Jeni Burnette PhD

Jeni Burnette is an Associate Professor of Psychology at North Carolina State University. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina and completed her Ph.D. in Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. Jeni’s research applies basic social psychological theories to understanding fundamental social issues such as obesity and stigma. She primarily focuses on how mindsets matter for dieting self-regulation and weight-loss goal achievement. Her work has been published in journals including Psychological Bulletin, Psychological Science, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and Personality and Social Psychological Bulletin.

Rita Hamad, MD, PhD

Dr. Rita Hamad is a social epidemiologist and family physician in the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Department of Family & Community Medicine at UCSF. As the director of the Social Policies for Health Equity Research Program, her research focuses on the pathways linking poverty and education with health disparities across the life course. In particular, she studies the health effects of social and economic policies using interdisciplinary quasi-experimental methods. She also investigates the mechanisms through which adverse socioeconomic conditions get “under the skin” to cause disease.

Dr. Hamad is the Associate Director of the Center for Health Equity. She is also a member of the steering committee of the UCSF Population Health Data Initiative, serving as the Faculty Lead for the development of data infrastructure to advance population health research on campus. She serves as the Policy Lead of the UCSF Preterm Birth Initiative, spearheading an agenda to reduce disparities in preterm birth by addressing its upstream determinants. Dr. Hamad mentors trainees at all levels in population health research, and she supervises family medicine residents at the Family Health Center at San Francisco General Hospital. She also serves on the Communications Committee of the Interdisciplinary Association of Population Health Sciences.

Alyssa Hasty, PhD

Dr. Alyssa Hasty earned her Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University in the laboratory of Dr. Sergio Fazio and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Tokyo University in the laboratory of Dr. Hitoshi Shimano. She was recruited back to Vanderbilt as a faculty member in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics (MPB), and is now a Full-Professor. Dr. Hasty is particularly interested in graduate education and as such, serves as the Director of Graduate Studies for the MPB Department. Dr. Hasty is a leader in the field of immunometabolism, primarily studying the role of macrophages in obesity and metabolic disease. She developed one of the first mouse models to study obesity-related hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis. She is also interested in the nutritional aspects of metabolic disease including a focus on the impact of various dietary fatty acids on metabolism. Her current work focuses on adipose tissue macrophage apoptosis and iron handling. Dr. Hasty has received funding from the Veteran’s Administration, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, and National Institutes of Health. She has published over 80 original papers and review/book chapters.

Corby Martin, PhD

Dr. Corby Martin Directs the Ingestive Behavior Laboratory at Pennington Biomedical and has extensive experience conducting interventions to improve food intake, exercise, and body weight. Dr. Martin’s research interests include the application of technology to change people’s behavior and improve their health through mobile health (mHealth) interventions while they live at home. He is an expert at quantifying energy intake in controlled and free-living conditions, having developed and validated the Remote Food Photography Method and SmartIntake® smartphone app, which accurately measures the food intake of adults by analyzing images of foods captured by participants. Dr. Martin and colleagues also developed and validated mathematical models that accurately predict body mass and weight change over time in response to dieting or overfeeding, and they have utilized these models to quantify adherence to energy intake prescriptions during weight loss treatment. This and other work has led to the development and testing of mHealth interventions that remotely delivery weight management services to people via smartphone apps while they live at home. Dr. Martin also studies the compensatory effects of perturbing energy balance, including the effect of exercise on subsequent food intake and changes in activity and metabolism.