Patrick Solverson, PhD
Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology
Patrick studies the human health effects of bioactive food components. Bioactive food components, such as plant pigments or whey proteins, may exert positive effects on human health beyond our conventional understanding of energy requirements, vitamins, and minerals. Patrick has worked on bioactive components of dairy products and berry fruits, in a wide range of research modalities including cell culture, animal models, and controlled human feeding studies.
Patrick is planning two placebo-controlled human feeding studies with elderberry juice, which is a rich source of a bioactive called anthocyanins. In these trials, we will determine the ability of elderberry juice to change fat oxidation, insulin sensitivity, and gut microbiome. One study is in free-living volunteers, and the other includes a component where we control the foods they eat.
Given the current challenges of in-person research during the COVID-19 pandemic, Patrick is also motivated to develop pragmatic research questions that can be addressed with cell culture experimentation to determine the influence of anthocyanins at the cellular level. Incorporating this component into his research program creates a “bench to bedside” model of nutritional sciences research.
Patrick is a proponent of active learning environments and respect for all in both research and teaching. Further, he believes in the approach of science as storytelling: we live in an interconnected world and our research findings must be widely accessible. Obesity is projected to reach 50% in the United States by 2030, research on effective solutions is a critical part of our country’s future health. Moreover, Patrick is excited for the opportunity to work this problem alongside and in collaboration with exercise physiologists in NEP; experts in the other half of the healthy living equation.