After practicing as a clinical dietitian for more than ten years, I started to find the work less fulfilling, and realised that I wanted to work in nutrition at a broader level – preventing disease rather than treating it, and helping communities rather than individuals (although I really enjoyed getting to know each of the patients that I worked with). I decided to pursue a doctoral degree in nutrition sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle – a school where the nutrition programme is housed in the school of public health. My course work and research projects allowed me to explore the field of public health from many perspectives – nutrition, epidemiology, environmental health, and health services. Over the years in my doctoral programme, and now the ten years since completing my doctoral degree, I have become increasingly devoted to the field of public health nutrition.
My research focuses on nutrition in relation to cancer prevention and survivorship. I am also interested in environmental nutrition and sustainable food systems, and the extent to which exposure to pesticides, synthetic fertilisers and other chemicals through food and water may contribute to risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. My husband and I are love cooking and exploring new foods where ever we travel.
I studied nutrition and dietetics as an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and then did a master’s degree in clinical nutrition at the Massachusetts general hospital Institute of Health Professions. My doctoral degree in nutrition Sciences is from the University of Washington, Seattle. I started my academic career as a faculty member in the division of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota, where I served as director of the public health nutrition program, and a resident fellow with the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment.