Sustainable Food Access [View Image]
 

Sustainable Food Access

 

The Sustainable Food Access Transdisciplinary Core addresses the food desert problem through ‘smart city’ research, which embeds advances in technology and data collection into the infrastructures of urban environments. Through converging research, the core examines the conceptual relationship between governance, urban food, communities, technology, and social innovation. This core will also work collaboratively with other iCubed cores, such as The Oral Health in Childhood and Adolescence Transdisciplinary Core, since food access and related health problems disproportionately affect underserved populations.

Transdisciplinary core team

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    • Gregory Triplett, Ph.D.
    • Associate dean of Graduate Studies and Research, College of Engineering
    • Triplett focuses on the development and integration of nanomaterials and their applications in biomedical, energy, and physical science. His research team captures signal transduction mechanisms in real time, specifically interactions between amino acid functional groups of proteins with donor molecules and protein kinase using photonic technology integration.

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    • Brian Verrelli, Ph.D.
    • Director of Center for Life Sciences Education, VCU Life Sciences
    • Verrelli specializes in evolutionary genetics as applied to human health and the environment, with research interests in urban impacts on local and global scales; mental health across diverse populations; and the intersection of humans and conservation of biodiversity. He also directs the campus-wide research and graduate program initiatives for VCU Life Sciences including the Integrative Life Sciences Doctoral Program.

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    • Sherif Abdelwahed, Ph.D.
    • Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • Abdelwahed teaches and conducts research in the area of computer engineering, with specific interests in autonomic computing, cyber-physical systems, formal verification and cyber-security. He has pioneered work on model-based design of autonomic computing systems and self-managing systems using control-theoretic techniques and model-integrated computing concepts. He has more than 140 publications and is a senior member of the IEEE.

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    • Ana Diallo, Ph.D.
    • Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Health Nursing, VCU School of Nursing
    • Diallo's doctoral research focused on the management of infectious diseases through healthcare providers’ prescribing behaviors and exploring alternative approach to support a faster, cheaper and more precise technology to detected infectious pathogens at the point-of-need. As a nurse scientist and former clinical and translational post-doctoral fellow at the NIH, Diallo will focus on community-based research around food insecurity, nutritional behaviors, genetic ancestry and management of chronic diseases.

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    • Rodney Dyer, Ph.D.
    • Director of the Center for Environmental Studies
    • Dyer is a landscape geneticist whose research focuses on understanding how the physical configuration of human modified and natural landscapes influence the genetic connectivity of both plant and animal species. He also is the Director of Environmental Studies, a Chartered Research Center at VCU with 15 faculty, 250 undergraduates, and 30 graduate students.

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    • Stephen Fong, Ph.D.
    • Professor of Chemical and Life Science Engineering, School of Engineering
    • Fong's research involves identifying and addressing local sustainability issues through an interdisciplinary approach combining technology and socio-economic factors. Collaborative projects have included the design and construction of green walls, an urban heat island study in Richmond, and development of an air quality monitoring network.

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    • Basil I. Gooden, MSW, MPH, PhD
    • Visiting iCubed Scholar, School of Social Work
    • Basil served as Virginia’s Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry from 2016-2018.  His academic and professional interests are in maternal and child health, creating equitable and transformative food systems and developing strategies to advance economic development in distressed and socially disadvantaged communities. Much of his public service work focused on: cultivating diverse and inclusive leadership in the agricultural and food industries; and promoting healthy, sustainable and economically viable communities. Also, he is an active beef cattle farmer.

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    • John C. Jones, Ph.D.
    • iCubed Visiting Scholar, Center for Environmental Studies
    • Jones' research examines the intersection of urban food system development, local governance, and the challenges facing America’s postindustrial cities in a globalizing world. He sees expanding urban food entrepreneurship as one way to erode the poverty that underpins problems of the food insecurity and inaccessibility.  John draws upon his practitioner experience in government and politics at the local and state levels in Ohio and New Jersey to inform his research.

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    • Youngmi Kim, Ph.D.
    • Associate Professor, School of Social Work
    • Dr. Youngmi Kim, associate professor, focuses on the dynamics of economic deprivation and development of effective anti-poverty strategies, with particular emphasis on assets and financial hardship (notably food insecurity). Her research identifies complicated mechanisms of the “new-poor”, distinguished from the traditional income-poor, and the natures of cumulative risks of poverty on well-being of family and children. She completed her Ph.D. at the Brown School of Social Work of Washington University in St. Louis.

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    • Robyn Diehl McDougle, Ph.D.
    • Associate Professor and Director of Center for Public Policy, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
    • McDougal’s primary area of research is program evaluation, project impact and the impact of violent crime on youth and community development. Her research involves working with service-based organizations, policy makers and law enforcement agencies to evaluate the efficacy of programs offered to residents in communities that suffer many of the negative consequences resulting from high levels of crime, specifically violent crime.

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    • Nasibeh Zohrabi, Ph.D.
    • iCubed Visiting Scholar, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • Dr. Zohrabi specializes in the field of control and dynamical systems, with specific interests in cyber-physical systems (CPS), distributed control design, model-based design, and stochastic hybrid systems. Her current focus is mainly on the challenges of cyber-physical systems for smart cities and connected communities. She has joined Sustainable Food Access Transdisciplinary Core as part of the College of Engineering, with particular emphasis on smart technologies and data analytics.

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