Marla Lujan

Marla Lujan, PhD, Principal Investigator and Associate Professor of Human Nutrition

Education: PhD (Physiology), MSc (Physiology), BSc (Life Sciences), Queen’s University

Research Interests: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Folliculogenesis, Menstrual Cycle, Nutrition and Metabolism, Ultrasonography

Maryam Kazemi, Postdoctoral Associate; PhD (Nutrition), Canada, MSc (Nutrition and Dietetics; Clinical Concentration), Iran, BSc (Nutritional Sciences), Iran; lab member since Summer 2018.

Additional Credentials: Registered Dietitian

Current Projects: During her PhD, Maryam examined the benefits of a multi-dimensional longitudinal randomized controlled trial, comprised of dietary, exercise, and behavioral modification on cardiometabolic, reproductive, and health-related quality of life outcomes, and lifestyle behaviors in women with PCOS. She is interested in lifestyle interventions to prevent and manage metabolic and reproductive sequelae in women with obesity and ovulation disturbances across their lifespan. Currently, she studies the relationship between environmental factors, endocrine aberrations, and metabolic and ovarian dysfunction in reproductive-age women to improve their reproductive health and reduce the risk of chronic disease in the long term.

Heidi Vanden Brink, Postdoctoral Associate; PhD (Nutrition) Cornell University, MSc (Health Sciences, Reproductive Physiology & Endocrinology) University of Saskatchewan, BSc (Physiology) University of Saskatchewan; lab member since 2012.

Additional Credentials: Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (Specialization: Obstetrical & Gynecological Ultrasound)

Current Projects:  During her PhD, Heidi evaluated the use of 2D and 3D ultrasonography to diagnose anovulatory conditions in adolescent and adult women with and without obesity. Heidi also elucidated the impact of how glucoregulatory status and hyperandrogenism are defined in reporting degree of insulin resistance in women. As a postdoctoral associate, Heidi’s main focus is to characterize the reproductive, metabolic, and nutritional changes which occur during the first two years post-menarche in adolescents through a multi-site prospective cohort study at Cornell University and Children’s Mercy Hospital (Kansas City, MO). Her primary objective is to determine whether biomarkers, such as the ovary on ultrasound, can be used to detect early reproductive disturbance in this population. 

Bailey Drewes, Research Project Coordinator; MS (Human Nutrition), Cornell University, BS (Nutrition Science; Biochemistry), College of Saint Benedict; lab member since Spring 2018.

Brittany Jarrett, Consultant; Postdoctoral Fellowship (Human Nutrition, 2018-19); PhD (Human Nutrition, 2017), BS (Nutritional Sciences, 2012), Cornell University; lab member since Fall 2009. Additional Credentials: Registered Dietitian. Previous Projects: During her PhD, Brittany characterized antral follicle dynamics in women with PCOS and helped to generate preliminary data on the impact of hypocaloric dietary intervention on ovulatory function in PCOS. She also collaborated on projects related to the ultrasound diagnosis of polycystic ovaries and metabolic correlates of cognitive dysfunction in PCOS.

Laura Galley, Doctoral Student, Human Nutrition (expected 2023); BA (Food and Nutrition; Dietetics Concentration), Bluffton University; lab member since Fall 2018. Current Project: Laura is assessing the effectiveness of hypocaloric dietary intervention to restore ovulatory function and hormonal balance in women with PCOS. Her objective is to determine baseline clinical characteristics and dietary behaviors that predispose certain individuals to respond positively to hypocaloric dietary intervention. She is interested in clinical, translational research that impacts medical nutrition therapy given to women struggling with infertility and hirsutism related to PCOS.

Alexis Oldfield, Doctoral Student, Biological and Biomedical Sciences (expected 2022); BS (Chemistry), The College of New Jersey; lab member since Fall 2018. Current Project: Alexis is evaluating the ovarian antral follicle dynamics in obese women. She will also be evaluating the irregular ovarian antral follicle dynamics in lean women. Her main goal is to  determine which aspects of folliculogenesis are altered across the adiposity spectrum. 

Jessica Lim, Biology and Society (2020); lab member since Summer 2018. Current Project: Offline assessments of ovarian morphology in women of reproductive age.

Mickayla Smith, Chemistry and Chemical Biology (2021); lab member since: Fall 2018. Current Project: Offline assessments of ovarian morphology in adolescents during the reproductive transition.

Maryyam Durrani, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (2020); lab member since Fall 2018. Current Project: Offline assessments of ovarian morphology in women of reproductive age.

Annie Lin, PhD, Human Nutrition (2017); Doctoral Dissertation Title: Dietary and Physical Activity Behaviors, Knowledge, and Beliefs Association with PCOS; active years: 2012-2017.

Brittany Jarrett, PhD, Human Nutrition (2017); Doctoral Dissertation Title: Ultrasound Characterization of Antral Folliculogenesis in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome; active years: 2012-2017.

Heidi Vanden Brink, PhD, Human Nutrition (2019); Doctoral Dissertation Title: Ultrasonographic Imaging of Ovarian Morphology for the Diagnosis and Evaluation of Anovulatory Conditions Across the Adiposity Spectrum in Women and Adolescents; active years: 2014-2019.

Ashley Tam, BA, Biological Sciences (2019); Honors Thesis Title: A comparison of ovarian morphology and reproductive and metabolic features between South Asian and White women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Lydia Anderson, BS, Biological Sciences (2018); Honors Thesis Title: Association between glucoregulatory measures and reproductive function in women with and without PCOS; active years: 2016-2018

Adrienne Pisch, BS, Biological Sciences (2018); Honors Thesis Title: Comparison and reliability of 2D and 3D ultrasound imaging methods to evaluate ovarian morphology; active years: 2016-2018

Hayden Chung, BS, Nutritional Sciences (2016); Honors Thesis Title: The Impact of a Weight Loss Intervention on Health-Related Quality of Life in Overweight Women with Irregular Menses; active years: 2014-2016

Reid Mergler, BS, Human Biology Health and Society (2015); Honors Thesis Title: Assessment of Reproductive and Metabolic Correlates of Cognitive Differences in Women with PCOS; active years: 2012-2015

Nikhita Chahal, BS, Human Biology, Health and Society (2014); Honors Thesis Title: Ovarian Size and Stromal Characteristics across the Phenotypic Spectrum of PCOS: Are they Predictive and/or Useful in the Sonographic Assessment of PCOS?; active years: 2012-2014

Dana Larsen, BS, Nutritional Sciences (2016); Honors Thesis Title: Validation of the Modified Women's Health Initiative Physical Activity Questionnaire in Women of Reproductive Age; active years: 2014-2016

Nina Clark, BS, Human Biology, Health and Society (2013); Honors Thesis Title: Adiponectin, Leptin, Visfatin, and Retinol Binding Protein 4 Gene Expression Profiles in Women with PCOS; active years: 2010-2013

Amanda Pawlak, BS, Biological Sciences (2011); Honors Thesis Title: Longitudinal Characterization of Follicle Populations in Women with PCOS: A Pilot Study; active years: 2009-2011

Shayla Kilgannon, BS, Nutritional Sciences (2019); active years 2018 to 2019

Avigdor Nosrati, BS, Biology and Society (2018); active years 2016-2018

Ashley Hsu, BS, Human Biology, Health, and Society (2018); active years 2016-2018

Elena Bergomi, BS, Nutritional Sciences (2017); active years 2015-2017

Pamela Capellan, BS, Biology and Society (2017); active years 2014-2017

Jeannine Whelan, BS, Human Biology Health and Society (2017); active years 2015-2017

Laura Barton, BS, Nutritional Sciences (2018);active years 2015-2017

Tatyana Roberts, BS, Biological Sciences (2016); active years 2013-2016

Lois Ann Davis, BS, Biological Sciences (2015); active years 2013-2015

Sian Best, BS, Nutritional Sciences (2014); active years 2012-2014

Sheena Patel, BS, Policy Analysis and Management (2014); active years 2012-2014

Steven Soler, BS, Biology and Society (2014); active years 2012-2014

Jacob Christ, BS, Human Biology, Health and Society (2013); active years 2011-2013

Amarilys Fernández-Maldonado, BS, Biological Sciences (2013); active years 2010-2013

Haroon Ismail, BS, Human Biology, Health and Society (2013); active years 2012-2013

Vanessa Velez, BS, Human Biology, Health and Society (2013); active years 2010-2013

Jon Reines, BS, Human Biology, Health, and Society (2011); active years 2010-2012

Naomi Adeyu, BS, Human Biology, Health, and Society (2011); active years 2010-2011

Kristen Bennett, BS, Human Biology, Health, and Society (2011); active years 2010-2011

Eric Brooks, BS, Human Biology, Health and Society (2010), active years 2009-2010

Anna Kepley, BS, Biological Sciences and BS, Nutritional Sciences (2010); active years 2008-2010

Amanda Podolski, BA, Biological Sciences (2009); active years 2008-2009

Anjana Kumar, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Health Studies (2018); active year 2018

Natalie Vantman, BS (Nutrition and Dietetics), Universidad Mayor; active years 2015-2017

Page Gustofson, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Health Studies (2017); active year 2017

Marla Lujan and Brittany Jarret at ultrasound monitor