Takeover Tuesday: Stacy Lu

Hello!! My name is Stacy Lu and I’m a fifth year majoring in Health Promotion, Nutrition, and Exercise Science. I’ve been a research assistant in Dr. Hatsu’s human nutrition lab since I was a sophomore and I’ve had so many amazing opportunities since then! I started out helping with her study on homeless youth, diet, food insecurity, and mental health and then her study on breast cancer patients, diet, and food insecurity. Currently, I’m involved with the MADDY Study which is a RCT assessing a multivitamin as monotherapy for children with ADHD symptoms. I’m really grateful to have received support from the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program this summer in order to dedicate all my time to this project. This study has helped me find my passion and I’ve 100% fallen in love with research because of it 🙂 Stay tuned to hear more about my research with the MADDY Study and childhood food insecurity!! #ugresearch #undergraduate #research#osu #undergradresearch #ohiostate#nutrition #mentalhealth

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Before getting into what I’m interested in, we need some background info! The MADDY study is looking at children with ADHD symptoms, but what does that look like? ADHD is a disorder characterized by externalizing symptoms such as aggression, irritability, inattention, and hyperactivity-impulsivity. Approximately 5% of children in the US are affected by ADHD, with recent findings suggesting this number should actually be higher. Kiddos with ADHD are so hyperactive or irritated or distractible that their functioning in multiple aspects of life are impaired.
#ugresearch #osu #ohiostate#undergradresearch #adhd #research

So here’s the cool and fun part: how are we combining nutrition and pediatric ADHD research in the MADDY Study? We’re taking biological samples such as hair, saliva, urine, stool, and blood to look for metabolic differences or changes in these kids as they move through the randomized and open label portions of our study, comparing them to their behavior questionnaires. In a nutshell, what you eat can affect how you behave and how you absorb things can also affect how you behave. We’re investigating what effects a multivitamin could have on these kids in terms of their physiology and psychology. We’re not done with recruitment yet but so far it’s been really really amazing and interesting for me to see the changes in these kids from baseline to open label!!!!
The CRC is where we do all of this fun stuff 🙂 #ugresearch #undergradresearch #osu#ohiostate #research #adhd #nutrition

This past spring I presented at the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum (where I won first place in my category yay!) and the Russell Klein Nutrition Symposium. These were really amazing opportunities for me to share my research on the relationship between food insecurity and pediatric ADHD symptoms. Food insecurity is defined as lacking food availability, access, utilization, and stability, and approximately 13 million children in the US live in food insecure households. There are a lot of environmental stressors related to food insecurity (imagine what it would feel like to be a kid and have to worry about your next meal or constantly feel hungry) and these stressors may play an influential role in ADHD symptoms, especially during the critical developmental period of early childhood. I’ve conducted a review of the literature to date assessing this relationship and there are some important findings that I’ll be reporting in a review article, but the literature pool is small!! The MADDY Study is being conducted at 3 sites—Ohio, Oregon, and Canada. I’m really grateful that we were able to add a food insecurity questionnaire because I’ll be using this data to inform a future article reporting on these findings (which is even more exciting because it’ll add to the literature exploring this relationship to hopefully help these kids) 🎉🎉 #ugresearch #research#undergraduate #ohiostate #osu #adhd#foodinsecurity #nutrition

HUGE shoutouts to my advisor, Dr. Hatsu, and my post-doc mentor, Dr. Perez 🙏🏼🙏🏼 Without these two amazing women, I would not have had all the opportunities in research that I’ve had. They are both so passionate about supporting undergraduate research and I love them both for guiding me to where I am today!! Also peep our lab full of intelligent and strong women 💪🏼💪🏼 #ugresearch #undergraduate #research#undergradresearch #osu #ohiostate#nutrition #women #womeninstem

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