Dr. Jacqueline Vernarelli
Assistant Professor for Biology
Dr. Jacqueline Vernarelli is a translational nutrition scientist who studies how diet and lifestyle behaviors influence health status in adults and children. She received a B.A. in Chemistry from Skidmore College, then went on to earn a M.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Georgetown University while examining the influence of dietary phytochemical exposure on oncogene expression. She completed her Ph.D. in Medical Nutrition Science at Boston University School of Medicine; her dissertation explored the influence of genetic risk assessment on health behavior changes, specifically examining changes made to diet, exercise habits and use of dietary supplements following genotype disclosure. Dr. Vernarelli completed postdoctoral training in nutritional epidemiology and ingestive behavior in the Departments of Food Science and Nutritional Science at Penn State, and subsequently joined the Penn State Population Research Institute. Following her postdoctoral training, she spent two years on the faculty at Penn State teaching in the Nutrition Department and mentoring graduate and undergraduate students in a variety of research projects relating to nutritional epidemiology, public health and biobehavioral health. Dr. Vernarelli joined the Biology Department at Fairfield University in the fall of 2014 as an Assistant Professor. Her current research focuses on understanding how dietary intake influences risk for chronic disease in children and adults, and how various environmental factors influence food choice. The majority of her research is epidemiological in nature, involving the use of NHANES or other population datasets. She also works in the community, exploring public health challenges related to nutritional intake in the local population.