A USDA National Graduate Fellowship Grant is giving two doctoral students in nutrition an exceptional opportunity to do “on the ground” prevention of obesity and chronic disease. Professor Melinda Manore (center) is mentoring Lynn Cialdella Kam (left) and Kari Pillola (right) on multidisciplinary training in nutrition and physical activity. Both students, who want to become registered dietitians, have master’s degrees in exercise science and will do training in nutrition and exercise to learn how the interaction of these factors affects weight and disease. Lynn’s focus is on the relationship between menstrual dysfunction, resulting from low energy intake and high levels of physical activity, and muscle health and function. Kari’s work focuses on prevention of diabetes and metabolic syndrome in overweight mid-life and older women. An outreach component of the grant will take Lynn and Kari to county offices to work with Extension faculty. “Melinda Manore’s research has helped bridge the gap between the fields of nutrition and exercise. She is truly a pioneer in this area and the reason I am at OSU,” says Kari. “My experience on this grant collaborating with other scientists and departments will give me a valuable foundation in the interplay of nutrition, exercise, and obesity.” With support from the grant, Lynn has had two articles published and another accepted by Nutrition Today and has gained experience delivering lectures in both undergraduate and graduate nutrition courses. Kari published an article on Gestation Diabetes Mellitus and presented at the Experimental Biology Conference.