Joined USJ: 2016
When she’s not teaching in the classroom, Melissa Brown, Ph.D., R.D., assistant professor of Nutrition and Public Health, can be found in the lab, researching the topic that drew her to this field: Diabetes. “Diabetes is now the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. and the economic impact on society as a whole is tremendous,” Brown explained. “Because of these disheartening statistics and personal experience with the disease through my grandfather, I have focused my entire career on the treatment of diabetes and finding of a cure.”
Brown’s research is in disease pathophysiology with an emphasis on nutritional aspects, diabetes, and the pancreatic islet cell. By applying medical nutrition therapy concepts through her role as a dietitian, while also investigating beta cell replacement therapies, Brown diligently works to help individuals with diabetes. Her knowledge from field experience benefits her students as well. “I bring both my investigative experience and my clinical experience into the classroom,” said Brown. “I am able to bring in realistic examples of translational research and how it forms the foundation of evidence-based practice, and that truly helps the overall understanding of the concepts.”
Whether working with undergraduate or graduate students, postdoctoral fellows or surgical residents, Brown finds mentoring to be an important part of her job. Currently, her students work with her at her lab on the campus of Baystate Medical Center at the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute in Springfield, Mass. Her mentorship experiences extend beyond the lab as well. “I also work with students on independent studies with clinically-focused projects and community-based projects,” Brown stated.
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago
M.S., Rush University
R.D., Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center
B.S., University of Massachusetts-Amherst
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