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Laura

Barre

Assistant Clinical Professor
414 Savage Hall
Ithaca, New York
Division of Nutritional Sciences

Biography

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 and moved to human based research. 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 geriatrics/older adults, expanded my work in the area of altered eating behaviors, and initiated novel research in the area of social media and nutrition.  Through community based participatory research I am investigating the implementation and impact of the aging in place program, Full Circle America Steuben, to improve successful aging in Steuben County, NY. Considering the contribution of obesity and sarcopenia to reduced functioning in older adults, I investigate interventions that improve health behaviors in young and middle aged adults with the aim of preventing later life medical and functional disability.  This work includes study of the Body Positive Cornell program, a peer delivered program to improve body appreciation and reduce disordered eating and the Weigh2Go study for promotion of weight maintenance in early-mid adulthood. Social media provides a means for communicating about nutrition and eating behaviors to a broad audience of all ages. In this area, my lab focuses on describing food and eating related posts on social media and exploring their association with dietary intake and eating behaviors.  

The overarching goal of my research program is to reduce obesity and sarcopenic obesity in late life adults.  Using a biopsychosocial model for obesity, I aim to identify biological, psychological and social modifiable risk factors across the lifespan for obesity and sarcopenia in later life and develop interventions that target these factors.   Recognizing disordered eating as a psychological risk factor for obesity in later life, I am studying Body Positive Cornell, a peer led program that promotes body acceptance to reduce and prevent disordered eating in young and middle aged adults. To address the modifiable biological risk factors of age related weight gain and weight cycling, I am investigating the effectiveness of daily weighing to promote weight maintenance in middle aged adults. Using netnographic methodology, I am investigating food related communications on social media and their potential impact on eating behaviors. In late life adults, I am conducting an effectiveness-implementation study using community based participatory research to investigate Full Circle America Steuben, a multi-modal aging in place program for at risk late life adults living in Steuben County, NY. 

 

Jimenez, D. E., Burrows, K., Aschbrenner, K., Barre, L. K., Pratt, S. I., Alegría, M., & Bartels, S. J. (2016). Health behavior change benefits: Perspectives of Latinos with serious mental illness. Transcultural psychiatry. 2016; 53(3), 313-329.

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, Carpenter-Song E, Pratt S, Barre L, Naslund J, Kinney A. The other 23 hours: A qualitative study of fitness provider perspectives on social support for health promotion for adults with mental illness. Health & social work. 2015 Feb 19;40(2):91-9.

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.  

 

 

 

Journal Review Service (Ad hoc reviewer):  

  • Appetite, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, American Geriatrics Society, Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

Professional memberships

  • Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior, member 2016-present
  • 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
 

 

Steuben County Full Circle America -   research/funding committee

 

 

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 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.

NS 5410 Applied Anatomy and Physiology I

NS 5411 Applied Anatomy and Physiology II

NS 5100 Preparation for Professional Studies

NS 5200 Health and Humanities

NS 4010 Empirical Research for Undergraduates

NS 4020 Supervised Fieldwork in Nutrition: Body Positive Cornell

 

 

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. 

Division of Nutritional Sciences Postbac/MNS Committee

 

 

Cornell University/Division of Nutritional Sciences Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Health Studies   https://www.sce.cornell.edu/sp/health_studies/index.php

 

Facebook: Body Positive Cornell (closed group for Cornell students and employees)