Lab Members

Our Staff

Valerie Darcey.
Valerie Darcey, Ph.D., R.D.
Research Fellow

My work investigates how nutritional status influences brain chemistry and eating behavior in humans. I use molecular neuroimaging techniques including positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance spectroscopy to better understand how our body weight and the foods and nutrients in our diets can impact the brain to influence how easy or difficult it is to change eating behavior.

Aaron Hengist.
Aaron Hengist, Ph.D.
Visiting Fellow

My work investigates how manipulating dietary macronutrient composition influences energy balance and metabolic health in humans. We aim to understand the integrated physiology of these responses using a combination of whole-body and mechanistic measures. My current project is investigating how switching to a ketogenic diet impacts sleeping energy expenditure, substrate oxidation, and hepatic metabolism in an inpatient feeding setting. We are also exploring the potential for Nicotinamide Riboside supplementation to augment these effects.

Christina Sciarrillo.
Christina Sciarrillo, Ph.D., R.D.
Postdoctoral IRTA Fellow

By combining integrative physiology with nutritional sciences, my work investigates how dietary macronutrient manipulation relates to body weight, energy intake, and metabolism in a clinical setting. My current projects seek to determine how differentially manipulating carbohydrates and fat can influence energy intake, body weight regulation, and energy metabolism, in an out-patient translational setting. We are also exploring the implications of how various study design and research methodology considerations can influence these outcomes.

Nan Zhai
Nurse Practitioner
Sanaz Sakiani.
Assistant Research Physician
Klaudia Raisinger
Clinical Research Coordinator
Last Reviewed February 2024