Laura Barre


Laura Barre

Assistant Clinical Professor
414 Savage Hall
Phone: (607) 255-0968
View Cornell University Contact Info
Curriculum Vitae
Biographical Statement:

I received my B.S. in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University in 1991 and completed a dietetic internship at Emory University in Atlanta, GA in 1992. I then started my clinical career practicing as a registered dietitian focusing on the nutritional care of oncology, general medicine, and geriatric patients. I furthered my clinical training at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, graduating in 2001 with an M.D. degree.

My research career started in the area of AMP-activated-kinase in skeletal muscle in the Department of Medicine at Dartmouth investigating the impact of alterations in AMPK activity on glycogen metabolism and exercise capacity.  Although working at the cellular and murine model level intrigued me, I felt too removed from the patient population. Maintaining a strong interest in geriatrics, I conducted research in the area of health care decision-making in the oldest-old at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Care Policy and Clinical Practice. Through this qualitative research, I observed that older adults desire maintenance of quality of life over quantity of life. I then completed an NIH T32 Post-doctoral Fellowship within the Geisel School of Medicine focusing my work in two areas (1) sarcopenia and obesity in older adults and the impact on functional status and (2) healthy eating in those with obesity and serious mental illness. In 2013 I received a young investigator award from the Obesity Society for my work in the area of obesity and nutritional status in those with serious mental illness.  At Cornell, I have continued my research in the area of geriatric obesity, expanded my work in the area of altered eating behaviors, and initiated novel research in the area of social media and nutrition.  


Teaching and Advising Statement:

I teach within the Post Baccalaureate Program, preparing students for future careers in the health sciences.  Today’s clinicians confront an overwhelming barrage of information on a daily basis with research results, expert opinions, and clinical guidelines being published and updated regularly online. New information needs to be efficiently deciphered, sorted, and integrated with existing knowledge to allow for application. This process requires strong core knowledge and the ability to think critically about new and existing information.  My goal is to teach students critical thinking and to inspire a love of learning, so that they can welcome this daily deluge of information and become lifelong learners. 

Each student brings a unique combination of prior knowledge, perspective and cultural context to the classroom. To address these individual differences and use them to enhance learning for all students, I use a variety of teaching methods.  My classes are combinations of short didactic sessions, class activities and small group learning.  I use a “flipped classroom” model with core knowledge being learned outside of the classroom and application of the information practiced in the classroom through case studies, problem based learning, and laboratory exercises. I emphasize a collaborative and team based approach to learning. No one person can know everything and thus students need to learn how to effectively and efficiently communicate and work with one another to solve clinical problems. 

In terms of mentoring, I emphasize self-reflection and goal setting. I encourage the post baccalaureate students to reflect on the areas of study they are passionate about or find intellectually interesting and to self-identify strengths and weaknesses to aid in planning current courses of study and future career directions. For my research mentees, I encourage independent work with regular meetings to discuss progress on study design, IRB materials, study implementation, data management and analysis, and writing. I also strive to mentor my graduate TA’s in teaching by including them in most aspects of course planning and delivery.

Current Professional Activities:

Reviewer: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Appetite, American Geriatrics Society, and International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

The American Geriatrics Society, member 2009-present

The Obesity Society, member 2010-present

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, member 2013-present

Member of the following Academy Dietetic Practice groups: Healthy Aging, Research, Behavioral Health Nutrition, and Weight Management



Current Research Activities:

I am actively engaged in several areas of research within the broad category of nutrition and obesity. The central theme to my work is a holistic approach to obesity management. This aligns with the biopsychosocial model in which biological, psychological and social contributing factors need to be identified and managed to treat obesity. I primarily focus my work in two separate vulnerable populations, older adults and those with serious mental illness. Currently, I am exploring perceptions of obesity from the perspective of both older adults and healthcare providers and investigating the impact of an aging in place program, Full Circle America, on successful aging. In individuals with serious mental illness, I am conducting descriptive research to understand the altered eating behaviors in this population and to inform the design of a novel nutrition intervention to facilitate recognition and management of these behaviors. Recognizing the potential of social media for nutrition interventions, I recently expanded my research into the young adult population to study food related communications on social media and their potential impact on eating behaviors. 


Current Public Engagement Activities:

Age-Friendly Ithaca/Tompkins County - member of the Research Domain committee

Steuben County Full Circle America - member of research/funding committee







NIH T32 Postdoctoral Fellow (2008-2011) Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH.

M.D. (2001) Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH.

Dietetic Internship (1991-1992) Emory University Hospital, Atlanta, GA.

B.S. Nutritional Sciences (1991) Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. 

Courses Taught:

 NS 5410 Integrative Health Sciences I

NS 5411 Integrative Health Sciences II

NS 4010 Empirical Research for undergraduates

NS 5100 Preparation for Professional Studies

NS 5200 Health and Humanities



Related Websites:

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Health Studies


Administrative Responsibilities:

DNS MNS/MS Committee

DNS NutritonWorks Committe


Selected Publications:

Batsis, J., Zbehlik, A.J., Barré, L., Scherer. E.A., Bartels, S. Impact of Obesity on Disability, Function and Physical Activity: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative.  Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology. Epub June 2015 ahead of print.

Batsis, J., Zbehlik, A.J., Barré, L., Scherer. E.A., Bartels, S. Normal Weight Central Obesity, Physical Activity, and Functional Decline: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Epub 2015 ahead of print.

Zbehlik, A.J., Barré, L.K., Batsis, J.A., Scherer, E., Bartels, S.J. Vitamin D supplementation and functional knee osteoarthritis progression in older adults with obesity: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Journal of Aging Research and Clinical Practice. Epub Feb 2015 ahead of print.

Aschbrenner, K. A. Naslund, J. A., Barré, L. K., Mueser, K. T., Kinney, A., & Bartels, S. J. Peer health coaching for overweight and obese individuals with serious mental illness: Intervention development and initial feasibility study. Translational Behavioral Medicine. 2015; 5 (3): 277-284.

Aschbrenner, K., Mueser, K., Bartels, S., Carpeter-Song, E., Pratt, S., Barré, L., Naslund, J., & Kinney, A. (in press).  The Other 23 Hours: A Qualitative Study of Fitness Provider Perspectives on Social Support for Health Behavior Change among Adults with Serious Mental Illness.  Health & Social Work.

Bartels, S. J., Pratt, S. I., Aschbrenner, K., Naslund, J. A., Barré, L.K., Wolfe, R., Xie, H., McHugo, G.J., Jimenez, D.E., Jue, K., Feldman, J., Bird, B.L. Pragmatic replication trial of health promotion coaching for obesity in serious mental illness and maintenance of outcomes. American Journal of Psychiatry. Epub 2014 ahead of print.

Batsis, J., Zbehlik, A.J., Barré, L., Mackenzie, T., Bartels, S. The Impact of Waist Circumference on Function and Physical Activity in Older Adults: Longitudinal Observational Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Nutrition Journal. 2014;13:81.

Naslund, J., Aschbrenner, K., Barré, L., Bartels, S. Feasibility of Popular mHealth Technologies for Activity Tracking Among Individuals with Serious Mental Illness. Telemedicine and e-Health. 2015: 21(3); Epub 2014 December 23.

Batsis, J.A., Mackenzie, T.A., Barré, L.K., Lopez-Jimenez, F., Bartels, S. Sarcopenia, Sarcopenic Obesity and Mortality in Older Adults: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III.  European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2014; 68: 1001-1007. Epub ahead of print 2014 June 25.

Bynum, J., Barré, L., Reed, C., Passow, H. Participation of Very Old Adults in Healthcare Decisions. Medical Decision Making. 2014; 34: 216-230. Epub 2013 October 8.

Bartels, S.J., Pratt, S.I., Aschbrenner, K.A., Barré, L.K., Jue, K., Wolfe, R.S., Xie, H., McHugo, G.J., Santos, M., Williams, G.E., Naslund, J.A., & Mueser, K.T.. Clinically significant improved fitness and weight loss among overweight persons with serious mental illness. Psychiatric Services. 2013; 64(8):729-36. Epub 2013 May 15.

Batsis, J., Barré, L.K., Lopez-Jimenez, F., Mackenzie, T., Pratt, S., Bartels, S. Variation in the prevalence of sarcopenia and sarcopenic obesity in older adults associated with different research definitions: Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2004.  Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2013; 61(6): 974-80. Epub 2013 May 6.

Barré, L., Ferron, J., Davis, K., & Whitley, R.. Healthy Eating in Persons with Serious Mental Illnesses: Understanding and Barriers. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal. 2011; 34(4): 304-10.

Barré, L., Richardson, C., Hirschman, M.F., Brozinick, J.T., Fiering, S., Kemp, B.E., Goodyear, L.J., Witters, L.A..  A genetic model for the chronic activation of AMP-activated protein kinase leads to glycogen accumulation. American Journal of Physiology  2007; 292(3):E802-11. Epub 2006 Nov 14. 

Hurley, R.L., Barré, L.K., Wood, S.D., Anderson, K.A., Kemp, B.E., Means, A.R., Witters, L.A..  Regulation of AMP-activated protein kinase by multi-site phosphorylation in response to agents that elevate cellular cAMP. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2006 Dec 1;281(48):36662-72. Epub 2006 Oct 5.  



Selected Keywords:
nutrition, obesity, serious mental illness, older adults, binge eating, sarcopenia, social media, teaching, flipped classroom, problem based learning, PBL, post baccalaureate program, medical education

The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.