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Nancy R. Rodriguez, PhD, RD, FACSM

Professor of Nutritional Sciences

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources,
Departments of Kinesiology and Allied Health,
University of Connecticut, Storrs
Phone: 860-486-0120
Email: nancy.rodriguez@uconn.edu

Biography

Nancy Rodriguez, a faculty member at the University of Connecticut, Storrs since 1991, is a Professor of Nutritional Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) with joint appointments in Departments of Kinesiology and Allied Health. She directs the Sports Nutrition programs at the University and for the Department of Sports Medicine in the Division of Athletics. Dr. Rodriguez served as Chair of University of Connecticut Institutional Review Board for the Use of Human Subjects (IRB) from 2004–2008.

Dr. Rodriguez has an active research program that has been extramurally funded by agencies including USDA, NIH, the American Heart Association, the National Dairy Council, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and the Egg Nutrition Center. Her research focuses on relationships between exercise, protein intake, and protein utilization in athletes, physically active adults, and healthy obese and non-obese children. Her work has been published in the American Journal of Physiology, Metabolism, Journal of Nutrition, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, and the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. Dr. Rodriguez is currently on the editorial board for Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, and the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, and the Journal of Nutrition.

Dr. Rodriguez currently teaches sports nutrition, medical nutrition therapy, and the protein component of the graduate course, Macronutrients. She also participates in the department faculty rotation for graduate seminar in nutrition.

Dr. Rodriguez received her B.S. in Human Nutrition and Foods at Virginia Tech. She earned her MS in nutrition and a PhD in biochemistry at West Virginia University. She spent two years at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN as an NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Endocrinology and Metabolism. Dr. Rodriguez is an active member of the American Society of Nutrition, the American Dietetic Association and its Dietetic Practice Group – Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionists, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the American Physiological Society.

Education and Background

  • 1984-86 NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Nutritional Physiology and Endocrinology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.
  • 1984 Doctor of Philosophy, Biochemistry, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV.
  • 1980 Master of Science, Human Nutrition, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV.
  • 1978 Bachelor of Science, Human Nutrition and Foods, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA.

Professional Experience

  • Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Joint appointments in Departments of Kinesiology and Allied Health, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT (2008–present)
  • Associate Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Joint appointments in Departments of Kinesiology and Allied Health, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT (September 1997–2008)
  • Director, Sports Nutrition Services, Department of Sports Medicine, Division of Athletics, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT (2002-present)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Joint appointment in Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT (September 1991-1997)
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (August 1990-1991)
  • Assistant Professor of Nutrition, Division of Family Resources, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV (August 1986-June 1990).
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine, Section of Clinical Nutrition, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV (January 1987-June 1990).
  • NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Endocrine Research Unit, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN (November 1984- August 1986).

Honors

  • Recipient of the 2007 New England American College of Sports Medicine Honor Award
  • Attained credential, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD), August 2007
  • University of Connecticut Teaching Fellow (2005)
  • American Dietetics Outstanding Dietetics Educator Award (Didactic Program in Dietetics Category (2004)
  • Nominated for University of Connecticut Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award (2005, 2003)
  • Kinsman Teaching Award, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (1998-1999)

Grants

Principal Investigator

  • Dairy Management, Inc. 2007-2009. $153,013. Milk’s impact on protein turnover-specific intracellular signaling proteins in human skeletal muscle during recovery from endurance exercise.
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. 2006-2008. $60,000. Role of beef-based diet in modulating skeletal muscle protein turnover and intracellular signaling events during acute calorie deprivation. (Predoctoral Fellowship Award to Lisa Vislocky).
  • Donaghue Nutrition Research Competition. 2007-2008. $35,108. Leucine as a bioactive nutrient: A pilot study.
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. 2005-2007. $149,946. The role of beef in reduced calorie diets: mechanisms for regulation of skeletal muscle protein metabolism.
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. 2006-2008. $60,000. Role of beef-based diet in modulating skeletal muscle protein turnover and intracellular signaling events during acute calorie deprivation.
  • Donaghue Nutrition Research Competition.  2006-2007. $32,000. Leucine as a bioactive nutrient: A pilot study.
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. 2005-2007. $149,946. Mechanisms for regulation of skeletal muscle protein metabolism.
  • United States Department of Agriculture. 2003-2004. $36,363. Amino Acid Determinations: Applications to the Life Sciences.
  • Subcontract for University of California - Irvine . 2000-2004. $30,000. Mechanisms of exercise modulation on human growth: Impacts on protein metabolism. (Sponsor: National Institutes of Health, Principal Investigator - Dr. Dan Cooper).
  • Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station (HATCH). 2003-2006. $32,769. Relationships between diet, exercise and protein-related metabolic responses in healthy lean and obese children.
  • Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station (HATCH). 2001-2003. $23,854. Effects of diet and exercise on protein metabolism in healthy and obese children.
  • American Egg Board. 2001-2002. $54,400. Relationship between protein source, exercise trainng, and protein utilization in healthy men and women.
  • University of Connecticut Research Foundation. 2001. $10,000. Relationships between protein intake protein utilization in runners.
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. 1999-2001. $144,537. Effects of increasing protein intake on protein utilization in endurance athletes.
  • United States Department of Agriculture. 1997-1999. $49,909. Physical activity and protein utilization in healthy children.
  • Dairy Management Inc. 1996-1997. $53,882. Milk-based supplementation throughout endurance exercise: Effects on protein utilization.
  • American Heart Association. 1995-1996. $43,670. Weight management programs in obese children aged 8 to 10 years: Effects on protein utilization.

Co-Principal Investigator

  • USDA National Needs Fellowship Training Grant, $276,000, 2002-2006.

Ph.D. Students

Completed

  • Cara Ebbeling, December 1997 – Dissertation topic: Weight management strategies for obese children: effects of reduced energy intake, diet composition, and exercise on protein utilization
    Awards as advisee:  University of Connecticut Outstanding Scholar (one of 3 of awards given annually to doctoral students which provides 50% of a graduate research assistantship and  summer fellowship money for 3 years), American College of Sports Medicine, Predoctoral Fellowship, American Society for Nutritional Sciences Kraft Fellowship Award
    Current position:  Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Co-Director of Obesity Research, Division of Endocrinology, Children's Hospital Boston (2004- Present)
  • Sharon Miller, December 1997 – Dissertation topic: Nutritional supplementation throughout endurance exercise: effects on protein utilization during recovery
    Awards as advisee:  Eastern States Scholarship
    Current Position:  Consultant, (2005-present).  Former Positions:  Director, Nutrition Research, National Cattleman’s Beef Association (2003-2005); Director, Nutrition Research, Dairy Management, Inc (1999-2003).
  • Doug Bolster (co- Major Advisor, PhD – Kinesiology), June 2001 – Dissertation topic: The effects of increased dietary protein on protein utilization in endurance runners
    Awards as advisee:  ACSM Outstanding Investigator – Graduate Research (2001)
    Current Position:  Senior Research Scientist, NASA, Houston, TX (2004-present)
  • Matthew Pikosky, December 2003 – Dissertation topic: Skeletal muscle protein metabolism in runners and endurance trained adults consuming the RDA for protein
    Awards as advisee:  First recipient of the American Egg Board/Egg Nutrition Center Predoctoral Fellowship Award; IFT Nutmeg Scholarship
    Current Position:  Director, Science Transfer, Dairy Management, Inc., Rosemont, IL
  • William Martin, August 2005 – Dissertation topic: Comparison of isotopic tracer techniques for measurement of whole body proteolysis in response to diet intervention and exercise training
    Current Position:  Director of Clinical Research and Product Development, Shaklee Inc.
  • Courtney Gaine, December 2005 – Dissertation topic:  Effects of endurance exercise on intracellular signaling and skeletal muscle protein turnover in female runners
    Awards as advisee:  University of Connecticut Outstanding Scholar; Gatorade Sports Science Institute Graduate Student Research Award; IFT Nutmeg Scholarship
    Current Position:  Assistant Professor of Bioenergetics, Department of Kinesiology, East Carolina State University, Greensboro, NC (August 2006 – present)
  • Stefan Pasiakos – December 2008 - Dissertation topic:  Protein Utilization and Intracellular Signaling Events in Skeletal Muscle of Healthy, Physically Active Men and Women in Response to an Acute Period of Energy Deficit. Postdoctoral Research Associate, Military Nutrition Research, USARIEM, Natick, MA. (November 2008-present) Awards:   Eaton Fellowship Award (2005-2006); IFT Scholarship 2006
  • Lisa Vislocky – May 2009 - Dissertation topic: Collective Effects of Negative Energy Balance and Protein Source on Post-Exercise Protein Utilization and Intracellular Signaling Events in Skeletal Muscle of Healthy, Physically Active Men and Women . Current position: Dietetic Internship, Sodexo, New Jersey. Awards:  USDA Predoctoral Research Fellow (2003-2006); NCBA Predoctoral Fellowship Award (2006-2008)
  • John Carbone – August 2009 - Dissertation topic:  Proteins of the Ubiquitin- Proteosome Pathway in Human Skeletal Muscle: Relation of Responses to Energy Deprivation and Exercise  to Proteolysis Award:  University of Connecticut Outstanding Scholar – Eaton Fellowship (2006-2009) Current position: Assistant Professor of Nutrition; Eastern Michigan University (August 2009 – present)

Current

  • William Lunn – Dissertation topic: Chocolate Milk as a Recovery Beverage Following Endurance Exercise: Impact on Skeletal Muscle Protein Kinetics and Proteins of the Ubiquitin-proteosome Pathway.
    Awards – IFT Scholarship 2008

Masters Students

Completed

  • Shannon Lennon - 1997, "Nutritional Supplementation and Performance in Endurance Athletes: Exploring Central Fatigue"
  • Jennifer Becker - 1997, "Efficiency of Weight Loss in Obese Children Participating in a Weight Management Program"
  • Rebecca Tardif - 1999, "Effects of Weight Loss, Diet Composition, and Exercise on Serum Lipid Levels in Obese Children"
  • David Barnas - 2000, "Protein Utilization Differences Between Healthy Non-Obese and Obese Children"
  • Brian Bennett - 2001, "Effects of Protein Intake on Leucine Kinetics and Substrate Oxidation in Runners"
  • Charu Sharma - 2001, "Glucose Utilization as a Function of Varied Protein Intake in Endurance Athletes"
  • Christian Viesselman (Allied Health ) - 2003, "Effects of an Endurance Exercise Training Program on Leucine Kinetics in Untrained Adults Consuming the RDA for Protein"
  • Laura Cerundolo - 2003, "Effects of Increased Dietary Protein Intake on Fluid Balance and Hydration Indices in Endurance Runners"
  • Jolene Sloat - 2004, "Protein Turnover in Adolescent Female Water Polo Players"
  • Jodi Mettel - 2005, "Effects of a Weight Loss Intervention Program on Substrate Oxidation and Body Composition in Premenopausal Women"
  • Kimberly Grabarz - 2005, "Effects of Protein Source on Plasma Amino Acid Responses to Exercise Training and an Acute Exercise Bout in Healthy Adults"
  • Nora Decher - 2005, "Knowledge of and Attitudes Towards Hydration in Youths at Summer Sports Camp: Incidence of Hydration"
  • Katie Jeffrey - 2006, "Effectiveness of Computer-Based Learning on Young Children's Food Safety Knowledge"
  • Karen Konopelski - 2007, "Effects of negative energy balance on substrate utilization and the respiratory exchange ratio during an endurance exercise in endurance trained men and women"

Current

  • Nicholas Altieri – Amino acid responses to negative energy balance at rest and following an endurance exercise bout
  • Amy Krystock – Validation of the FAST (Female Athlete Screening Tool) in Female Collegiate Athletes
  • Kirstin Karfonta – Chocolate milk consumption during recovery from an endurance run: Effects on muscle glycogen storage
  • Megan Colletto – Chocolate milk consumption during recovery from an endurance run: Effects on whole body protein utilization

Editorial Boards

  • Journal of Nutrition
  • International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
  • Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise
  • American College of Sports Medicine Health and Fitness Journal

Grant Review Panel

  • NRSAC, Dairy Management Inc., August 2009
  • USDA NRICGP Human Nutrition and Obesity Grant Review Panel, November 2006

Meeting Moderator

  • Steering Committee Member and Moderator for Protein Summit 2007 (May 23-24, Charleston, SC) – International gathering of experts in the area of protein nutrition. Anticipated publication of proceedings in AJCN Supplement in April 2008
  • Co-chair, Minisymposium – Energy and Macronutrient Metabolism II, Experimental Biology 2007, April 30, 2007, Washington, DC

Recent Publications

  • Gaffney-Stombert, E., K Insogna, N Rodriguez, and J Kerstetter. Increasing dietary protein requirements in the elderly for optimal muscle and bone health. J Am Geriat Soc 2009
  • American Dietetic Association Standards of Practice and Standards of Professional Performance for Registered Dietitians (Generalist, Specialty,Advanced) in Sports Dietetics.The American Dietetic Association Dietitians in Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group: Patricia L. Steinmuller, MS, RD,CSSD; Nanna L. Meyer, PhD, RD, CSSD; Laura J. Kruskall, PhD, RD,CSSD, FACSM; Melinda M. Manore, PhD, RD, CSSD, FACSM; Nancy R. Rodriguez, PhD, RD, CSSD; Michele Macedonio, MS, RD, CSSD, FACSM; Randy L. Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS; Jacqueline R. Berning, PhD, RD,CSSD; and ADA Quality Management Committee. J Am Diet Assoc 2009 Mar;41(3):544-552.
  • Rodriguez NR, NM Di Marco, S. Langley .American Dietetic Association; Dietitians of Canada; American College of Sports Medicine, American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Nutrition and athletic performance.Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Mar;41(3):709-31.
  • Rodriguez NR, NM Di Marco, S. Langley .American Dietetic Association; Dietitians of Canada; American College of Sports Medicine, American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Nutrition and athletic performance. J Am Diet Assoc 2009 Mar;41(3):709-31.
  • Vislocky, L.M., S. Vega-Lopez, M. Pikosky, K.L. Herron, P.C. Gaine, W.F. Martin, T. Zern, M.L. Fernandez, and N. Rodriguez. Endurance training improves plasma lipid profiles in untrained men and women. J Nutr Biochem. 2009 Jan;20(1):26-34.
  • Rodriguez, N. R. and P. Garlick. Introduction to Protein Summit 2007: exploring the impact of high-quality protein on optimal health. Am J Clin Nutr. 87(5):1551S-1553S, 2008.
  • Pasiakos, S.M., J.B. Mettel, K. West, I.E. Lofgren, ML. Fernandez, S. I. Koo and N.R. Rodriguez. Maintenance of resting energy expenditure following weight loss in premenopausal women: Potential benefits of a high-protein reduced calorie diet. Metabolism 57(4):458-64, 2008.
  • Vislocky, L., P.C. Gaine, M. Pikosky, W. F. Martin and N.R. Rodriguez. Gender differences in the post-exercise metabolic response in trained runners. J Inter Soc Sport Nutr 26;5(1):7, 2008.
  • Miller, S., P. Gaine, C. Maresh, L.E. Armstrong, C. Ebbeling, L. Lamont, and N.R. Rodriguez. Nutritional supplementation throughout an endurance run effects leucine kinetics during recovery. Int J Sport Nutr Exer Metab 17: 456-467, 2007.
  • Gaine, P.C., M. Pikosky, D.Bolster, W.F. Martin, C.Maresh and N.R. Rodriguez.  Whole body protein turnover post-exercise in response to three levels of protein intake. Med Sci Sports  Exer 39(3):480-486, 2007.
  • Pescatello, LS, Turner, D, Rodriguez, N, Blanchard, BE, Tsongallis, GJ, Maresh, CM, Duffy, V, and PD Thompson.  Dietary calcium intake and renin angiotensin system polymorphisms alter the blood pressure response to aerobic exercise: a randomized control design. Nutrition & Metabolism 4:1, 2007.
  • Gaine, P.C., M.A. Pikosky, W.F. Martin, D.R. Bolster, C.M. Maresh, N.R. Rodriguez. Level of dietary protein impacts whole body protein turnover in trained males at rest.  Metabolism 55: 501-507, 2006.
  • *Martin, W.F., D.R. Bolster, P.C. Gaine, L.J. Hanley, M.A. Pikosky, B.T. Bennett, C.M. Maresh, L.E. Armstrong, N.R. Rodriguez.  Effects of increased protein intake on hydration indexes.  J Am Diet Assoc 106::587-589, 2006.
  • Pikosky,  M.A., P.C. Gaine, W.F. Martin, C.M. Maresh, A.A. Ferrando, R.R. Wolfe, N.R. Rodriguez.  Endurance training affects muscle protein synthesis at rest in men and women. J Nutr  136: 379-383, 2006.
  • Bolster, D.R., M.A. Pikosky, P. C. Gaine, W.F. Martin, R.R. Wolfe, K.D. Tipton, D.A. MacLean, C.M. Maresh,  N.R. Rodriguez.  Dietary protein intake impacts skeletal muscle fractional synthetic rates following endurance exercise.  Am J Physiol 289:E678-683, 2005.
  • Gaine, P.C., C.T. Viesselman, M.A. Pikosky, W.F. Martin, L.E. Armstrong, L.S. Pescatello, and N.R. Rodriguez.  Aerobic exercise training decreases leucine oxidation at rest in healthy adults.  J Nutr 135:1088-1092, 2005.
  • D.R. Bolster, M.A. Pikosky, P. C. Gaine, W.F. Martin, R.R. Wolfe, K.D. Tipton, D.A. MacLean, C.M. Maresh , N.R. Rodriguez. Dietary protein intake impacts skeletal muscle fractional synthetic rates following endurance exercise. Am J Physiol (in press, Oct 2005)
  • P.C. Gaine, C.T. Viesselman, M.A. Pikosky, W.F. Martin, L.E. Armstrong, L.S. Pescatello, and N.R. Rodriguez. Aerobic exercise training decreases leucine oxidation at rest in healthy adults Accepted pending revisions J Nutr 135:1088-1092, 2005.
  • W.F. Martin, D.R. Bolster, P.C. Gaine, L.J. Hanley, M.A. Pikosky, B.T. Bennett, C.M. Maresh, L.E. Armstrong, N.R. Rodriguez. Effects of increased protein intake on hydration indices. In review, J Am Diet Assoc (accepted).
  • Pescatello, L., Guidry, M. Blanchard, B., Kerr, A., Taylor, A., Johnson, A., Maresh, C., Rodriguez, N., and Thompson, P. Exercise intensity alters postexercise hypotension. J Hypertension. 2004. 22:1881-1888.
  • Pescatello, L.S., L. Bairos, J.L. VanHeest, C.M. Maresh, N.R. Rodriguez, N.M. Moyna. DiPasquale, V. Collins, C.L. Meckes, L. Krueger, and P.D. Thompson. Postexercise hypotension differs between white and black women. 2003. Am Heart J 145:364-370.
  • Miller, S.L., C.M. Maresh, L.E. Armstrong, C.B. Ebbeling, S. Lennon and N.R. Rodriguez. Metabolic response to provision of mixed protein-carbohydrate supplementation during endurance exercise. 2002. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 12:384-397.
  • Pikosky, M., A. Faigenbaum, W. Westcott, N. Rodriguez. Effects of resistance training on protein utilization in healthy children. Med Sci Sport Exer 34: 820-827, 2002.

Invited Editorial

  • N.R. Rodriguez. Making room for protein in approaches to muscle recovery from endurance exercise.J Appl Physiol. 2009 Apr;106(4):1036-7.

Invited Reviews

  • Layman DK, Rodriguez NR. Egg protein as a source of power, strength, and energy. Nutrition Today 2009 44(1):1-6.
  • Nancy R. Rodriguez and P. Courtney Gaine. Protein in the diets of healthy, physically active men and women: The re-emergence of an essential nutrient. ACSM’s Health Fitness Journal 11(2): 1-5, 2007.
  • N.R. Rodriguez, L.Vislocky, and P. Courtney Gaine. Dietary protein, endurance exercise, and human skeletal-muscle protein turnover.Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2007 Jan;10(1):40-5.
  • Martin, W.F, Armstrong, L.E. and N.R. Rodriguez. Protein intake and renal function. Nutrition and Metabolism (Accepted, April 2005)
  • Rodriguez, N. R. Optimal quantity and composition of protein for growing children. J Am Coll Nutr 24: 150S-154S, 2005.
  • Rodriguez, N. The role of nutrition in injury prevention and healing. ATT 4(6): 27-31, 1999.

Book Chapters

  • C.B. Ebbeling and N.R. Rodriguez. Anthropometric techniques for identification of obese children: Perspectives for the practitioner. In: Overweight and weight management: The health professional’s guide to understanding and treatment, S. Dalton (Ed.) Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publishers, 1997.
  • N. Rodriguez and M. Price-Judge. Popular Diets, in Handbook of Nutrition and Pregnancy, ed C. Lammi-Keefe, S. Collins-Couch, E. Philipson, Humana Press, 2008.
  • N.R. Rodriguez and P.C. Gaine. Protein and exercise. In: Nutrition for exercise and sport, 2nd ed. Editors, M. Manore and J. Thompson, Human Kinetic Publishers (in press, 2008).
  • Pasiakos S. and N.R. Rodriguez. Nutrition. In: ACSM’s Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 2nd ed. Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD, 2009.

Presentations at National and Regional Meetings and Universities

  • “The Power of Protein” Webinar; October 2008, March 2009, May 2009.
  • “It's All About Trends: What the Future Holds for Food, Health, and Health Lifesyles” – Keynote Lecture, Michigan Dietetic Association Annual Conference in Grand Rapids, MI May 7th, 2009.
  • “Healthy eating for women all life long”, Idaho Dietetic Association Annual Meeting, Idaho Falls, ID, April 10, 2009
  • “Is protein the missing link in the obesity story” – West Virginia Dietetic Association, Charleston, WV, April 16, 2008
News and Updates

Spring 2014 Seminar Series
A Seminar Series Presented by the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Connecticut
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Scholarships

Please go to the CANR Scholarships and Financial Aid page for Scholarship information