Department of Nutrition Science - Food for Thought


April 2013
  Upcoming Department Events

May 9, 2013 May Conference and Hall of Fame

Topic: Feeding the Future.

For more information and to register, go to by May 3.

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Annual Kirksey Lecture Highlights Complementary Feeding Strategies for Breastfed Infants

Dr. Avanelle Kirksey, who attended this years lecture, has been a valued faculty member of the Department of Foods and Nutrition 1961-1994, and who left a legacy at Purdue University. Her dynamic, productive, and imaginative research program bridged the gap from basic mechanistic science to a better understanding of the relation of diet to huKirkseyman behavior and cognition. In addition to her demanding research program, she is an inspiring role model for students.  In 1985, Dr. Kirksey became the second female distinguished professor at Purdue University. In 1997, she received an Honorary Doctorate from Purdue. Her groundbreaking research, valued teaching, and community outreach efforts are honored with this lecture series that is held each spring.

The 2013 Kirksey lecture, Complementary Feeding Strategies for Breastfed Infants:  What’s the Evidence that It Matters? was given by Nancy Krebs, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics and Head, Section of Nutrition, University of Colorado Denver. She is board certified in General Pediatrics, Clinical Nutrition, and Pediatric Gastroenterology.

Dr. Krebs has extensive research experience in trace mineral nutrition, focused particularly in breastfeeding infants and their mothers. Her early work clearly demonstrated the inevitable dependence on the human infant for adequate complementary feeding after approximately 6 months of age. This work was foundational for her recent work addressing current complementary feeding practices for older infants and toddlers, in both domestic and international settings. Recently she has examined the longitudinal development of the infants’ intestinal microbiome, hypothesizing that the changes in the microbiome from exclusive breastfeeding will be altered by different complementary feeding and micronutrient fortification regimens. Through the NIH/NICHD Global Network for Women’s and Children’s Research, she led a multi-country food based efficacy trial of complementary feeding and impact on growth faltering and development.  Dr. Krebs has approximately 180 research and scholarly publications. 

Dr. Krebs has also been a consistent advocate for nutrition education in medical training and for the integration of nutrition into clinical practice.  Her leadership resulted in a vertically integrated nutrition curriculum through the four years of medical school and residency training programs. To promote training of the next generation of nutrition leaders, she has directed a T32 Nutrition training grant for post-doctoral fellows. This is also linked to a clinical fellowship in Pediatric Nutrition.  In a joint hospital-university venture, the hospital and university nutrition programs have received approval from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics for a new dietetic internship program, which will start in 2013, and will include a potential concentration in Pediatric Nutrition. 

Linking medical nutrition with clinical dietetics, she has also served as the Medical Director of the Clinical Nutrition Department at Children’s Hospital Colorado. She served on the Committee on Nutrition for the American Academy of Pediatrics for 10 years, including 4 years as Chair. From 2003-2007, she served as a member of the Food and Nutrition Board with the National Academy of Sciences. She currently is a member of the federal working group synthesizing the evidence base for dietary guidelines for infants and toddlers from birth to 2 years.

This lecture is made possible through the generous support of the Nestle Infant Nutrition and Gerber Brand and the endowment supported by Abbott Nutrition, Abbott Laboratories and alumni and friends of Dr. Avanelle Kirksey.
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Simulations in Medical Nutrition Therapy

Simulations can be the “next best thing” to real life experiences and are used in a variety of ways to enhance classroom learning. After attending a session about simulations at a professional meeting, Donna Zoss and Dinah Dalder wanted to include simulations in their undergraduate Medical Nutrition Therapy course. Their goal was to use simulations so all 80 students in the course could benefit equally and not create a big financial or time burden. Another challenge was coping with the physical space that would be needed to accommodate all of the students at once. The solution was to create short simulations that would be video-taped. SimulationStudents were solicited to volunteer if they wanted to be actors and the graduate teaching assistant, Ashley Jacobs, developed ideas for the simulations and organized the student volunteers. All students took a pledge to “make believe” the simulation was real and promised to thank their classmates for helping them learn. At the conclusion of each week, the student volunteers received a round of applause for their help with the simulations.

The simulations were designed to introduce the students to skills they will be developing in their supervised practice programs following graduation. Some of the topics included introducing yourself to a patient, communication with other health care team members, and working with your preceptor. Each topic included a “rough draft” where the student actor went through the scenario the first time. The student was then coached and a second video was made to allow the student to make improvements. Both versions were shown to the larger class and the course instructor led a discussion between the first and second version. The plans are to continue to develop these simplified simulations when the course is taught again next year.

For more information, contact Dinah Dalder, or Donna Zoss,

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Jan Buckles Momentum Maker

Original article written by Amanda Hamon. Featured in Purdue Today on February 28.

Each month Purdue Today recognizes extraordinary staff as Momentum Makers. These individuals strive to move the University forward. They are passionate about their jobs, active in the community, enthusiastic about cross-campus collaboration and desire for more both professionally and personally.

Jan Buckles 1Jan Buckles' nutrition science storeroom is more than just a pantry — it's also a place where students can come meet one of their biggest supporters.

A lab technician for the past 14 years, Buckles cares academically and personally about each of the Department of Nutrition Science's about 400 students as if they were her own. This commitment extends even beyond their graduation, as she keeps in contact with a couple of hundred alumni and stays abreast of their careers and personal lives.

How has your job changed since you began 14 years ago?
This job has really evolved from just preparing the department's laboratories and experiments to involving a lot more interaction with students. I was a big proponent of that change, and so when the department head approved it, I was ecstatic.

What else does your job involve?
I brainstorm with faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students about ideas for their classes, projects and recipe ideas for their research studies. Also, hearing professors talking about their research is exciting, so anytime I can put a lab together to help, it's great. When the department holds special events, I also put together menus. I try to have a lot of fun with that and to include an "around the world" theme whenever possible, so our international students and faculty always feel welcomed. To me, a great joy is to see people laughing and engaging during an event I planned.

What's your favorite part of the job?Jan Buckles 2
I really enjoy working with students. To me, working at Purdue is a great opportunity to form relationships, and the ones I form with our students are just the best. The couple of hundred alumni with whom I keep in contact send me the greatest photos and postcards from their weddings and of their babies. It's so rewarding to know that I'
ve had an impact on their time at Purdue and beyond.

How do you act as a mentor to current students?
I always try to make myself available to our students, even if it's just to listen about struggles they might be having with classes or with life in general. I want them to know that their struggles are normal. Sometimes, they just need a little bit of reassurance or to know they're not alone.I consider that as vital a part of my job as making sure our food labs run smoothly.

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Awards: Faculty, Alumni and Students

We congratulate the following faculty, alumni and students for their recent achievements.
Faculty Awards
Kimberly Buhman:
2013 E.L.R. Stokstad Award at Experimental Biology
This award is given for outstanding fundamental research in nutrition, with preference to scientists at relatively early stages in their careers
Mario Ferruzzi
: 2013 Agricultural Research Award This award is the highest honor awarded by Ag Research at Purdue to mid-career faculty members and reflects Dr. Ferruzzi’s contributions to research on understanding how food matrix and processing factors impact phytochemical bioavailability and bioactivity that will affect the production of functional foods to improve human health  
Richard Mattes
: 2013 Babcock-Hart Award from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
This award is given to Dr. Mattes for his outstanding achievements in expanding our understanding of oral fat detection, appetite regulation and health effects of nut consumption. The award honors an IFT member who has attained distinction by contributions to food technology which result in improved public health through nutrition or more nutritious food
Dorothy Teegarden
: 2012 Susan Bulkeley Leadership Excellence Award
The award recognizes individuals who distinguish themselves by providing exceptional mentorship to women students/scientists in the field of breast cancer regardless of disciplines. This award was established by the International Breast Cancer and Nutrition and Purdue alumna Susan Bulkeley Butler in 2011

Alumni Award
Bethany Daugherty
: Young Dietitian of the Year, 2013, Indiana Dietetic Association

Undergraduate Student Awards
Kirsten ClawsonKirsten Clawson
: 2013 Didactic Program Outstanding Student Award, Indiana Dietetic Association 2013; Outstanding Senior, Department of Nutrition Science
Amber Nolder: 2013 Indiana Dietetic Association Scholarship
Lauren OConnorLauren O’Connor
: College of Health and Human Sciences Dean’s Choice Award for her poster, Mobile MyPlate, 2013 Purdue Undergraduate Research Poster Symposium

Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Awards
Mary Brauchla
: 2013 Committee for the Education of Teaching Assistants Teaching Award, Department of Nutrition Science
Theresa D’Aquila
:  College of Health and Human Sciences Chronic Disease Research Poster Competition, 2nd Place, Jan 2013 ($100); Obesity and Cancer Discovery Group, Purdue University, Best Poster Award, Dec 2012 ($300); 2013 Sigma Xi Graduate Student Research Awards Competition Poster Session, Purdue University, 2nd Place ,Feb 2013
Yu-Han (Amy) Hung
: Study Abroad Scholarship from the Taiwanese Ministry of Education
Clara Park: Poster selected to enter the Community and Public Health Nutrition Research Interest Section poster competition, 2013 Experimental Biology Conference
Robin Tucker
: Certificate of Excellence, Best Interdisciplinary Graduate Program Presentation in Ingestive Behavior, 2013 Interdisciplinary Graduate Program Reception
Fa Wang
: 2013-2014 Cancer Prevention Internship Program Fellowship
Jing Zhou
: Finalist for the Clinical Emerging Leader Award, Medical Nutrition Council, 2013 Experimental Biology; Student and postdoc abstract award winner, Energy and Macronutrient Metabolism Research Interest Section, 2013 Experimental Biology; Certificate of Excellence, Best Interdisciplinary Graduate Program Presentation in Nutrition, 2013 Purdue Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

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In this issue:

::Upcoming Department Events

:: Annual Kirksey Lecture

:: Simulations in Medical Nutrition Therapy

:: Jan Buckles Momentum Maker

:: Awards: Faculty, Alumni and Students

The Department of Nutrition Science at Purdue University is recognized nationally for its vital research contributions to disease prevention and health promotion as well as its outstanding academic programs. We are a rapidly growing department with special strengths in:

:: Calcium, vitamin D,
and bone

:: Botanicals and Bioactives for Health

:: Appetite, Metabolism and Obesity

:: Cancer prevention


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Department of
Nutrition Science
Stone Hall, Room 213
700 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN

Tel: (765) 494-8228
Fax: (765) 494-0674