Research Interest Sections

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)

Through symposia, webinars and other activities, RIS provide a unique home for ASN members to focus on scientific and practice-based issues in nutrition. The RIS are vibrant networks where scientific exchange, professional development, ongoing dialogues and mentorship all take place.

–Shirley Gerrior, PhD, RD, LDN College of Health Sciences, Walden University, Past RIS Director

All members may join one or more of the 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

ASN Connect is ASN’s members-only online social network, bringing together nearly 8,000 professionals with similar interests and goals. Engage with colleagues around the world through discussion boards and designated forums to collaborate, make new connections, and share ideas, resources and information. Log in to your member dashboard and choose your Research Interest Section(s)! Join members of your RIS on ASN Connect to get involved today!

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 members in 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.

Emily Arentson-Lantz, Chair
University of Texas Medical Branch
Term Ends: 2024

Carotenoid and Retinoid Interactive Group (CARIG)

CARIG’s mission is to promote member 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. 

Rachel Kopec, Chair
Ohio State University
Term Ends: 2024

Climate/Environment, Health, Agriculture and Improved Nutrition (CHAIN)

Members of the Climate/environmental change, Health, Agriculture and Improved Nutrition (CHAIN) RIS focus on the intersection of factors affecting sustainable food systems, health and nutrition in a changing domestic and global environment.  CHAIN is oriented toward nutrition, but includes members with diverse backgrounds including agriculture, environmental studies, food science and socio-economics.   CHAIN is a forum for collegial interaction, frank discussion and development of integrated research projects around these important, and often controversial topics.

Lauren O’Connor, Chair
National Cancer Institute
Term Ends: 2024

Community and Public Health Nutrition

The Community and Public Health Nutrition RIS is a community for researchers 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.

Muzi Na, Chair
Penn State University
Term Ends: 2024

Diet and Cancer

Members of the Diet and Cancer RIS focus 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 chemoprevention.

Leigh Greathouse, Chair
Baylor University
Term Ends: 2024

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 the Dietary Bioactive Components 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.

Dennis Cladis, Chair
Virginia Tech
Term Ends: 2024

Energy and Macronutrient Metabolism

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.

Jessica Gwin, Chair
U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine
Term Ends: 2024

Experimental Animal Nutrition

The Experimental Animal Nutrition RIS is 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. The RIS’s scope includes nutrition research in companion animals, exotic species and marine animals.

Jennifer Lee, Chair
Association for Institutional Research
Term Ends: 2024

Maternal, Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition

The Maternal, Perinatal and Pediatric RIS is a home for those who 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: (1) nutrient requirements of the mother, fetus, infant, or child (up to 18 years of age); (2) maternal nutrition as related to pregnancy and lactation including infant growth, neurodevelopmental, and healthcare outcomes; (3) lactational physiology at the molecular, cellular and organismal levels; (4) regulation and significance of human milk composition; (5) nutrition of acute and chronic pediatric disease states; (6) nutrition of infants and children with physical and intellectual disabilities including the preterm infant; (7) role of nutrition and lifestyle in the development of childhood obesity; nutrition programs and policies impacting maternal/child health; and (8) feeding behavior/styles/preferences of the mother, infant, and other caregivers (e.g., fathers, extended family, daycare providers) on health (physical, neurological growth and development) and disease prevention. Activities are coordinated with the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation.

Sarah Borengasser, Chair
University of Colorado – Anschutz
Term Ends: 2024


Nutrient-Gene Interactions

The Nutrient-Gene Interactions RIS members are 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. Activities emphasize 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.

Alfredo Martínez Hernández, Chair
Univ de Navarra
Term Ends: 2024

Nutrition Education and Behavioral Science

The Nutrition Education and Behavioral Science RIS focuses 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.

Oksana Matvienko, Chair
Touro University Nevada
Term Ends: 2024

Nutrition Translation from Bench to Consumer

The Nutrition Translation 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.

Julie Hess, Chair
Term Ends: 2024

Nutritional Epidemiology

ASN members investigating the relationships between diet, nutritional status and health in human populations will be at home in the Nutritional Epidemiology 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.

Slyvia Ley, Chair
Tulane University
Term Ends: 2024

Nutritional Immunology and Inflammation

Members of the Nutritional Immunology and Inflammation RIS 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.

David Duriancik, Chair
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Term Ends: 2024

Nutritional Microbiology

Nutritional Microbiology RIS members investigate interactions between dietary compounds with gut microbial communities referred to as the microbiome. This RIS supports researchers interested in dietary impacts to microbiome function as it pertains to nutrition and overall health. In addition, the RIS supports research into ingestion of beneficial microbes and fermented foods and beverages. There is an emphasis on fundamental and translational research to address pathological conditions, preventative measures, and to enhance human performance through dietary manipulations of the microbiome.

Mary Kable, Chair
Term Ends: 2024


The Obesity RIS facilitates and promotes scientific exchange among ASN members who focus on research, teaching, and outreach activities in the area of obesity. The RIS provides a mechanism for representing and integrating the disease of obesity within ASN’s governance and activities and aims to promote participation and mentoring of young investigators interested in obesity.

Amy Goss, Chair
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Term Ends: 2024

Sports Nutrition & Human Performance

The Sports Nutrition & Human Performance RIS is a community for scientists and practitioners interested in performance nutrition, sports science, and sports medicine.  This section focuses on research that incorporates nutritional-based interventions aimed at supporting exercise performance and recovery.

Nick Burd, Chair
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Term Ends: 2024

Vitamins and Minerals

The Vitamins and Minerals RIS and its members promote research on the basic understanding of the function, metabolism, and utilization of vitamins and minerals 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.

Vimal Patel, Chair
Reliance Vitamin
Term Ends: 2024

ASN Connect is ASN’s members-only online social network, bringing together nearly 8,000 professionals with similar interests and goals. Engage with colleagues around the world through discussion boards and designated forums for GEMs (Groups Engaging Members) to collaborate, make new connections, and share ideas, resources and information. ASN Connect is the digital gathering place for the global ASN community, accessible anytime, anywhere.