Research Projects

Our group conducts research to identify the genetic, dietary, and psychosocial determinants of chronic disease and physiological stress (allostatic load) as a framework to explain and alleviate health disparities in racial/ethnic and minority groups, particularly Latinos in the U.S. and Latin America. Our work is done through multiple epidemiological studies as well as community-based programs and population-wide initiatives to promote healthy eating and improve cardiometabolic outcomes.


General areas of interest include:

  • Diet quality and type 2 diabetes, obesity, CVD, and related cardiometabolic outcomes
  • Ethnic-specific traditional foods, dietary habits, and nutritional intake and how these shape racial/ethnic disparities in cardiometabolic outcomes and chronic disease
  • Psychosocial and sociocultural aspects of diet and health (i.e.: acculturation, discrimination, social support), and their use in culturally-tailored lifestyle interventions
  • The global nutrition transition; establishing dietary interventions to improve diet quality and prevent diabetes in Latin America
  • Effect of variants in genes of glucose- and lipid-metabolism pathways on weight- and metabolic-related outcomes in response to diet interventions; gene-diet interactions
  • Community diet and lifestyle interventions and population-based health promotion programs tailored to particular minority populations


We have developed or are currently developing the following new projects:


Through multiple pilot funding awards, and a NIH-National Heart Lung and Blood Institute K01 Mentored Career Development Award to Promote Faculty Diversity, we analyze data in collaboration with these established studies:


Additional collaborations with investigators from multiple institutions in the U.S. and globally further enrich our comprehensive and productive research agenda.