Research Areas

The Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Sciences department is committed to providing students with opportunities to get involved in research. Our faculty are excellent research mentors and welcome opportunities for students to get involved in the work they do.

Why should you get involved in research?

  • Improve your critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Discover new career paths
  • Strengthen your resume
  • Build relationships with faculty and peers who are also participating in research
  • Receive opportunities to speak and publish on your work
  • Increase your chances of getting accepted into graduate and professional health programs

What kind of research happens in the NDFS department?

Student researchers in our department participate in research on topics related to food, nutrition, diet, and health.

Research: Food Science

Our food science faculty conduct research in areas including the physical and chemical characterization of foods and food materials such as chocolate, dairy, and meat products. Food science research areas include dairy microbiology, dairy processing and technology, dairy proteins, meat science, food engineering, and food chemistry/biochemistry. Food science faculty collaborate with nutrition science faculty to study the relationship between the food matrix and the gut microbiome and markers of inflammation in animal models as well as humans.

Students conducting research in food science learn laboratory techniques such as gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, high-performance liquid chromatography, differential scanning calorimetry, microscopy, texture analysis, rheology, tribology, high-intensity ultrasound, ELISA, time-domain nuclear magnetic resonance, X-ray diffraction, PCR techniques and next generation sequencing, turbidimetry, and sensory evaluation.

Opportunities include learning how to make and test the properties of dairy products and chocolate in our fully functional dairy and chocolate production labs, measuring material properties of foods using cutting edge technologies, developing new technologies and processes to improve the nutritional and functional performance of foods. Additionally, our faculty conduct feeding trials in animal models as well as with humans to test their metabolic response to different diets and food structures.

To learn more about research opportunities currently available in this area please contact Bob Ward, director of our food science program. bob.ward@usu.edu

Faculty with active research programs in the area of food science

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Silvana Martini

Silvana Martini

Professor | Principal Investigator | Factory Director

435-797-8136

silvana.martini@usu.edu

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Taylor Oberg
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Prateek Sharma
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Research: Nutrition Science and Dietetics

Our nutrition science and dietetics faculty conduct research to understand how foods and nutrients impact health, disease, and human performance, and what factors influence human choices and behaviors related to food.

Students conducting research in nutrition science learn how to conduct qualitative and observational studies and experimental trials. They learn laboratory techniques such as cell culture, biochemical analyses, and histopathology, how to create and implement surveys, and how to analyze the data collected to answer research questions.

Faculty are currently involved in research in the following areas: diet and the gut microbiome related to chronic disease risk, sustainable agriculture practices and nutrient quality of foods, educational and behavioral interventions that influence food choices, and food security and safety in at-risk populations.

To learn more about research opportunities currently available in this area, please contact Korry Hintze, director of our nutrition science program. korry.hintze@usu.edu

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Carrie Durward

Carrie Durward

Community Nutrition, Program Evaluation, Nutrition Behavior Measurement

(435) 797-5843

carrie.durward@usu.edu

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Korry Hintze

Korry Hintze

Associate Professor | Nutrition and Chronic Disease, Microbiome, Animal Models of Nutrition

435-797-2124

korry.hintze@usu.edu

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Michael Lefevre

Michael Lefevre

Gut Health, Diet and Chronic Disease Risk, Dietary Bioactives, Clinical Trialss

435-797-3821

michael.lefevre@usu.edu

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Current Research Opportunities

Explore our current research opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get course credit for participating in undergraduate research?
Yes, you can sign up for internship credit and get credit for participating in undergraduate research.

Will I get paid for participating in undergraduate research?
Some undergraduate research opportunities are paid hourly positions, others are volunteer. The pay is determined by the faculty who is sponsoring the position.