Early this year, Nutrition and Food Sciences senior Annie McLemore was paired with faculty mentor Dr. Amanda Staiano, through the LSU Discover Mentor & Research Opportunity Database. Annie is currently working with Dr. Staiano as a research trainee in the Pediatric Obesity and Health Behavior Laboratory at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Annie’s mentor Dr. Staiano, also interned in research labs while an undergrad at LSU, before earning her PhD at Georgetown University and becoming faculty at Pennington Biomedical.
During her traineeship, Annie assists Dr. Staiano in various health projects, such as a state-wide initiative to examine ways to reduce screen-time in early childhood education centers by working together with directors, teachers, parents, and children. Annie also had the opportunity to be active in the grant-writing and research process, including assisting in a family-based weight management research study, developing research presentations for a variety of audiences, assembling posters for scientific conferences, and editing and reviewing journal manuscripts and grant proposals. Annie has really enjoyed the opportunity to experience first-hand the research behind national health recommendations, such as the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and has appreciated the ability to work independently on projects that utilize what she has learned throughout her time at LSU.
The LSU Discover Mentor and Research Opportunity Database is a resource both for students who want to engage in undergraduate research or creative endeavors, and faculty who are available as mentors to students in their discipline, or who have a specific research opportunity available. Be sure to visit the database frequently as new opportunities are added regularly.