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Jennifer Nasser Awarded Seed Funding and Grant

July 14, 2014

jennifer nasser headshotJennifer Nasser, PhD, an associate professor in the Nutrition Sciences Department, has been awarded seed funding for her research from the Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) at Drexel University, which announced the first round of awardees after the organization received 35 competitive applications. The CTRI, which was recently established to foster translational research throughout the University and to remove impediments to the process of research translation, mentioned they were pleased with the large number, diversity, and scope of the applications they received.

Three reviewers at Drexel evaluated the applications for overall merit, significance, strength of the investigators and research team, cohesiveness with the CTRI program of promoting innovative clinical and translational research, feasibility of the approach, and overall strategy.

Nasser’s was one of six projects awarded funding, for a total of approximately $75,000 distributed to the awardees. Nasser’s research project consists of a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) assessment of dorsolateral and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in response to food as a marker for “loss of control” overeating. Other members of Nasser’s team include Hasan Ayaz, an assistant research professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering, and Angelo Del Parigi, a visiting research professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences.

In addition to the seed funding provided by Drexel’s CTRI, Nasser was also awarded a grant by the Drexel University Community Driven Research Day Consortium. The grant will help fund a project that aims to provide an objective assessment of the MANNA’s home-delivered meals program. Its two main objectives are to develop the key components (i.e., forms or tools such as intake assessments, provider referrals, recertifications, dietitian assessments, and client self-report outcomes) of the outcomes evaluation program, and to describe the extent to which MANNA’s outcomes (improved physical health, decreased health care utilization) meet or exceed those of other home delivered meals (HDM) programs. An interdisciplinary, community-based participatory research project, it will collect and analyze outcome data on key nutrition and health indicators in a meaningful way for MANNA.