Graduate Research

Explore the research of our graduate students through the NC State Libraries Repository of Theses and Dissertations (links below). With students from 4 departments in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, there is quite a diversity of research generated at the Plants for Human Health Institute. Find information about our current graduate students in the People Directory.

Yang Bian, MS, 2012
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Allan Brown; Discipline: Horticultural Science
Thesis: Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Cultivated Blueberries (Vaccinium section Cyanococcus spp.)

Christine Bradish Cash, MS, 2011; PhD, 2016
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie; Discipline: Horticultural Science
Thesis: Measured Variation in Flavonoid Composition of North Carolina Red Raspberry through Targeted Metabolite Profiling
Dissertation: Studies of Linkage Mapping, Trait Heritability, and Pedigrees for Breeding Improvement of Southeastern Black and Red Raspberry

Haley Burtch, MS, 2020
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Mario Ferruzzi; Discipline: Food Science
Thesis: Adaptation of an Existing In Vitro Digestion Model for High Throughput Phenolic Bioaccessibility Phenotyping within Cultivated (Highbush) Blueberry Varieties

Weston Bussler, PhD, 2017
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Slavko Komarnytsky; Discipline: Nutrition
Dissertation: Uncovering Novel Loci in Crop Genomes to Maximize their Health Benefits

Samantha Case, PhD, 2019
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Sirius Li; Discipline: Plant Biology
Dissertation: Genetic Association Mapping of Agronomic, Fruit Quality, and Metabolic Traits in Blueberry and Broccoli

Yu Chun Chiu, MS, 2015
PHHI Advisors: Dr. Allan Brown, Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie; Discipline: Horticultural Science
Thesis: QTL Mapping of Flavonoid and Phenolic Acid Variation in Broccoli

Courtney DeKalb, MS, 2017
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie; Discipline: Horticultural  Science
Thesis: Value-Added Opportunities for North Carolina Growers and Processors: Tomato and Watermelon

Diane Ducharme, PhD, 2019
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie; Discipline: Horticultural Science
Dissertation: Incidence and Persistence of Salmonella and Escherichia coli in Environmental Samples from North Carolina Tomato Production Systems

Jordan Hartman, MS, 2017
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie; Discipline: Horticultural  Science
Thesis: Investigating Citrulline in Cucurbits: A Survey of Cucurbitaceae and Heritability Estimations in Watermelon

Micaela Hayes, PhD, 2021
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Mario Ferruzzi; Discipline: Food Science
Dissertation: Influence of Spinach Genotype and Processing Method on Chlorophyll and Carotenoid Bioaccessibility in the Upper and Lower Gastrointestinal Tract

Yu-Hung Hung, PhD, 2018
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Tzung-Fu Hsieh; Discipline: Plant Biology
Dissertation: Conserved Domains Required for DEMETER 5-Methylcytosine DNA Glycosylase/lyase Function in planta

Kimberly Palatini Jackson, PhD, 2017
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Slavko Komarnytsky; Discipline: Nutrition
Dissertation: Anti-Diabetic Effects of Bitter Botanicals

Raymond Jacobs, PhD, 2015
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Jeremy Pattison; Discipline: Horticultural  Science
Dissertation: Inheritance of Rate-Limiting Foliar Resistance to Anthracnose Crown Rot and Fruit Rot in Cultivated Strawberry

Chen Jiang, PhD, 2016
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie; Discipline: Horticultural  Science
Dissertation: Postharvest Quality of Lettuce, Muskmelon, and Tomato after Application of Essential Oils as Innovative Disinfectants

Josh Kellogg, PhD, 2014
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Mary Ann Lila; Discipline: Food Science
Dissertation: Multifaceted Bioactivity of Alaskan Marine Algae Against Metabolic Syndrome Targets

Moo Jung Kim, PhD, 2014
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie; Discipline: Horticultural  Science
Dissertation: Organically Grown Blackberries: Storage Life, Phenolic Composition, and Anti-inflammatory Activity

Mengya Li, MHS
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie; Discipline: Horticultural Science

Ying-Chen Lin, MS, 2015
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Allan Brown; Discipline: Horticultural Science
Thesis: Improved and Novel Resources for Blueberry Mapping and Genomics

Su Liu, MS, 2020
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Massimo Iorizzo, Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie; Discipline: Horticultural Science
Thesis: Improved Hybrid de novo Genome Assembly, Resistance Gene Prediction and Annotation of Carrot (Daucus carota)

Zulfiqar Mohamedshah, MS, 2021
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Mario Ferruzzi
Thesis: Comparative Assessment of Phenolic Bioaccessibility and Bioavailability from 100% Juice and Whole Fruit – A Preclinical Approach

John Overall, MS, 2021
Thesis: Anthocyanin Structural Diversity and Gut Microbiota Interactions Contribute to Divergent Metabolic Health Outcomes after Berry Nutritional Interventions in Diet-Induced Obesity

Chinmayee Panda, PhD, 2017
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Sirius Li; Discipline: Plant Biology
Dissertation: Isolation and Characterization of a Suppressor of an Arabidopsis Lignin-deficient Dwarf Mutant

Nathalie Plundrich, PhD, 2017
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Mary Ann Lila; Discipline: Food Science
Dissertation: Protein-Polyphenol Complexation to Reduce Food Protein Allergenicity

Margaret Schneider, PhD, 2016
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Mary Ann Lila; Discipline: Food Science
Dissertation: Formation of Whey Protein-Polyphenol Aggregates and Incorporation into Various Food Structures

Sierra Smirnov, MS, 2019
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Debora Esposito; Discipline: Animal Science
Thesis: Regenerative Medicine: Effects of Plant Bioactives on Muscle Protection and Wound Healing

Scott Smith, PhD, 2017
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Tzung Fu Hsieh; Discipline: Plant Biology
Dissertation: Consensus Mapping and Association Mapping in Hexaploid Oat

Marlee Trandel, PhD, 2020
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie; Discipline: Horticultural Science
Dissertation: Cell Wall Polysaccharides in Grafted and Non-grafted ‘Liberty’ Watermelon with Hollow Heart

Kathleen Walter, PhD, 2019
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Debora Esposito; Discipline: Animal Science
Dissertation: Enhancement of Porcine Alveolar Macrophage Response to Respiratory Pathogens by Dietary  Supplementation of Long-chain PUFA

Xueying Xie, MS, 2019
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Slavko Komarnytsky; Discipline: Food Science
Thesis: Oat Avenanthramides Contribute to Attenuation of Intestinal Glucose Absorption

Kelsey Zielinski, MFS, 2019
PHHI Advisor: Dr. Mary Ann Lila; Discipline: Food Science