Administrative Position

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    Barbara Gower Ph.D., Director 2008 -

    Barbara Gower is Professor and Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, and serves as Director of the Metabolism Core for the Nutrition Obesity Research Center and the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, and the Human Physiology Core for the Diabetes Research Center. Her research focus is on the interplay between diet, endocrinology, and metabolism and their relation to chronic metabolic disease, with expertise in evaluation of body composition, body fat distri...

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    Barbara Gower Ph.D., Vice Chairperson 2013 -

    Barbara Gower is Professor and Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, and serves as Director of the Metabolism Core for the Nutrition Obesity Research Center and the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, and the Human Physiology Core for the Diabetes Research Center. Her research focus is on the interplay between diet, endocrinology, and metabolism and their relation to chronic metabolic disease, with expertise in evaluation of body composition, body fat distri...

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    Brenda Bertrand, Program Director 2014 -

    Brenda Bertrand was a scholarship track and cross country runner and earned her undergraduate degree in Nutrition from Auburn University. She completed a Dietetic Internship and earned a Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from UAB, and PhD in Nutrition from Auburn. She completed a Doctoral Internship at the Children’s Seashore House (Philadelphia, PA). Her dissertation research assessed changes in energy expenditure and dietary intake among infants and young children with sickle cell...

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    Chandrika Piyathilake Ph.D., Division Director 2008 -

    Dr. Piyathilake is a tenured Professor of the Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and a Senior Scientist in the UAB’s NIH-funded Clinical Nutrition Research Center (CNRC), Comprehensive Cancer Center (UABCCC) and the Minority Health Research Center (MHRC). She trained as a Dental Surgeon in Sri-Lanka and then completed her Master’s degree in international health and a PhD degree in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in th...

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    James Hill, Department Chairperson 2018 -

    Welcome to the Department of Nutrition Sciences.

    Hippocrates recognized the importance of nutrition and healthy living when he said

    “If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have the safest way to health.”

    Faculty in the Department of Nutrition Sciences (DNS) conduct basic, clinical, and translational research to identify the optimum personalized lifestyle (nutrition, exercise, behavior mo...

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    Jose Fernandez Ph.D., Vice Chairperson 2008 -

    Dr. José R. Fernández is a Professor and Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Nutrition Sciences. Dr. Fernández obtained his Ph.D. in Biobehavioral Health from Pennsylvania State University, training in genetics of complex traits under the advisory of Dr. Gerald McClearn and working with the three most commonly used models for genetic research: fruit flies, mice, and humans. He continued his academic training at the New York Obesity Research Center at Columbia University as a post-docto...

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    Timothy Nagy Ph.D., Director 2008 -

    Dr. Nagy is a Professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences. He directs the Small Animal Phenotyping Laboratory that is a resource for the UAB Nutrition Obesity Center, the UAB Diabetes Research Center, and the UAB Center for Metabolic Bone Disease. Dr. Nagy’s research is focused on three areas: (1) the regulation of body weight, (2) the development and validation of methods for phenotyping small animals, and (3) the link among body fat, caloric restriction and cancer.

    Dr. Nagy’s st...

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    W. Timothy Garvey, Department Chairperson 2003 -

    Dr. Garvey is Professor of Medicine in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He obtained his MD degree, cum laude, from St. Louis University in 1978, and completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Barnes Hospital, Washington University, in 1981. He then was a clinical fellow in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. He subsequently held facul...

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    Wendy Demark-Wahnefried Ph.D., Associate Director 2010 -

    Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, PhD, RD is Professor and Webb Endowed Chair of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Dr. Demark-Wahnefried received her baccalaureate degree in Nutritional Science and Biochemistry from the University of Michigan and then completed a coordinated master’s degree – dietetic internship through the VA Texas Medical Center, Texas Women’s University and Baylor College of Medicine. She completed her doctoral degree in Nutritional Science from Syr...

  • Faculty Position

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    Alicia Roberts, Instructor (P) 2007 -

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    Amy Goss, Assistant Professor (P) 2016 -

    Dr. Goss is an Assistant Professor of Nutrition Sciences at UAB, a Register Dietitian, and an early career investigator with expertise in conducting randomized clinical trials to examine the effects of diet quality and macronutrient composition on risk factors of chronic metabolic diseases such as obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and type 2 diabetes. The goal of her research is to identify effective, sustainable, and non-invasive dietary means of preventing and reversing dise...

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    B Chung, Instructor (P) 2009 -

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    Barbara Gower Ph.D., Professor (P) 2008 -

    Barbara Gower is Professor and Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, and serves as Director of the Metabolism Core for the Nutrition Obesity Research Center and the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, and the Human Physiology Core for the Diabetes Research Center. Her research focus is on the interplay between diet, endocrinology, and metabolism and their relation to chronic metabolic disease, with expertise in evaluation of body composition, body fat distri...

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    Brenda Bertrand, Professor (P) 2014 -

    Brenda Bertrand was a scholarship track and cross country runner and earned her undergraduate degree in Nutrition from Auburn University. She completed a Dietetic Internship and earned a Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from UAB, and PhD in Nutrition from Auburn. She completed a Doctoral Internship at the Children’s Seashore House (Philadelphia, PA). Her dissertation research assessed changes in energy expenditure and dietary intake among infants and young children with sickle cell...

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    Carleton Rivers, Assistant Professor (P) 2016 -

    Carleton Rivers is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, and serves as Internship Director for the M.S. in Nutrition Sciences, Clinical Track/Dietetic Internship. Carleton earned her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Samford University, and her Master of Science in Nutrition Sciences from UAB. Previously, she worked with the UAB/Lakeshore Research Collaborative and served as the project coordinator and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) for numero...

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    Chandrika Piyathilake Ph.D., Professor (P) 2008 -

    Dr. Piyathilake is a tenured Professor of the Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and a Senior Scientist in the UAB’s NIH-funded Clinical Nutrition Research Center (CNRC), Comprehensive Cancer Center (UABCCC) and the Minority Health Research Center (MHRC). She trained as a Dental Surgeon in Sri-Lanka and then completed her Master’s degree in international health and a PhD degree in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in th...

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    Charles Prince, Professor - Emeritus (P) 2013 -

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    Courtney Peterson, Assistant Professor (P) 2016 -

    Dr. Peterson obtained her Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University in 2011, working on the physics of the Big Bang. Thereafter, she changed disciplines and took up an NIH T32 obesity postdoctoral fellowship in nutrition and metabolism at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. At Pennington, she trained under Dr. Eric Ravussin, a world expert in energy metabolism and in diabetes and obesity clinical trials. During this time, she worked on several controlled lifestyle intervention trials, ranging ...

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    Daniel Smith Jr., Assistant Professor (P) 2010 -

    Daniel L. Smith Jr., Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at UAB. His research focuses on the interaction of nutrition and metabolism in relationship to aging and disease. Topics include: obesity, calorie restriction, calorie restriction mimetics, brown adipose tissue, ulcerative dermatitis in C57BL/6 mice, and systems biology of aging using budding yeast chronological lifespan.

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    David Yates, Associate Professor (P) 2016 -

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    Douglas Moellering, Associate Professor (P) 2008 -

    Douglas “Doug” Moellering, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Health Professions, and Department of Nutrition Sciences. He also serves as the Director of the Bioanalytical Redox Biology (BARB) Core, serving multiple investigators in measuring functional mitochondrial physiology, bioenergetics, enzyme activity, markers of oxidative stress, and/or reactive oxygen species formation. Doug espouses and thinks education, either formal or informal, i...

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    Drew Sayer, Assistant Professor (P) 2019 -

    Obesity is one of the most serious and complex public health challenges our society has faced. Past research has shown tremendous inter-individual variability in weight loss in response to physical activity and dietary interventions, which is driven by a complex set of biological, behavioral, environmental, and psychosocial influences on adherence and energy balance. My education and training in exercise nutrition, and translational science have fostered a strong desire to understand this comple...

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    Elizabeth Kitchin, Assistant Professor (P) 2008 -

    Beth Kitchin earned her undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and her master’s degree in Human Nutrition and Foods from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. She earned her Ph.D. in Health Education and Promotion in UAB’s School of Public Health. Beth is presently an assistant professor in the UAB Department of Nutrition Sciences where she teaches several undergraduate and graduate courses. She is also the director of the UAB Minor in Nut...

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    Fred Bertrand III, Associate Professor (P) 2019 -

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    Gary Hunter, Professor - Emeritus (P) 2017 -

    Scholarship

    Published over 300 Refereed Research papers concerning exercise physiology, exercise training, weight loss/weight maintenance, metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Had sustained NIH funding for over 25 years.

    Service

    Senior Editorial Board JSCR, JSC, and J Phys Ed, reviewer for over 40 medical/biological science journals, coach of RPM Olympic weight Lifting, Consultant National YMCA, Member US Weightlifting Federation's Scientific Services Committee, Schola...

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    Holly Wyatt, Professor (P) 2019 -

    Wyatt has been involved in the field of obesity, weight management and metabolism her entire career and personally struggled with her weight and maintaining a reduced healthy body weight earlier in her life. She is the co-founder and medical director for The State of Slim — a transformative weight loss program that specializes in long-term strategies for weight loss and transforming your life.

    Wyatt has more than 20 years of clinical experience in weight reduction using behavioral treat...

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    Isao Eto Ph.D., Associate Professor (P) 2008 -

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    James Annesi, Professor (P) 2019 -

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    James Hill, Professor (P) 2018 -

    Welcome to the Department of Nutrition Sciences.

    Hippocrates recognized the importance of nutrition and healthy living when he said

    “If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have the safest way to health.”

    Faculty in the Department of Nutrition Sciences (DNS) conduct basic, clinical, and translational research to identify the optimum personalized lifestyle (nutrition, exercise, behavior mo...

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    Jose Fernandez Ph.D., Professor (P) 2008 -

    Dr. José R. Fernández is a Professor and Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Nutrition Sciences. Dr. Fernández obtained his Ph.D. in Biobehavioral Health from Pennsylvania State University, training in genetics of complex traits under the advisory of Dr. Gerald McClearn and working with the three most commonly used models for genetic research: fruit flies, mice, and humans. He continued his academic training at the New York Obesity Research Center at Columbia University as a post-docto...

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    Lyse Norian Ph.D., Associate Professor (P) 2015 -

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    Maria Deluca, Associate Professor (P) 2008 -

    Dr. Maria De Luca obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Calabria (Italy) working on the study of human genetic variation using high variable DNA markers. During that time she was awarded a European Union Mobility Program fellowship to work in the laboratory of Dr. Julia Bodmer at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London. The goal of the project was to develop a DNA method to discriminate among HLA alleles and apply it to the study of the genetic history of European populations. Dr. De Luc...

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    Mohammad Khaled, Professor - Emeritus (P) 2011 -

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    Paula Chandler-Laney, Associate Professor (P) 2011 -

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    Pi-Ling Chang Ph.D., Associate Professor (P) 2008 -

    Pi-Ling Chang, PhD is an Associate Professor of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Dr. Chang received her baccalaureate degree in Natural Sciences and Master’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Chicago. After serving as an instructor in the Department of Biochemistry at the King Saud University, Scientific College for Girls in Saudi Arabia for 5 years, she returned to the United States and earned her doctorate degree in Nutrition Sciences under the m...

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    Tara Harman, Instructor (P) 2019 -

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    Timothy Nagy Ph.D., Professor (P) 2008 -

    Dr. Nagy is a Professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences. He directs the Small Animal Phenotyping Laboratory that is a resource for the UAB Nutrition Obesity Center, the UAB Diabetes Research Center, and the UAB Center for Metabolic Bone Disease. Dr. Nagy’s research is focused on three areas: (1) the regulation of body weight, (2) the development and validation of methods for phenotyping small animals, and (3) the link among body fat, caloric restriction and cancer.

    Dr. Nagy’s st...

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    Tsunenobu Tamura, Professor - Emeritus (P) 2009 -

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    W. Timothy Garvey, Professor (P) 2003 -

    Dr. Garvey is Professor of Medicine in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He obtained his MD degree, cum laude, from St. Louis University in 1978, and completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Barnes Hospital, Washington University, in 1981. He then was a clinical fellow in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. He subsequently held facul...

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    Wendy Demark-Wahnefried Ph.D., Professor and Endowed Chair (P) 2010 -

    Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, PhD, RD is Professor and Webb Endowed Chair of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Dr. Demark-Wahnefried received her baccalaureate degree in Nutritional Science and Biochemistry from the University of Michigan and then completed a coordinated master’s degree – dietetic internship through the VA Texas Medical Center, Texas Women’s University and Baylor College of Medicine. She completed her doctoral degree in Nutritional Science from Syr...

  • Faculty Secondary Appointments

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    Amanda Willig, Assistant Professor (S) 2015 -

    Amanda L. Willig, PhD, RD, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine. She received an undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and minor in Business Administration from Louisiana Tech University. She then completed her dietetic internship and MS in Nutrition at Virginia Tech University. Dr. Willig earned her PhD in Nutrition Sciences with training in Biostatistics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her current research focuses on nutriti...

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    Eric Plaisance, Assistant Professor (S) 2015 -

    Dr. Plaisance is an Associate Professor of Exercise Physiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, AL. Dr. Plaisance has over 20 years of experience in the fields of Obesity and Metabolism. He is currently Graduate Program Director of the Masters in Exercise Physiology and Undergraduate Honors Program Director.

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    Gordon Fisher, Assistant Professor (S) 2012 -

    Scholarship

    My current research is directed towards developing nutritional and behavioral strategies that can reduce the prevalence of metabolic and cardiovascular complications that are associated with type 2 diabetes. I am specifically interested in the mechanistic role through which mitochondrial bioenergetics and redox signaling influence the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and associated comorbidities.

    Service

    I am an active member of the American College of Sport...

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    Monica Baskin Ph.D., Associate Professor (S) 2010 -

    Dr. Baskin is a nationally-renowned health disparities researcher and professor of medicine in the UAB Division of Preventive Medicine. For nearly 20 years, she has led an extensive extramurally-funded research program focused on reducing health disparities in the Deep South among residents of both rural and urban communities and populations across the lifespan. Dr. Baskin’s work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Wood Johnson...

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    Monica Baskin Ph.D., Professor (S) 2013 -

    Dr. Baskin is a nationally-renowned health disparities researcher and professor of medicine in the UAB Division of Preventive Medicine. For nearly 20 years, she has led an extensive extramurally-funded research program focused on reducing health disparities in the Deep South among residents of both rural and urban communities and populations across the lifespan. Dr. Baskin’s work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Wood Johnson...

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    Robert A. Oster Ph.D., Professor (S) 2015 -

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    Robert Kesterson Ph.D., Assistant Professor (S) 2004 -

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    Stephenie Wallace, Assistant Professor (S) 2012 -

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    Valerie Tarn, Instructor (S) 2013 -

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