Erica Bender
Erica Bender
Human Metabolic Research Unit Manager
Division of Nutritional Sciences

278W Martha Van Rensselaer Hall


Erica Bender is a Nurse Practitioner in the Division of Nutritional Sciences and manages the Human Metabolic Research Unit (HMRU).  She is responsible for the facilitation and oversight of many IRB approved research studies on human participants and conducts many of the clinical procedures. She is also a guest-lecturer for many classes related to her clinical experience as an ob/gyn Nurse-Practitioner and Certified Nurse-Midwife. 

During her early career, she concentrated heavily on obstetrics. She has delivered approximately 900 babies and provided prenatal/postnatal care to thousands of women. In her later career, she focused on gynecology and primary care for women. She has worked in diverse environments such as private practice, indigent care, health departments, and hospital systems, as well as academia.

Ms. Bender received her MS in nursing from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, where she received two distinguished awards, Excellence in Clinical Practice and Excellence in Academic Achievement. She is a member of the American College of Nurse Midwives, a certified childbirth educator, and a National Healthcare educator.

In managing the HMRU, I am an integral part of the research that is conducted there.  I conduct numerous clinical procedures, but also assist the PIs and research teams in all aspects of their research.  These include: study planning and preparation, logistical issues, creation of documents (informed consent, SOPs, etc.), assistance with IRB applications, working with Medical Oversight, scheduling of visits and procedures, conduction of actual clinical research procedures (venipuncture, capillary blood collection, OGTT, ultrasounds, fat biopsies, muscle biopsies, etc.), follow-up of research participants, reporting of any unexpected events, and working with the IRB, MO, EH&S, ORIA, Radiation Safety, etc, for the smooth facilitation and conduction of the research.  I have been involved in all of the following studies, and have served as co-investigator on a number of them and participated in publication.

Current Research Studies for the year of 2019: 

Within DNS:

Caudill, IRB#1702006936, Maternal Choline Supplementation and its Impact on Docosahexaenoic Acid Availability in Human Pregnancy

Caudill/Strupp/Canfield, IRB#1911009219, Effects of Increased Maternal Choline Intake on Infant Cognitive Development Pre- and Post-Natal

Haas/Fiddler, IRB# 1804007942, Iron Scan – Point-of-Care Iron Status Determination Enabled by Mobile Technology

Johnson, IRB#1907008952, Bioactive lipids in infant nutrition and the development of the infant microbiome

Levitsky IRB# 1701006866, Investigating the Effect of Decreasing Portion Size on Energy Intake

Levitsky, Barre, Sewall IRB#, Weigh 2 Go

Levitsky, Sewall, IRB#, Time Restricted Feeding Study

Levitsky, IRB# 1806008060, Investigating the Effect of Underestimating Calories from Healthy Foods on Weight Gain Research Protocol

Lujan, IRB# 1303003665, Baseline Assessment of Dietary Intake and Physical Activity in Women with PCOS

Lujan, IRB# 1202002774, A Comparison of Follicle Counts Using 2 and 3 Dimensional Ultrasonography

Lujan, IRB# 0908000633, Ultrasound Characterization of Follicle Dynamics in Women with Amenorrhea

Lujan, IRB# 1108002383, Nutritional and Metabolic Correlates of Ovarian Morphology in Women with PCOS

Lujan, IRB# 1207003154, Ultrasound Characterization of Ovarian Follicle Dynamics During Weight Loss

Lujan, IRB#1207003154 Amendment, 6 Month WLS Follow-Up

Lujan/VandenBrink, IRB # STUDY0000779- Kansas City Childrens Mercy- 2 site study, Trajectory of ovarian morphology during the adolescent reproductive transition

Mehta (David Erickson), IRB# 1210003390, Measuring blood Vitamin B12 levels using smartphone technology

Mehta (Erickson), IRB# 1210003390, Mobile health platforms for measurements of colorimetric tests and mechanical biomarkers

O’Brien, IRB#1904008754, Ethnic Differences in Iron Absorption

Poole, IRB#1808008178, Host-microbe interactions and starch metabolism in Type 2 Diabetics 

Poole, IRB#  , Role of host genetics in gut microbiome response to dietary resistant starch consumption 

Seguin, IRB# 1809008271, Can Yoga Decrease Pain and Inflammation among Women Aged 60 or Older: A Pilot Feasibility Study

Strupp, Canfield, Caudill, IRB# 0908000350, Effect of Maternal Choline Intake on Maternal/Fetal Biomarkers of Choline Status

Thalacker-Mercer, IRB# 1407004819, Skeletal muscle mitochondrial aging

Thalacker- Mercer, IRB# 1508005758, Characterizing age-related metabolic dysfunction in female skeletal muscle

Thalacker- Mercer IRB#1704007090, Graded-dose of histidine study

Thalacker-Mercer IRB#1706007263, Effect of a blueberry enriched diet on skeletal muscle progenitor cells

Outside of DNS:

Buchman/ Erickson (BME) IRB#1905008791, Blood Stability using HERMES (High Efficiency Rapid Magnetic Erythrocyte Separator)

Dando, Robin (Food Science) IRB#1903008663, Satiety induction from nutritive and non-nutritive sweeteners

Gonzalez (Human Dev), The Brain in Context

Gonzalez (Human Dev), Social Nutrition 

Guarino (Vet), Lyme multiplex assay for human lyme diagnostics

Nelson/Cohen, IRB#1809008283, Membrane lipid regulation of calcium channels in sperm

Reesink (Vet) IRB#NA, Bone density in NY State racehorse legs

Song (Vet) IRB#1903008664, Glycan expression profiles of human immune cells 




I feel extremely fortunate to provide guest lectures to multiple classes that have pre-health profession students, coming from thirteen years of clinical practice as a Nurse Practitioner and Certified Nurse-Midwife.  I am passionate about health-care and providing humanistic evidence-based care to patients.  I try to let this passion come through as I teach and mentor/advise them with real world clinical cases and scenarios.  

In the HMRU, I mentor both undergraduate and graduate students on a daily basis.  By involving them in the clinical research, from the paperwork and documentation, to the actual clinical procedures, I am passionate about sharing these experiences with them. I truly care about the students and strive to be readily available for them as needed.

NS4410: Obstetrics & Nutrition: Lecture & Lab (clinical case studies)

NS3410: Anatomy & Physiology, Introduction to Obstetrics

NS1220: Nutrition and the Life Cycle - "The Clinician Researcher" lecture

NS3320: Methods in Nutritional Sciences (lab portion)

Riddle, Emily & L Bender, Erica & Thalacker-Mercer, Anna. (2018). Expansion capacity of human muscle progenitor cells differs by age, sex, and metabolic fuel preference. American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology. 315. 10.1152/ajpcell.00135.2018. 

Riddle, Emily & L Bender, Erica & E Thalacker-Mercer, Anna. (2018). Transcript profile distinguishes variability in human myogenic progenitor cell expansion capacity. Physiological Genomics. 50. 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00041.2018. 

Vanden Brink H, Jarrett B, Lin A, Soler S, Best S, Bender E, Peppin A, Hoeger K, Lujan M. Sonographic markers of ovarian morphology, but not hirsutism indices, predict serum total testosterone in women with regular menstrual cycles. Fertil Steril. Accepted December 31, 2015

 Clara E. Cho, Siraphat Taesuwan, Olga V. Malysheva, Erica Bender, Jian Yan, Marie A. Caudill, Choline and one-carbon metabolite response to egg, beef and fish among healthy young men: A short-term randomized clinical study, Clinical Nutrition Experimental, 2016, 10, 1

Jarrett BY, Vanden Brink H, Bender EL, Lujan ME. Longitudinal Characterization of Ovarian Antral Follicle Populations and Growth Kinetics in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Oral Presentation at the 15th Annual Meeting of the Androgen Excess and PCOS Society, San Antonio, TX, October 26 - 28, 2017.

"Arginine and proline metabolism is associated with older adult skeletal muscle mass and altered by inflammation in primary human muscle cells", recently submitted to the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Gheller, Brandon & Blum, Jamie & Soueid-Baumgarten, Sharon & Bender, Erica & Cosgrove, Benjamin & Thalacker-Mercer, Anna. (2019). Isolation, Culture, Characterization, and Differentiation of Human Muscle Progenitor Cells from the Skeletal Muscle Biopsy Procedure. Journal of Visualized Experiments. 10.3791/59580. 

Gheller, Mary & Bender, Erica & Thalacker-Mercer, Anna. (2019). Safety of Graded-doses of Histidine in Healthy Adults (P08-062-19). Current Developments in Nutrition. 3. 10.1093/cdn/nzz044.P08-062-19. 

Taesuwan, Siraphat & Cho, Clara & Malysheva, Olga & Bender, Erica & King, Julia & Yan, Jian & Thalacker-Mercer, Anna & Caudill, Marie. (2017). The metabolic fate of isotopically labeled trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) in humans. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 45. 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2017.02.010. 

Cho, Clara & Taesuwan, Siraphat & Malysheva, Olga & Bender, Erica & Tulchinsky, Nathan & Yan, Jian & Sutter, Jessica & Caudill, Marie. (2017). Back cover: Trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) response to animal source foods varies among healthy young men and is influenced by their gut microbiota composition: A randomized controlled trial. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. 61. 1770016. 10.1002/mnfr.201770016. 



National Provider Identification (NPI) #: 1407997240

2017-present   Permit Holder, DNS HMRU DEXA, Radiation Safety, Cornell

2015-present   Member, National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP)

2014-2019     Compliance Officer: Cornell-Division of Nutritional Sciences Tissue Bank

2014-present   Member, International Association of Clinical Research Nurses (IACRN)

2014-present   Member, Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA)

2013-present   Nurse Practitioner- Ob/Gyn, State of New York, Lic# F360536-1

2013-present   Midwife, State of New York, Lic# F001541-1

2013-present   Registered Professional Nurse, State of New York, Lic # 668187

2013-present   DEA Registered Prescriber, DEA Registration #: MB3017452

2013-present   Laboratory Director, DNS HMRU Limited Service Laboratory

2001-present   Certified Nurse-Midwife, American Midwifery Certification Board

2001-present   Member, American College of Nurse Midwives

2000-present   Certified Childbirth Educator

2001-present   National Healthcare Educator

1999-present   CPR/FA for the Professional Rescuer, American Heart Association


I actively participate in recruitment strategies aimed at the public community for research studies conducted in the HMRU.

Permit holder, DEXA- Cornell Radiation Safety

Lab Director, Limited Service Laboratory CLIA Waiver, NYSDOH

Tissue License Permit Holder, Cadaver Lab, NYSDOH

2001, Master of Science, Nursing, State University of New York- Downstate Medical Center

1999, Bachelor of Science, Nursing, East Stroudsburg University

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