Louisa Vu

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Louisa Vu

Louisa Vu

Health disco academic program
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Why did you choose the COH at OSU to pursue your studies?

As a nutrition major, I chose the College of Health at OSU because of its accredited nutrition and dietetics program along with the many graduate and internship opportunities it offers.

Through my studies in this program, I feel that I can learn more about nutrition through a holistic approach, discover the many career pathways for an aspiring dietitian, and become prepared for a future in dietetics.

What sparked your interest in health?

Health is a discipline that involves all aspects of our life, including our physical, mental and social health.

For me, nutrition is an integral part of life, and its impact can be found in places you don't often think about. Food plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, such as in preventing diseases and improving health outcomes.

But food also plays a role in our identity and culture. From developing cooking as a hobby to sharing a meal with friends and family, food has evolved into an expression of art and love rather than just a means to better physical health.

Why are you interested in research?

Research is a great opportunity to make connections and to learn from people who are more experienced in a field of your interest.

Not only will you gain more insights and confidence in professional skills to use in a future career, but you also can explore the work of people with similar and different experiences to benefit from a more nuanced and interdisciplinary education.

What research will you be working on and with whom?

I'll be working with the Dallas Lab led by Dr. Dave Dallas and my mentor, Jillien Zukaitis.

Our overall research is based on creating a better understanding of different methods to process human donor milk and how it impacts the milk's nutritional content (e.g., proteins and bioactive components) to improve health outcomes for preterm infants.

Specifically, I'll be working on research for a new piece of technology at our lab called SHIME, which allows us to perform in vitro digestion experiments that imitate real human digestion.

I'll be able to learn more about how the machine works and perhaps even help run experiments for our lab!

What are your future career and/or academic plans?

As a first-year student, I still have a long way to go in my education studying nutrition, specifically dietetics.

After earning my bachelor's degree, I hope to earn my master's degree and participate in a dietetics internship to explore the many career options for a dietitian, ranging from working on public nutrition programs and policy to working with patients in a clinical setting.


The Healthy Discoveries undergraduate research program is made possible with the generous support of the Patricia Valian Reser Fund for Experiential Learning.