Dr. Alyssa Bakke earned her PhD at the University of Minnesota with Dr. Zata Vickers, where she researched consumer acceptability of whole wheat bread and its relation to taste phenotypes. She spent 7 years working as a senior sensory scientist in the research and development department at Land O’Lakes, a member-owned cooperative in MN, whose dairy products are nationally distributed. In 2014, Alyssa returned to academia as a staff sensory scientist in the Department of Food Science at Penn State. She continues to research dairy products and has began to research the incorporation of insects into the Western diet.
Dr. Kathleen Keller received her PhD in Nutritional Sciences from Rutgers University in 2002 working with Dr. Beverly Tepper. Her thesis examined the impact of genetic variation in bitter taste sensitivity on food acceptance, food intake, and body weight in preschool children. She completed a NIH funded T32 fellowship at the New York Nutrition Obesity Research Center, before receiving an NIH Career Development Award in 2005 to study taste perception, eating behavior and obesity risk in children. In 2012, she joined the Penn State faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Food Science and Nutritional Sciences, where she studies neural, genetic, and environmental predictors of eating behavior and food acceptance in children, using both behavioral and neuroimaging methods. She was recently named as the first Mark T. Greenberg Early Career Professor for the Study of Children’s Health and Development.
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