Dr. Widen’s work in The Texas Scientist

Dr. Widen’s research findings were recently highlighted in an article in The Texas Scientist. Specifically, her work with her colleagues at Columbia University investigating the impacts of mothers’ body weight and the home environment on the development and outcomes of their babies. This research suggests that boys appear to be more vulnerable in utero than girls.

The article, “Boys and Risk in Utero“, has more details about the research and recommendations for women and pregnant people looking to stay healthy.

Congratulations, Amy!

Amy Nichols Recognized as a Finalist for the American Society for Nutrition’s Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Abstract Recognition Award Program

Amy Nichols has been named as a finalist for the Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Abstract Recognition Award Program, a program of the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) which recognizes the highest quality research presented by students and young investigators at NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE.

More than 800 abstracts were submitted by students and postdoctoral fellows and the Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Abstract Recognition Award Program aims to recognize the top 15% highest scoring abstracts. Abstracts were rated by more than 450 nutrition scientists.

Finalists will be recognized during NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE, the American Society for Nutrition’s annual scientific event that will be held virtually from June 7-10, 2021.

Amy’s abstract for NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE is titled “Prenatal Weight Change Trajectories Among Women With Obesity.”

“Through this program, the American Society for Nutrition celebrates the achievements of our rising stars,” stated Lindsay H. Allen, PhD, President, American Society for Nutrition. “The Society looks forward to watching their future contributions to advance our understanding of nutrition science and practice.”


NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE is the flagship online meeting of the American Society for Nutrition and the premier educational event for nutritional professionals around the globe. NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE brings together lab scientists, practicing clinicians, population health researchers and community intervention investigators to identify solutions to today’s greatest nutrition challenges. Our audience also includes rising leaders in the field – undergraduate, graduate, and medical students. Last year’s virtual event attracted more than 30,000 scientists from 167 countries.

About the American Society for Nutrition (ASN)

ASN is the preeminent professional organization for nutrition research scientists and clinicians around the world. Founded in 1928, the society brings together the top nutrition researchers, medical practitioners, policy makers and industry leaders to advance our knowledge and application of nutrition. ASN publishes four peer-reviewed journals and provides education and professional development opportunities to advance nutrition research, practice, and education. www.nutrition.org

COVID-19 Guidelines for In-Person Research Study Visits

UT Austin has approved in-person human subjects research to restart beginning September 23, 2020. The Widen Lab will continue to conduct some research activities remotely and virtually, but has also worked to adjust our protocols so that both our team members and research participants can be safe. We will be taking this process slowly, but look forward to seeing our participants in person again soon!

Here is an infographic with details on what to expect from in-person study visits.
Widen Lab_COVID-19 Research Infographic


Congratulations to Saralyn!

One of Widen Lab’s graduate researchers, Saralyn, has been awarded the Young Investigator Grant from the Egg Nutrition Council for her proposal on the impact of eggs as a complementary food in the first year of life on diet quality focusing on protein, choline, lutein and iron.

In her own words, Saralyn shares, “as a dietitian, I have seen families struggle with the lack of consensus guidelines on introduction of foods. Many families hold onto outdated ideas about taboo foods (such as eggs, fish, etc.) to introduce in the first year. As a parent, I know first hand the resistance given by family members when you choose to give your children a food other than rice cereal as their first food. I want work toward evidenced-based guidelines for infant feeding. There is likely more than one ‘correct’ way to choose first foods, but evidenced-based information is key. Some recent research has shown that early introduction of eggs (in the form of egg powder) has shown to have no increase on egg allergy. For this grant, we want to see if the same is true by having the families give actual eggs when appropriate. “

Again, congratulations Saralyn!

Welcoming New Widen Lab Members

As the Widen Lab team has been adjusting to a fully virtual format, we have been fortunate enough to add more members to our team during this challenging time.

Please welcome our newest staff member and Research Lab Associate, Juan Pablo, and our three new undergraduate student researchers, Minji, Lauren, and Helen! You can learn more about each of them by clicking on the “People” tab on our site.

We are working diligently behind the scenes and look forward to posting more updates on what our team is working on!