Melissa N. Laska PhD, RD » Faculty

Biostatistics EnHS EpiCH HPM

Melissa N. Laska PhD, RD

Associate Professor

School of Public HealthDivision of Epidemiology & Community Health

Address Div. Epidemiology & Community Health 1300 S. 2nd Street, Suite 300 Minneapolis MN 55454 United States Work Phone: 612-624-8832
Photo of  Melissa N. Laska PhD, RD

Biography:

  • PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
  • RD, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics/Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
  • BS with Honors, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Expertise:

Nutrition / Diet, Obesity

Professional Experience:

  • 2012 – present: Associate Professor with tenure, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • 2007 – present: Senior Adviser, Health Eating Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • 2005 – 2012: Assistant Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Honors:

  • Janet Clay White Lecturer in Community Nutrition, Cornell University, 2014
  • Chair, Diet Assessment Working Group, Early Adult Reduction of weight through LifestYle intervention (EARLY) Trials, NHLBI, 2014
  • Co-Chair, Corner Store Working Group, RWJF/Healthy Eating Research, 2007-2014
  • Council Member, The Obesity Society, 2011-2014
  • Fellow, The Obesity Society, 2011
  • TREC Trainee Award for Excellence, 2010
  • Chair, The Obesity Society Early-Career Investigator Committee, 2009-2011
  • Delta Omega Honorary Public Health Society, 2005
  • University of North Carolina Impact Award, 2005
  • Society for Epidemiologic Research Abraham Lilienfeld Award, 2004
  • American Society for Clinical Nutrition Young Investigator Award Finalist, 2003

Research Interests:

The prevention of excess weight gain among young people; environmental, social and behavioral determinants of body weight in childhood, adolescence and young adulthood; community food access in underserved areas.

Research Projects:

  • Impact of a local staple food ordinance on Healthy Food Availability
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Melissa Laska
    Funding agency: Johns Hopkins Global Center on Childhood Obesity
  • Evaluating Innovative Weight Reduction Strategies for College Students
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Melissa Laska/Dr. Leslie Lytle
    Funding Agency: NIH/NHLBI
  • Understanding Disparities in Obesity and Weight Behaviors by Sexual Identity
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Melissa Laska
    Funding Agency: NIH/NICHD
  • Creating the University of Minnesota Child and Adolescent Obesity Training Center
    Principal Investigator: Dr. Melissa Laska
    Funding Agency: United States Department of Agriculture

Selected Publications: