Alumni Feature: Joeva Barrow, Ph.D., R.D.

Dr. Joeva Barrow headshot, molecular nutrition | Food Science and Human Nutrition UF/IFASWe welcome Dr. Joeva Barrow to our Discover FSHN Series! Dr. Barrow is an alumna of the Master of Science-Dietetics Internship program in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department at the University of Florida. An Assistant Professor of Molecular Nutrition and Biochemistry in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University, Dr. Barrow studies molecular nutrition’s role in disease development.

Learn about her inspiration to study dietetics and molecular nutrition, her current research, and the three things she would bring to a desert island!

How did you become interested in dietetics, and why did you attend UF for your Master of Science-Dietetic Internship (MS-DI)?

I was always passionate about the role of nutrition in health and how the foods you eat govern the onset of chronic diseases. The UF MS-DI program was outstanding and is one of the leading programs in the field. Dr. Gail Kauwell (former MS-DI Director and professor of nutrition at UF) encouraged me to apply to the program. Pursuing my MS-DI fostered a deeper understanding of nutrition at the master’s degree level, resulting in my certification as a registered dietitian.

Dr. Joeva Barrow smiling at the camera.What is your favorite memory of your time at UF?

I have a lot of great memories of my time at UF, so this is a hard question to answer. If I were to pick one, it was during my time as a master’s student in Dr. Mitch Knutson’s lab.

Why did you decide to pursue molecular nutrition?

My inspiration to pursue molecular nutrition was four-fold. The first was during my first year as an MS/DI student when I took Dr. Susan Frost’s (Professor of Biochemistry at UF) Advanced Metabolism course. It was incredible and was my first exposure to molecular metabolism and nutrition. My second inspiration was when I completed my master’s research thesis project with Dr. Mitch Knutson (Professor of Nutrition at UF). This project was my first exposure to molecular laboratory techniques such as RNA and protein profiling, and I fell in love with the molecular aspect of nutrition.

Nutrition influences every aspect of life: genetics, metabolism, weight status, and disease onset, and it all starts at the molecular level.

My third inspiration was during clinical dietetic rotations in the field. I was exposed to many complex diseases that could not be managed effectively with our current knowledge of nutrition and dietetics. Additional research in molecular nutrition and biochemistry to tease apart molecular pathways was critical to improve treatment and health outcomes, and I knew I wanted to be at the forefront of that cutting-edge nutrition research. My last inspiration involved a coffee shop and an argument over the benefits of soymilk with Dr. Daniel Purich (Professor of Biochemistry at UF) who (after I won the argument!) encouraged me to pursue my Ph.D. in Biochemistry.

Would you share some of the projects you are working on?

My laboratory at Cornell University focuses on mitochondrial metabolism in the context of mitochondrial and metabolic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. In our research, we leverage advanced molecular techniques to develop new treatments to combat these disorders.

What is a typical day like at work?

As an Assistant Professor in Molecular Nutrition at Cornell, my typical day involves engaging in our cutting-edge research projects, writing manuscripts and grants, and teaching the next generation of outstanding scientists.

Dr. Barrow wears a white lab coat in her lab.
Dr. Barrow was awarded the 2022 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award.
What is the most important fact the public should know about molecular nutrition?

Nutrition influences every aspect of life: genetics, metabolism, weight status, and disease onset, and it all starts at the molecular level. Understanding these complex molecular pathways and how they integrate with health is critical to reducing the onset of chronic disease.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I like rock climbing, hiking, and traveling to new places with my family.

If you were stuck on a desert island, what three foods would you bring and why?

I would bring water to stay hydrated, a multivitamin to ensure I don’t develop micronutrient deficiencies, and a complete high-calorie liquid nutrition supplement like Boost or Ensure to maintain my caloric needs.

Interested in learning more about FSHN’s Dietetics programs? Read more here and here!
P.S. The Discover FSHN Series highlights the unique experiences of UF’s Food Science and Human Nutrition students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Want to read more about the amazing work happening in the FSHN department? See our previous features below (click on arrows to expand):
Undergraduate Students:

Shannon Mai, Dietetics
Alex Colon, Dietetics and Jenny Duong, Food Science
Jackie Shannon, Nutritional Sciences
Jennifer Jordan, Food Science
Lily Tucciarone, Dietetics
Tim Cassella, Nutritional Sciences
Kate Mullis, Dietetics
Charles Overdevest, Nutritional Sciences

Graduate Students:

Savanna Curtis, Food Science (M.S.)
Carley Rusch and Matthew Beke, Nutritional Sciences (Ph.D.)
Alexa Hosey, Dietetics (MS/DI)
Vicnie Leandre, Food Science (M.S.)
Rufus Theophilus, Nutritional Sciences (Ph.D.)
Amber Fritsche, Dietetics (MS/DI)
Amy Jones, Food Science (Ph.D.)
Melissa Perez Santana, Food Science (M.S.)
Jeena Endter, Dietetics (MS/DI)

Postdoctoral Associates:

Dr. Cameron Bardsley, Food Safety
Dr. Tautvydas Shuipys, Food Safety
Dr. Felix Jimenez Rondan, Nutritional Sciences


Dr. Naim Montazeri, Food Science/Food Virology
Dr. Jeanette Andrade, Dietetics
Dr. Zhiyong Cheng, Nutritional Sciences
Dr. Juan Andrade Laborde, Global Nutrition
Dr. Razieh Farzad, Food Science
Dr. Beth Gankofskie, Dietetics
Dr. Anne Mathews, Nutritional Sciences
Dr. Diana Taft, Nutritional Sciences
Dr. Boce Zhang, Food Science/Food Microbiology
Dr. Cora Best, Nutritional Sciences
Dr. Katherine Thompson-Witrick, Food Science
Dr. Laura Acosta, Dietetics


Sharyn Passeretti, Lab Specialist
Herschel Johnson, Manager of Student Services
Brandy Johnson, Administrative Assistant
Kohrine Counts Hazim, Dietetics Program Coordinator


Dr. Rebecca Gould, Dietetics, Postdoctoral Research
Dr. Becca Solch, Nutritional Sciences, Postdoctoral Research
Hannah Cooper, Dietetics, Private Practice
Dr. Richie Li, Food Science, Product Development
Doctor Brian Barrow, Nutritional Sciences, Medicine/Physician
Luciano Junoy, Food Science, Product Development
Carlin Dixon, Dietetics and Professional Dance
Jamie Zeldman, Dietetics, Research Coordinator
Ellen Bowser, Dietetics, Preceptor
Nina Burt, Food Science, Research & Development and Innovation
Kyle Giest, Dietetics, Supporting Young Adults with Cancer
Dr. Adam Bernatsky, Nutritional Sciences, Podiatrist


P.P.S. Learn more about FSHN’s renowned programs below!

Jessie Erwin, Nutrition Communications Consultant for the UF/IFAS FSHN department.
Posted: April 1, 2024

Category: Food Science & Human Nutrition, Health & Nutrition, Work & Life
Tags: Alumni, Alumni Research, Alumni-feature, Dietetics, Dietetics Alumni, Dietetics Careers, Dietetics-alumni-feature, Disease, Dr. Joeva Barrow, Molecular Nutrition, What Does A Dietitian Do

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