American Society For Nutrition

Research Interest Sections

Research Interest Sections

Excellence in Nutrition Research and Practice

Research Interest Sections (RISs) were established as part of the American Institute of Nutrition in the early 1990s by Dr. Vernon Young and colleagues "to ensure representation of and support for the various areas of nutritional research within the publications and scientific programs of the Institute, and provide a mechanism for effective involvement of the membership in the affairs of the Institute, and enhance the participation of and contact with scientists in other disciplines who have interest in the scientific fields related to nutrition." (RIS Charter) 

All members  may join one or more of the 15 RIS listed below. To join a RIS, log in to the members' only area of the website using your username and password provided and join as many RIS groups as you prefer by visiting the "Update My Member Profile" page. If you need assistance with this, please e-mail

Click here to view ASN's Research Interest Sections brochure. 

2016-2017 Research Interest Sections

Research Interest Sections Director
Kevin Schalinske
Iowa State University
Term Ends: 2017

Research Interest Sections Past Director
Frances Coletta
Term Ends: 2016

Aging and Chronic Disease

As our population ages, nutrition plays a critical role in the health and well-being
of older adults. The purpose of the Aging and Chronic Disease RIS is to promote
nutrition research in aging and chronic disease-related areas using both qualitative
and quantitative research methods.

Bahram Arjmandi, Chair
Florida State University
Term Ends: 2018

Carotenoid and Retinoid Interactive Group (CARIG)

CARIG's mission is to promote research into nutritional roles, functions, and actions of carotenoids and their metabolites; provide a mechanism for the dissemination of new research; serve as a liaison representing the interests of the carotenoid research community to government agencies and other organizations; promote and support the training of young researchers; and communicate to the wider research community and the public.

Lisa Jahns
USDA-ARS-Grand Forks Human Nutr Res Ctr
Term Ends: 2018

Community and Public Health Nutrition

A community for ASN members with research focused on (1) the determination
and assessment of nutritional status in human populations, including national
nutrition studies; (2) the evaluation of interventions to maintain and improve the
health and well-being of human populations including nutrition education, food
assistance, food and nutrition supplementation, and food fortification programs,
and (3) food, nutrition, and related health and social policies.

Ock Chun, Chair
Associate Professor, University of Connecticut
Term Ends: 2017

Diet and Cancer

This RIS focuses on the impact of nutritional status and dietary factors in cancer
development; the role of diet in modulating cellular, biochemical and molecular
events associated with carcinogenesis at numerous sites in animal and human
models; and the relevance and application of research in the field of cancer

Jin-Rong Zhou, Chair
Harvard University
Term Ends: 2018

Dietary Bioactive Components


Does your work contribute to our understanding of the efficacy and safety of
foods and their biologically active compounds? If so, you belong in this RIS, which
focuses on elucidating the biological, biochemical and genetic basis by which such compounds may reduce the risk of chronic disease, contribute to toxic effects or convey health benefits. Policy and regulatory affairs of foods and biologically active compounds are also addressed.

Andrew Neilson, Chair
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Term Ends: 2018

Energy and Macronutrient Metabolism

RIS members research the function and metabolism of major energy yielding substrates (carbohydrates, lipids and their derivatives), amino acids and proteins. This Section encompasses research concerned with cellular, tissue, organ, and whole body metabolism and the integration and regulation of metabolism in vivo, under normal healthy and various pathophysiological chronic disease conditions. It covers basic and applied research on the influence of macronutrients and dietary supplements on metabolism, human performance, and body composition.

Stefan Pasiakos, Chair
USARIEM Military Nutrition Division
Term Ends: 2018

Experimental Animal Nutrition

A home for ASN members who research the nutritional characteristics of animal
species other than man, particularly of animals used by man as sources of food
and fiber. The biological level of organization of research interest ranges from
the subcellular and cellular to populations of the species; emphasis often given
to research in whole animals. Includes nutrition research in companion animals,
exotic species and marine animals.

Ryan Dilger, Chair
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champa
Term Ends: 2018

Maternal, Perinatal and Pediatric RIS


This RIS would focus on the biology of nutrition as it impacts human development. This includes the role of nutrition on both short and long term health outcomes in the mother, fetus, infant and child. The scope of the RIS includes but is not limited to the following topics:

  • Normal nutrient requirements for optimal health, growth and neurodevelopmental outcomes in the healthy neonate, infant, or child (birth to age 18)
  • Maternal nutrition and lifestyle spanning from pre-conception, pregnancy, lactation, non-lactating postpartum, and inter-pregnancy intervals in relation to optimizing maternal and infant outcomes
  • Lactation physiology, including basic science, translational and clinical research on the lactation process, components of human milk, and the short and long term effects of lactation or milk composition on mother or infant
  • Clinical management of the breastfeeding dyad
  • Medical nutrition therapy in acute and chronic pediatric disease or disability, including preterm infant, term infant, child or adolescent (birth to age 18)
  • Role of nutrition and lifestyle in the development of childhood obesity
  • Nutrition, lifestyle, and breastfeeding public health programs and policies impacting maternal and child health

Influence of feeding behavior of the caregivers (e.g., mothers, fathers, extended family, daycare providers), and of the child, on child health outcomes

David A. Sela, Chair
University of Massachusetts Amherst 
Term Ends: 2018

Nutrient-Gene Interactions

The Nutrient-Gene Interactions RIS is focused on: (1) mechanisms of gene
expression and their regulation by nutrients and other dietary constituents; (2)
identification of novel genes that influence the effect of dietary components on
health and disease processes, and (3) the influence of genetic variation on the
metabolic response to dietary factors. Emphasizes the concepts and techniques
in the areas of biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, genetics, genomics,
proteomics and systems biology. Nutrition research ranges from the molecular to
the organismal level in humans and other vertebrates, and model organisms such
as yeast.

Jamie I. Baum, Chair
University of Arkansas
Term Ends: 2018

Nutrition Education and Behavioral Science

Leadership: Nutrition Education & Behavioral Sciences RIS

Nutrition Education & Behavioral Science Facebook Page

Members focus on the communication of nutrition science information to the
general public to help them understand the relationship between diet and
health to food practices, and to individuals with specific dietary needs to change
behaviors conducive to health and well-being. RIS activity includes research
on nutrition information transfer, factors that affect eating patterns, effects of
nutrition knowledge on behavioral change, behavior modification to improve
health, and motivating factors for change. Includes the development and testing
of effective and efficient nutrition education materials, programs, and activities for
target subgroups of the population.

Rachel Scherr, Chair
University of California, Davis
Term Ends: 2018

Nutrition Translation from Bench to Consumer

This RIS provides a forum for scientists from academia, government, industry and
private practice to address the conversion of nutrition knowledge from the “lab
bench to the consumer.” RIS members explore ways to translate key findings in
nutrition research science into practical applications that can be used to improve
human health.

Lisa Sanders, Chair
Kellogg Company
Term Ends: 2018

Nutritional Epidemiology

ASN members investigating the relationships between diet, nutritional status and health in human populations will be at home in this RIS. Focuses include: studying the interactions of lifestyle, environmental, and genetic exposures on health status, and researching assessment methods, biomarkers, and other statistical and epidemiological techniques. RIS members integrate these finding with clinical research to elucidate nutrition's impact in the etiology and prevention of disease.

Niyati Parekh, Chair
New York University
Term Ends: 2018

Nutritional Immunology and Inflammation 


Members elucidate the impact of nutritional status and dietary factors on
the functioning of the immune system, and the impact of inflammation,
autoimmunity, and infection on the nutritional status of individuals. Researchers
who conduct human clinical or field trials as well as those who use various
animal and cell models to address either basic or applied questions about the
workings of the immune system are welcome.

Sarah Comstock, Chair
Michigan State University
Term Ends: 2017


The purpose of this RIS is to facilitate and promote scientific exchange among American Society for Nutrition (ASN) members who focus on research, teaching, and outreach activities in the area of Obesity. OBRIS provides a mechanism for representing and integrating the disease of obesity within ASN's governance and activities. Activities of this RIS target a more effective programming of symposia, minisymposia, and controversy sessions at scientific meetings such as Experimental Biology that meet the needs of all ASN members. One of our major goals is to promote participation and mentoring of young investigators interested in obesity.

Andrew W. Brown, Chair
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Term Ends: 2018

Vitamins and Minerals

Promotes research on the basic understanding of the function, metabolism,
and utilization to establish nutritional recommendations. This RIS strives to
encourage the development of new research techniques to better understand
and promote the contributions of these vitamins and minerals to health
promotion and disease prevention.

Deshanie Rai, Chair
Bayer Healthcare
Term Ends: 2018