Speakers

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John Hayes
Dr. John Hayes earned his MS in Food Science from Cornell University with Harry Lawless and his PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Connecticut with Valerie Duffy before completing a National Research Service Award (NIH T32) fellowship in behavioral genetics and alcohol addiction at Brown University. At Penn State, he runs a multifaceted research program that applies sensory science to a diverse range of problems, including work on chemosensation, genetics and ingestive behavior, as well as the optimization of oral and non-oral drug delivery systems. John has received multiple international awards, including the Food Quality and Preference Research of the Future Award from Elsevier, the Ajinomoto Award for an outstanding junior scientist in the field of gustation from the Association of Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS), and the Rose Marie Pangborn Sensory Science Scholarship. John has authored over 65 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and his work has been featured on NPR All Things Considered and Morning Edition, CNN.com, The Huffington Post, in the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The Guardian (UK), Popular Science, and Vogue, as well as other media outlets.
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Alyssa Bakke

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.

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Kathleen Keller

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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Helene Hopfer
Dr. Helene Hopfer is an Assistant Professor in Food Science. Her research combines Sensory Science and Flavor Chemistry to further our understanding of mixture effects, quality perception, and how to incorporate sensory-science into the breeding process. Dr. Hopfer has authored 29 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on sensory science, flavor chemistry, and trace analysis. She serves as a Guest Editor for Molecules, and an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Enology & Viticulture.
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