Nutrition and Dietetics Faculty Research

Leslie Hildebrandt PhD, RDN

Dr. Leslie Hildebrandt conducts research in the area of performance nutrition and her work has been published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. She has been nominated twice for Central Michigan University’s (CMU) Excellence in Teaching award and has also received Michigan’s Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award.

Roschelle Heuberger PhD, RD

Dr. Roschelle Heuberger conducts research on palliation, hospice, and geriatric nutrition. Research in this area focusing on end of life (EOL) issues including artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH) and studies involving knowledge and attitude assessments towards end of life care through mediating and modifying factors. In addition, studies are conducted to assess institutional barriers to the use of companion animals for providing dementia patients comfort while they are receiving EOL care. Research also encompasses the evaluation of institutional settings, health care specializations and socio-demographics on EOL decision making and its determinants. This research is multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary with multiple cross-collaborations across the United States.

Najat Yahia PhD, MS, RD, LD

Dr. Najat Yahia’s research focuses on obesity prevention, dietary management of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and eating disorders. Her work includes studies that examine eating behaviors of college students in relation to their existing metabolic risk, identifying determinants and barriers to healthy eating, and examining the impact of nutrition education on students' dietary practices, in particular, those at-risk for metabolic diseases. The goal of her research is to advance the evidence-based practice on the role of nutrition in the prevention of obesity, prediabetes, and metabolic disorders among young adults. Dr. Yahia has been selected as a participant in the CMU Faculty Excellence Exhibition in 2020.

Yeonsoo Kim PhD, RDN

Dr. Yeonsoo Kim conducts research in the area of dietary management for patients with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, college students’ eating habits, and nutrition knowledge focusing on carbohydrate and added sugars. In addition, studies are conducted to measure dietary inflammatory index of college students and to identify barriers for college students to develop and maintain healthy eating habits. Currently, Dr. Kim has been conducting multi-institutional research on plant-based milks consumption and nutritional knowledge among college students.

Jeff Fisher PhD, CEC

Dr. Jeff Fisher brings 30 years of hospitality industry experience into the classroom and was the driving force behind the fundraising, design, and renovation of a new $1.15 million Culinary Nutrition Center. He conducts research on health and quality issues related to the hospitality industry, particularly in the area of food protection (food safety and food defense). His research has been published in academic journals, including the International Journal of Hospitality Management and the Journal of Environmental Health, and he has co-authored several chapters in two books titled Researching the Hazards in Hazardous Foods and Large Event Security Planning. Due to the ongoing concerns regarding the safety of the global food supply, his research is beneficial to industry and consumers by minimizing the risks associated with food hazards. Dr. Fisher has been selected as a participant in the CMU Faculty Excellence Exhibition in 2020.

Rawia Khasawneh PhD, RD

Dr. Rawia Khasawneh’s research takes place in the Nutrigenomics lab located in the Bioscience Building on CMU’s campus. It is a wet lab and is well equipped to perform modern molecular biology techniques such as end-point PCR, Real-Time PCR, cell culture, nucleic acids, and protein extraction and electrophoresis, and gene sub-cloning. The lab is specialized in investigating nutrient-gene interactions. Particularly, testing the changes in the expression of target genes in response to nutritional factors at the level of transcription and translation. The lab is currently active in investigating vitamin D metabolism and activation, and its impact on regulating the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) in non-cancerous and cancerous skin cells.

Anna Most MS, RD

Mrs. Anna Most has received a student nomination for the Excellence in Teaching Award. She is also a practicing RDN for the Gratiot Integrated Health Network, specializes in mental health, and acts as a mentor for CMU dietetics students in clinical practice. Presently, Mrs. Most serve as the Supervised Experiential Learning Manager.