Voting Member Bios

 


Chair  

 

Ashley Vargas, PhD, MPH, RDN, FAND: Health Science Policy Analyst in the Office of the Director at the National Institutes of Health. Ashely is a molecular epidemiologist and her research has focused on diet, microbiome, biomarkers, and cancer. Prior to earning her Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences (University of Arizona) and a M.P.H. (Harvard University), Ashley worked as a clinical dietitian for 3 years. She completed the coordinated program in dietetics at Wayne State University. Email: researchdpgChair@gmail.com
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Chair-elect 


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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Past Chair
  Lauri O. Byerley, PhD, RDN, LDN: Associate Professor in the Department of Physiology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and School of Health Sciences, American Public University. Lauri's teaching interests are sports nutrition and research methods. Her research focuses on the effect of dietary fatty acids on modulating cellular signalling pathways and the impact of these pathways on gut microbes, cancer cachexia, and alcoholism.
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Secretary
 

Tracey Ledoux, PhD, RDN, FAND: Associate Professor of Nutrition in the Health and Human Performance Department at the University of Houston. As a registered dietitian and a licensed psychologist, Tracey's research focuses on understanding, preventing, and correcting overeating behaviors in the early family unit. Her research has been funded by NIH, CDC, and public health foundations. In addition to serving as Secretary of the Research DPG, Tracey is the Treasurer for the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

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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-Jon Ludy, PhD, RDN, FAND: Associate Professor of Food & Nutrition at Bowling Green State University. Mary-Jon's research focuses on energy balance, body composition, and innovative teaching. She is particularly committed to involving students in the research process. Mary-Jon previously served as the Research DPG’s Policy & Advocacy Leader and this is her second term on the Nominating Committee. She also serves as Section Editor for JAND’s Topics of Interest in Dietetics Education Series. 

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Academy House of Delegates 
 

David H. Holben, PhD, RDN, LD, FAND: Former commissioned officer in the U. S. Army Reserves Medical Specialist Corps, David has a strong clinical nutrition and basic science background. His research focuses on food insecurity and health outcomes of individuals in North America. Of note, is his exploration of the relationship of diabetes, obesity, and other conditions to food access across the lifespan and optimizing solutions for food access and security to promote health and wellness are of particular interest. 

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