Brittany Larsen

Graduate Student, Allied Health (Affiliate)

Research Overview

My core research interests are within the areas of nutritional epidemiology (in particular, the etiology, treatment, and prevention of obesity and obesity-linked chronic diseases) as well as nutritional neurosciences. I am currently working with Dr. Valerie Duffy as well as with University of Connecticut Health Center as a research assistant with a study relating to cigarette smoking, use of electronic cigarette vaping patterns relating to the function of electronic cigarette flavorings. I also will be working with Hartford Hospital as a research assistant relating to a menthol study.
During my undergraduate studies, I received the opportunity to study abroad as a research assistant in the rural, mountainous region of La Montaña de la Flor, Honduras. The research conducted was related to clinical nutrition with the purpose of examining and identifying clinical signs and symptoms of malnutrition present in the qualifying pediatric population of Honduras. Anthropometric measurements were obtained, a Z-score was calculated in order to assess whether the child was classified as malnourished and, if applicable, determined the level of malnutrition (mild, moderate, or severe), hair samples were taken to determine zinc status, mid-upper arm circumference was measured, and blood samples were acquired via a finger prick to assess hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. The data was then recorded, collected, entered into the computer, and submitted to the World Health Organization. During my graduate studies, I conducted a semester-long quantitative research project focusing on the college-age population in southwestern Louisiana; this project was required to undergo approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The research project related to the area of nutritional anthropology and its purpose was to investigate whether a significant correlation existed between the level of nutritional knowledge one possesses and the frequency of intentional energy reduction and/or a significant change in dietary patterns utilized as a method for weight reduction.

Contact Information
Mailing AddressDepartment of Allied Health Science, College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources
Benjamin Franklin Koons Hall, Mailbox 10
358 Mansfield Road, Unit 2101
Storrs, CT 06269-2101
Office LocationBenjamin Franklin Koons Hall, Room 27