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    • Kevin Laugero, Ph.D.

      Research and Lead Scientist

      Associate Adjunct Professor, UC Davis Department of Nutrition

      Office: (530) 752-4173

      Email address:

      Research Interests

      The Clinical Stress and Health Innovation Research Lab studies the impact of the stress response on food intake habits, and how consumption of whole foods and diets influence stress vulnerability and stress-linked mental and cardiometabolic diseases. Research is being conducted to understand physiological and metabolic underpinnings of inter-individual variability in stress responsiveness, and how this can be used to explain vulnerability or resilience to the negative mental and physical effects of chronic stress.

      Themes of the Clinical Stress and Health Innovation Research Lab

      • Nutritional and metabolic regulation of stress system responsiveness as it relates to prevention and management of stress-linked chronic disease.

      • Nutritional and metabolic underpinnings of stress responsiveness, emotional dysregulation, and mental health.

      • Impact of psychological stress and stress responsiveness on food choice, dietary habits, and adherence to dietary recommendations.

      • Application of cutting-edge tools, such as wearable and health technology, to examine under the free living context and in the community relationships between stress, nutrition, and health.

      • Expose stress phenotypes or trait characteristics that help explain person to person differences in vulnerability or resilience to disease.

      • Impact of stress phenotypes on nutrition intervention and pharmacotherapeutic responsiveness or efficacy.

      • Develop new access points and interventions for improving dietary adherence in youth and adults.

    • ARS Employees

      Rashel Decant, Biological Science Lab Technician, Study Coordinator

      Sarah Dimitratos, RD, Nutritional Biology Doctoral Candidate & USDA National Needs Fellow

      Research Interests: intergenerational transmission of stress-motivated eating behavior in parent/adolescent dyads.

      Melanie Hercules, Lab Assistant and Data Manager

      Hoda Soltani, MPH, RD, Nutritional Biology Doctoral Candidate, Project Manager Healthy UC Davis

      Research Interests: Human stress and nutrition interrelationships.

    • Methods and Technique

      • Stress Testing & Stress System Responsiveness

      • Functional Brain Imaging

      • Wearable & Health Technology

      • Remote Science

      • Continuous Blood Pressure Monitoring

      • Autonomic Nervous System Monitoring

      • Cognitive Function

      • EIA and RIA

      • Body Composition & Metabolism

      • Food Intake and Behavior

      • Physical Activity