• By Julie Stefanski
  • In Uncategorized
  • May 9, 2019

Research Corner: Dr. Laura Frank, PhD, MPH, RD, LDN

Article by:
Alissa Smethers PhD, RD, LDN

This month we highlight Dr. Laura Frank, PhD, MPH, RD, LDN who is an Associate Professor of Nutrition at La Salle University. Read below to learn more about her journey in nutrition and research.

1. Where do you live currently? Is there anything you love about where you’re located?
I live in Elkins Park—Cheltenham Township, PA. I love the history (founded in 1682!), sense of community, architecture, greenery, and living just a few miles outside of the wonderful city of Philadelphia.

2. Where are you from originally?
Born in Rochester, NY; grew up in Los Angeles, living in the Philadelphia area since 1982.

3. I noticed you’re currently an Associate Professor of Nutrition at La Salle University, what are you currently working on/researching?
The focus of my research and advocacy is the related problems of food insecurity and food waste. At La Salle, I’m working on both by promoting food rescue through a system I developed to notify students of food left over after University events, and I’m researching student food insecurity while working to expand our food pantry with grant support and the involvement of the University community.

4. Where did you go to school? College, internship, etc.
UCLA: BS Public Health, MPH; Temple University: MEd. Counseling Psychology, PhD Health Education/Counseling. My Dietetic internship was at Martin Luther King County Hospital in Los Angeles, Psychology internship was at Moss Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia (I am a PA Licensed Psychologist and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor)

5. What did you want to do after your studies were completed?
After my first Master’s, I wanted to work in community nutrition, but ended up in research and then clinical. I went back to school when I realized that I was more interested in counseling and education—then, I was awarded a teaching fellowship and after I started teaching at Temple U I realized that what I really wanted was to be a professor, which I have been since 1994.

6. Have you published anything professionally?
Frank, L.B., “Counseling the Whole Person” chapter in Doing Nutrition Differently, Ashgate Publishing Ltd, Wey Court East, Union Road, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7PT, England 2013.

Frank, L.B., Schall, J.I., Samuel, J., Zemel, B.S., Dougherty, K.A., Tuluc, F., Rutstein, R.M., Stallings, V.M. (2014). Dietary and Supplement Intake of HIV-Infected Children and Young Adults ICAN: Infant, Child & Adolescent Nutrition Vol 6:4 pp. 221-232. http://can.sagepub.com/content/6/4/221.full.pdf

Frank, L.B., (2013) Impact of Climate Change on the Food Security and Culture of Mongolia, The HEN Post, Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Winter 2013. http://www.hendpg.org/docs/winter_2013_FINAL.pdf

Frank, L.B., (1999) Community Nutrition Education Outreach for Chester County, PA, Proceedings of the American Dietetic Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, October 1999

Glanz, K. and Frank, L.B., (1986). Stress, nutrition, and personal health: a workshop for managers, Journal of Nutrition Education Vol. 18:174D

Haggerty, D.F., Spector, E.B., Lynch, M., Kern, R., Frank, L.B., and Cederbaum, S.D., (1982). Regulation by glucocorticoids of arginase and arginosuccinate synthetase in cultured rat hepatoma cells, Journal of Biological Chemistry Vol. 252, pp. 2246-2253

7. How do you feel that your work in research has helped in application to real people?
My current research directly helps students who are dealing with food insecurity and improves the sustainability of our campus.

8. Why did you decide to focus on nutrition as a career?
I have always loved food—growing it, reading about it, cooking and eating—I was a pre-med major when I happened to take a nutrition course as an elective. It was like a light bulb going on—bringing together my love of food, fascination with science and health, and desire to help people get and stay healthy.

9. How do you like to spend your free time?
Cooking and eating good food, gardening, reading, listening to music, traveling, and martial arts (I have a black belt in Kenpo Karate).

10. What is your favorite food? Is there anything people be shocked you like or hate?
I love just about any food that is well and creatively prepared from good ingredients! I do enjoy eating some chocolate almost every day. People might be shocked to know that I really like Cheese Curls, since they bear no resemblance to any naturally occurring food!