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Kavitha Penugonda, PhD

Contact Information

Kavitha Penugonda


Assistant Clinical Professor

Nutrition Sciences Department

Kavitha Penugonda, PhD, is an assistant clinical professor and laboratory manager in the Department of Nutrition Sciences. She received her Master’s degree in Nutritional Sciences from Oklahoma State University, and she received her PhD in Human Nutrition from Kansas State University.

Before joining Drexel, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Arkansas. Prior to this, she worked as a nutritionist at National Institute of Nutrition, India and also as a nutrition coordinator in an NGO, India.

Penugonda’s research focused on understanding the role of nutrients, phyto-nutrients and functional ingredients in preventing chronic diseases and improving quality of life. Her major research projects include examining the effects of herbal supplements, phytochemical rich fruits, vegetables and beverages on metabolic syndrome, cancer and cardiovascular biomarkers. Penugonda has also conducted research on developing fortified blended foods to address global nutrition problems such as iron and vitamin A deficiencies in collaboration with USDA, MFFAPP.

Academic Distinctions

  • 2009 – 1st place in oral competition, Annual Research Symposium, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
  • 2009 – Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
  • 2014 – 1st Place in Research and the State Graduate Student Poster Competition, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
  • 2015 – 1st Place in Poster Competition, BioKansas Winner - Capitol Graduate Research Summit Champion Award, BioKansas, KS
  • 2015 – 1st Place in Poster Competition, 12th Annual Capitol Graduate Research Summit, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
  • 2015 – Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Professional Society

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society –2016-Present
Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society (KON) –2014-Present
American Society for Nutrition (ASN) – 2009-Present
Golden Key International Honour Society (GKIHS) – 2008-Present

Selected Publications

Penugonda, K., Fiorentino, N.M., Alavi, S., Lindshield, B.L. (2018). Bioavailable Iron and Vitamin A in Newly Formulated, Extruded Corn, Soybean, Sorghum, and Cowpea Fortified-Blended Foods in the In Vitro Digestion/Caco-2 Cell Model. Current Developments in Nutrition, 2(7). (Featured Article).

Opoku-Acheampong, A., Penugonda, K., Fiorentino, N.M., Lindshield, B.L. (2016). Anti-Androgenic Effect of Fatty Acids and Phytosterols in Saw Palmetto Extract on Growth of Syrian Hamster Androgen-Sensitive Flank Organ. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Penugonda, K., & Lindshield, B. L. (2013). Fatty acid and phytosterol content of commercial saw palmetto supplements. Nutrients, 5(9), 3617-3633. doi: 10.3390/nu5093617

Kuvibidila, S. R., Velez, M., Gardner, R., Penugonda, K., Chandra, L. C., & Yu, L. (2012). Iron deficiency reduces serum and in vitro secretion of interleukin-4 in mice independent of altered spleen cell proliferation. Nutrition Research,32(2), 107-115. DOI: 10.1016/j.nutres.2011.12.005

Basu, A., & Penugonda, K. (2009). Pomegranate juice: a heart-healthy fruit juice. Nutrition reviews, 67(1), 49-56. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2008.00133.x.

Basu, A., Wilkinson, M., Penugonda, K., Simmons, B., Betts, N. M., & Lyons, T. J. (2009). Freeze-dried strawberry powder improves lipid profile and lipid peroxidation in women with metabolic syndrome: baseline and post intervention effects. Nutr J, 8(1), 1-7.

Research Interests

Phytochemicals, nutraceuticals, nutrigenomics, infant foods, micronutrients, mammalian cell culture, oxidative stress, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, CVD, cancer, global malnutrition.

PhD, Human Nutrition
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS

MS, Nutritional Sciences
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK

MSc, Food Science & Nutrition
Sri Venkateswara University
Tirupathi, India

BS, Home Science
Nagarjuna University
Guntur, India