Mentor and brief summary of research project while a student at UGA:
Dr. Mary Ann Johnson.
My research project examined associations between nutritional status and age-related hearing loss among older adults as well as in mice.
I began my career with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2007 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer assigned to the Florida Department of Health. After completing EIS, I joined the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity in July 2009 as an epidemiologist on the Epidemiology and Surveillance Team of the Obesity Prevention and Control Branch.
My expertise and experiences are in the areas of epidemiology, surveillance, and nutrition, especially added sugars, sugar-sweetened beverages, and drinking water.
Currently, I serve as a Team Lead/Lead Epidemiologist in the Epidemiology and Surveillance Team of the Obesity Prevention and Control Branch.
My current job entails:
As a Team Lead, I guide a team of epidemiologists and scientists to achieve division’s and branch’s epidemiology and surveillance goals (i.e., promote good nutrition and physical activity to prevent and control obesity and other chronic diseases).
As a Lead Epidemiologist and subject matter expert, I provide technical and epidemiological assistance regarding sugar-sweetened beverage, added sugars, drinking water, and obesity within CDC and externally. I mentor CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officers and students from various universities.
Recent honors or awards:
I am a primary/coauthor on 85 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 3 reports, 1 book chapter, and 88 abstracts. I received the following awards from UGA Alumni Associations:
The Pacesetter Award, College of Family & Consumer Sciences Alumni Association, UGA, 2013
The 40 Under 40 Award, UGA Alumni Association, Athens, GA, 2011
The primary reason I chose to attend UGA and be a part of FDNS was because:
I chose to attend UGA for the Foods and Nutrition Program, because the Department of Foods and Nutrition provides great opportunities for students to work with top experts in the field. Faculty members in the department provide various training opportunities to students inside and outside of the department. As a result of trainings and mentorship from faculty members during graduate school, I was extremely prepared to become a researcher. Specifically, without excellent guidance from my mentor, Dr. Mary Ann Johnson, I could not get to where I am now.