Anna E Thalacker-Mercer, PhD

Assistant Professor

Division of Nutritional Sciences

Cornell University

Dr. Thalacker-Mercer received her doctorate degree through the Interdepartmental Nutrition Program in the Department of Nutrition Science at Purdue University where she developed a strong background in geriatric nutrition and the mechanisms underlying aging skeletal muscle. She continued her research training as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Aging Translational Research Program and the Center for Exercise Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Her research program at Cornell is currently focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying skeletal muscle deterioration and the development of metabolic disease with a particular focus on the dynamics between inflammation and metabolism.

 

 

 

Courses Taught: 

NS6320 Regulation of Macronutrient Metabolism

NS3200 Human Biochemistry

NS3410 Human Anatomy and Physiology

BIOG2200--Biology Scholars Program, Faculty Mentor

NS7030--Graduate student presentation, Faculty Mentor

NS4010, BIO2990, BIO4990--Undergraduate research, Faculty Research Mentor

NS8990--Graduate Research, Faculty Mentor

 
 
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PhD Students

Brandon Gheller, MSc, RD    PhD Candidate   Brandon obtained his BS in Applied Human Nutrition from Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he also went on to complete an MS degree in Applied Human Nutrition with a combined dietetic internship. His undergraduate and master’s theses focused on the effect of environmental and physiological factors on short-term appetite, food intake, and glycemic regulation in the obese pediatric population. His current research projects focus on identifying novel regulators of satellite cell proliferation and differentiation.

Brandon Gheller, MSc, RD

PhD Candidate

Brandon obtained his BS in Applied Human Nutrition from Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he also went on to complete an MS degree in Applied Human Nutrition with a combined dietetic internship. His undergraduate and master’s theses focused on the effect of environmental and physiological factors on short-term appetite, food intake, and glycemic regulation in the obese pediatric population. His current research projects focus on identifying novel regulators of satellite cell proliferation and differentiation.

 
Jamie Blum, BSc    PhD Candidate   Jamie received her B.S. degree in human biology, health and society from Cornell University in 2016. She joined Anna Thalacker-Mercer’s laboratory as an undergraduate in January 2015, continued to work in Anna’s lab after college and began the Ph.D. program in molecular nutrition in January 2017. Broadly, Jamie is interested in the relationship between nutrient metabolism and metabolic and age-related disease. In the Thalacker-Mercer lab, she studies the influence of TNFα on cell proliferation, glucose and glutamine metabolism, and role of certain metabolic enzymes in controlling cell proliferation and skeletal muscle regeneration. Currently, she is studying the role of PKM2, a glycolytic enzyme, in modulating the proliferative capacity of myoblasts. Jamie’s research is supported by a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation. In the future, she is hoping to continue research as a post-doctoral fellow.

Jamie Blum, BSc

PhD Candidate

Jamie received her B.S. degree in human biology, health and society from Cornell University in 2016. She joined Anna Thalacker-Mercer’s laboratory as an undergraduate in January 2015, continued to work in Anna’s lab after college and began the Ph.D. program in molecular nutrition in January 2017. Broadly, Jamie is interested in the relationship between nutrient metabolism and metabolic and age-related disease. In the Thalacker-Mercer lab, she studies the influence of TNFα on cell proliferation, glucose and glutamine metabolism, and role of certain metabolic enzymes in controlling cell proliferation and skeletal muscle regeneration. Currently, she is studying the role of PKM2, a glycolytic enzyme, in modulating the proliferative capacity of myoblasts. Jamie’s research is supported by a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation. In the future, she is hoping to continue research as a post-doctoral fellow.

Sinwoo Hwang, MSc     PhD Candidate    Sinwoo received her Bachelor and Master's degree in Nutritional Sciences from Yonsei University in South Korea. For her research experiences, she worked as a graduate student researcher at the cell biology and nutrigenomics lab. Her master's thesis focused on the inhibitory effect of lycopene on Amyloid-beta induced neuronal apoptosis. She is interested in how nutrient metabolism affects the molecular mechanism of diseases. Currently, she joined Anna Thalacker-Mercer's laboratory as a PhD student, working on identifying the role of antioxidant on muscle cells.

Sinwoo Hwang, MSc

PhD Candidate

Sinwoo received her Bachelor and Master's degree in Nutritional Sciences from Yonsei University in South Korea. For her research experiences, she worked as a graduate student researcher at the cell biology and nutrigenomics lab. Her master's thesis focused on the inhibitory effect of lycopene on Amyloid-beta induced neuronal apoptosis. She is interested in how nutrient metabolism affects the molecular mechanism of diseases. Currently, she joined Anna Thalacker-Mercer's laboratory as a PhD student, working on identifying the role of antioxidant on muscle cells.

Undergraduate Students

Stephanie Casagrande, NS 2020

Jamie Chen, NS 2020

Xiaotong Chen, NS 2020

Chiamaka Ijebuonwu, HBHS 2020

Shray Khanna, 2020

Anthony Christian Ko, 2020

Zenab Ojibe, NS 2020

Steven Persaud, Biology 2021

Marko Popovic, HBHS 2020

Jacob Stein, HBHS 2020

McKenna Stoudemire, HBHS 2020

Lillian Talal,  NS 2020

  

Lab Alumni—Doctoral Students

Emily Riddle, MS, RD, PhD

Lab Alumni—Masters Students

Lauren Varvatos, MS

Diwarkar Gupta, MS

Lab Alumni—Undergraduate Students

Janet Back, Tyler Beale, Caroline Brauner, Aoife Casey, Christina Cheung, Lindsey Colon, Kalin Ellison, Patrick Ioffreda, Alex Jung, Ethan Kremer, Isabel Lu, Philip Nicklin, Lucas Rockne, Katie Satterthwaite, Laura Yang, Seok Eun (Jennie) Yi

Clinincal Lab Members

Erica Bender, CNM, NP-OB/GYN  Nurse Scientist  Erica Bender is a nurse scientist in the Division of Nutritional Sciences and co-teaches Applied Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II within DNS’s Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Health Studies. She is the manager of the DNS Human Metabolic Research Unit, where her clinical procedures on human participants have led to her research in maternal-child nutrition and hormonal disorders in women as they relate to nutrition.  Ms. Bender is a certified nurse-midwife in the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology. During her early career, she concentrated heavily on obstetrics. She has delivered approximately 900 babies and provided prenatal/postnatal care to thousands of women. In her later career, she focused on gynecology and primary care for women. She has worked in diverse environments such as private practice, indigent care, health departments, and hospital systems, as well as academia.  Ms. Bender received her MS in nursing from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, where she received two distinguished awards, Excellence in Clinical Practice and Excellence in Academic Achievement. She is a member of the American College of Nurse Midwives, a certified childbirth educator, and a National Healthcare educator.

Erica Bender, CNM, NP-OB/GYN

Nurse Scientist

Erica Bender is a nurse scientist in the Division of Nutritional Sciences and co-teaches Applied Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II within DNS’s Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Health Studies. She is the manager of the DNS Human Metabolic Research Unit, where her clinical procedures on human participants have led to her research in maternal-child nutrition and hormonal disorders in women as they relate to nutrition.

Ms. Bender is a certified nurse-midwife in the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology. During her early career, she concentrated heavily on obstetrics. She has delivered approximately 900 babies and provided prenatal/postnatal care to thousands of women. In her later career, she focused on gynecology and primary care for women. She has worked in diverse environments such as private practice, indigent care, health departments, and hospital systems, as well as academia.

Ms. Bender received her MS in nursing from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, where she received two distinguished awards, Excellence in Clinical Practice and Excellence in Academic Achievement. She is a member of the American College of Nurse Midwives, a certified childbirth educator, and a National Healthcare educator.

Molly Gheller, MS, RD  Project Coordinator  Molly obtained her BSc in Human Nutrition from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. During her last year of the program she completed her integrated dietetic internship and became a Registered Dietitian in 2011. She then went on the complete her MSc in Applied Human Nutrition from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her master thesis project focused on glycemic regulation of dairy and non-dairy snacks in children. Molly has worked as a dietitian in various settings such as long-term care, private practice, and as a nutrition educator for the WIC program.

Molly Gheller, MS, RD

Project Coordinator

Molly obtained her BSc in Human Nutrition from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. During her last year of the program she completed her integrated dietetic internship and became a Registered Dietitian in 2011. She then went on the complete her MSc in Applied Human Nutrition from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her master thesis project focused on glycemic regulation of dairy and non-dairy snacks in children. Molly has worked as a dietitian in various settings such as long-term care, private practice, and as a nutrition educator for the WIC program.