Valerie is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Kevin Hall National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). As a 2108 CCB Fellow, she hopes to explore how diet might influence the function of brain structures underlying our habits and goal directed behaviors. Additionally, she is conducting a controlled clinical study as part of her postdoctoral work in order to investigate the relationship between striatal dopamine D2 receptor availability, body weight, and eating behavior.
She earned her B.A. in Biological Basis of Behavior at the University of Pennsylvania and an M.S. in Human Nutrition from Drexel University before completing her dietetic nutrition internship at the NIH Clinical Center and becoming a Registered Dietitian. She earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience at Georgetown University where she studied the relationship between omega-3 fatty acids and development of prefrontal cortex-mediated impulse control in adolescents.
Outside of the lab, Valerie is an avid runner who loves to cook and bake (occasionally, given the right recipe)!