The Bionutrition Research Core was established in 2015 as a strategic initiative of the Duncan Family Institute for Cancer Prevention and Risk Assessment, which is housed in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences.
Carrie Daniel-MacDougall, Ph.D., MPH, Director
Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology with expertise in nutritional epidemiology, nutritional biochemistry and molecular biology. Her research program includes observational and controlled intervention studies focused on diet, obesity and the microbiome across the spectrum of cancer prevention, cancer patients, and cancer survivors. Together with Dr. Basen-Engquist, she provides expertise to assist principal investigators and BRC staff in the development of optimal study designs, assessment, and analysis protocols to achieve nutritional research objectives.
Karen Basen-Engquist, Ph.D., M.P.H., Co-Director
Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science and the Director of MD Anderson's Center for Energy Balance in Cancer Prevention and Survivorship. Through her own studies and activities of the Center, she is expanding research in the areas of exercise, nutrition and weight control on outcomes in cancer survivors and people at increased risk of cancer. Dr. Basen-Engquist's leadership facilitates the development and expansion of the Core to provide services that fulfill the mission of the Center as it relates to nutrition. She and her Center staff assist the Core’s leadership in the design and implementation of study protocols.
Erma Levy, MPH, RD, LD, Research Dietitian
A Registered Dietitian with experience in dietary interventions focused on cancer and chronic disease management, implementing controlled feeding studies, and menu development. Erma joined MD Anderson in 2015 from Louisiana State University's Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Her areas of expertise include: dietary assessment, weight management, diabetes education, cancer risk reduction, and nutrition and wellness education. She works with the BRC team to supervise and support dietary feeding studies and nutritional counseling protocols.
Gladys Browman, MPH, RD, LD, Research Manager
A Registered Dietitian with over five years of relevant experience in dietary assessment, nutrient databases, nutritional epidemiology research methods, and study management, including observational and clinical trial protocols focused on diet-microbiome interactions. Gladys first joined MD Anderson in 2007 as a dietitian in room service and currently works with the BRC team to supervise and support protocol development, dietary assessment training, coding and processing dietary data.
Chef Marco Montalvo
A Cook III with over 15 years of cooking experience in health care facilities, the public sector, including MD Anderson room service from 2018-2020, and public schools in the Rio Grande Valley. Chef Marco received an Associate's degree in Culinary Arts from South Texas College in McAllen, Texas and has an interest in cooking various cuisines. He takes pride in his work that can ultimately sustain and feed someone a nourishing meal. He enjoys being creative when it comes to cooking for others and finding a connection with people through food.
The Core also includes a master's level Nutritional Epidemiology Analyst to conduct statistical programming and analysis support under the guidance of Dr. Daniel.
Susan Schembre, Ph.D., RD, External Advisor/Co-Founder
Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine that continues to lend her expertise to the BRC team. Dr. Schembre trained as a Research Dietitian with expertise in the area of nutrition/dietetics, dietary and eating behavior assessment.