Voting Member Bios

 


Chair  

 

Barbara J Gordon, MBA, RDN, LD: Clinical Assistant Professor and Director, Dietetics Programs at Idaho State University. Barbara’s area of research is the relationship between food, nutrition, and urological conditions. She was the only RDN to serve on the American Urological Association IC/BPS Clinical Guidelines Committee, thereby, contributing to the first-ever IC/BPS treatment protocol for urologists. Barbara was also a Steering Committee member for the NIH-funded Multidisciplinary Approach to Pelvic Pain Research Network.
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Chair-elect 


Nancy Emenaker, PhD, RDN, LD, FANDProgram Director in Nutrition Sciences Research Group at the National Cancer Institute, NIH. As a RDN clinician-scientist, Dr. Emenaker has research interests in the role of diet in cancer prevention, genetics/nutrigenetics, GI oncology, and wound repair. She serves as the NCI Contracting Officer’s Representative for the National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program (NFNAP), coordinating its NFNAP activities since 2012. Dr. Emenaker has held leadership roles in professional organizations including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) and the American Society for Nutrition (ASN). In 2017, she was awarded Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  

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Past Chair
 

Ashley Vargas, PhD, MPH, RDN, FAND: Dr. Vargas is a scientist and clinician focusing on diet, genes, and health. Dr. Vargas is driven to improve public health by monitoring and evaluating health science policy in the Office of the Director at NIH. Additionally, she continues her research on the role of diet, genes, and the microbiome in cancer. Dr. Vargas was trained as a clinical Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and uses her experience as a clinician to inform research decisions. During her PhD training (University of Arizona: Nutritional Sciences), Dr. Vargas developed skills as a molecular epidemiologist. She continued to advance her epidemiological training during her MPH program (Harvard University).

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Secretary
 

Erin McKinley, PhD, RD, LDN, CLC, CHES: Assistant Professor and Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics at Louisiana State University in Baton Rogue, LA. Erin completed her MS in Human Nutrition, PhD in Health Education and Health Promotion, and the Coordinated Program in Dietetics at The University of Alabama. Her current research focus is on theoretical and psychological facets of infant feeding decision-making among pregnant and postpartum women. 

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Treasurer 
 

Maria Morgan-Bathke, PhD, RD: Assistant Professor and Dietetic Internship Director in the Nutrition and Dietetics Department at Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI and Research Collaborator in the Endocrine Research Unit at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Maria completed her postdoctoral research fellowship in the Endocrine Research Unit at the Mayo Clinic with Dr. Michael Jensen. Her current research focus is on obesity, insulin signaling, inflammation, and fat metabolism. 

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Nominating Committee Chair 
  Mary N. R. Lesser, PhD, RD: Mary is currently a Researcher at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI), a Continuing Lecturer in the Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology department at the University of California, Berkeley and a Pediatric Dietitian at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, Oakland. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree at UC Davis in Clinical Nutrition with a minor in Human Development and then went on to complete her Master of Science degree in Nutrition at Tufts University and completed her Dietetic Internship at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA. She returned to UC Davis to complete her PhD in Nutritional Biology, with an emphasis in Developmental Nutrition and then completed her postdoc at CHORI. Her research interests include Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, specifically investigating the nutrition environment during early development (pregnancy, lactation, early childhood) to observe (if any) persistent developmental effects (of the fetus, neonate, child) that may increase or decrease chronic disease risk later in life.
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Academy House of Delegates 
 

 

David H. Holben, PhD, RDN, LD, FANDDr. Holben is a Professor of Nutrition and Director of the Office of Food and Nutrition at the University of Mississippi. Dr. Holben holds a Level 4 Certificate in School Nutrition from the School Nutrition Association and is formerly a commissioned officer in the United States Army Medical Specialist Corps (Reserve Component, 65C IMA, MAJ). Building upon a clinical nutrition and basic science background, his research primarily focuses on food-based STEM education and the relation of food insecurity to health outcomes. 

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