Jennifer Massa, ScD, is a Research Scientist in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is an engaged scholar and adviser with over ten years of experience mentoring and advising undergraduates at Harvard College, as well as teaching, research, and publishing on issues related to epidemiology, nutrition, and public health.
Currently, Dr. Massa is Chair of the Research Working Group of the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative. In this role she is helping to establish multi-site research efforts among the 33 international member organizations to investigate impacts Teaching Kitchen programs may have in a variety of physical and mental well-being outcomes. Dr. Massa has also helped to establish the first Teaching Kitchen Collaborative Research Day, which brought together researchers and clinicians to share early investigations into this emerging preventative health field. In addition, Dr. Massa is co-investigator of the “Teaching kitchen and self-care curriculum” study that is evaluating whether an integrated approach at health and wellness—including hands-on culinary lessons, nutrition and exercise education, mindfulness training, and health coaching—can improve biometrics and behaviors associated with reductions in risk of obesity, type II diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. This study is being piloted first in workplace settings where additional questions can be addressed about the possible impact of the “Teaching kitchen and self-care curriculum” on changes in worker performance and creativity, as well as potential cost-savings to companies. Dr. Massa is also working on a clinical trial investigating food intake and glucose response in diabetic populations. Her past research projects include preventative health exposures and disease risk, including colorectal cancer, multiple sclerosis, and breast cancer.
Dr. Massa is also on the Board of Freshman Advisors at Harvard College, where she is an academic advisor to first year Harvard students. She was a Senior Residential Proctor at Harvard College for 12 years, where she advised over 450 first year students, supporting them in their academic, personal, and social well-being.
- Nutritional Epidemiology of Cancer training grant by the National Cancer Institute
- Harvard’s Star Family Prize for exemplary intellectual and personal guidance of undergraduate students (nominee)