Dr. Jacob Mey, PhD, RD
HUMAN NUTRITION RESEARCHER & @CAKENUTRITION
for something nutrishus
I reached out to Jacob on Twitter and in no time at all he was ready to be part of the series; he is definitely someone to follow as his posts are informative and interesting! Jacob adds more research focused careers to the series and his work sounds really interesting. I'm so glad we have passionate people like him that found their way to dietetics.
Why did you become a RD?
Easy – a passion for food & nutrition! I love trying different diets, just for kicks!
What area of dietetics do you work in?
Primarily research, but also minimally private practice and I would consider social media an area we should ALL ‘work’ in.
How would you explain what you do?
I design, develop and implement strategies to answer questions related to nutrition. I conduct hands-on scientific experiments with a clinical-translational approach, meaning I utilize both human and cell culture studies.
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
One day, I may be composing a publication or generating a research grant …
the next, I may be adjusting the diet of person with diabetes or an elite athlete…
and the day after that, I may be procuring live human muscle tissue utilizing a skeletal muscle biopsy procedure…
and the day after THAT, I may be engrossed in a cell culture hood, spending hours dousing growing skeletal muscle cells in a Petri dish with nutrients (like glucose), hormones (like insulin) or even toxins (like methylglyoxal)!
On the side, I volunteer for the Healthy Aging Dietetic Practice Group and run their podcasts. If you are interested in being a guest and can chat about dietetics or healthy aging, let me know! Email: Jacob.email@example.com
What has been your career path?
2007 Undergraduate Major: Engineering – changed majors.
2008 Undergraduate Major: Business – changed majors.
(*Realized I was spending too much time reading about nutrition and NOT doing my engineering or business homework!)
2009 Undergraduate Major: Nutrition – instantly felt at home!
2012 Completed B.A. in Nutrition (DPD) from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH
2016 Defended Dissertation for a Ph.D. in Kinesiology, Nutrition and Rehabilitation Sciences from University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
2017 Obtained RD Credentials
2017 Began Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH; maintain Visiting Researcher status
2018 Began Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA
What advanced education or special training do you have?
PhD in Kinesiology, Nutrition and Rehabilitation Sciences. My ‘specialty’ is skeletal muscle metabolism.
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
In my ideal future, GOOD nutrition information being shared by health professionals on social media will finally outweigh the BAD nutrition information pushed by celebrities, supplement companies, or self-proclaimed (non-credentialed) ‘internet gurus.’
What do people think that you do for a living?
Think. Read. Explore. Discover ... Share on social media! … which is true.
What are you passionate about in dietetics?
The intricacies of skeletal muscle and whole body metabolism. There is more to food than just proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
What is your favorite meal?
I could never pick one, I love trying new and different foods and flavor combinations! I just moved to the South (Baton Rouge, LA) and I’m pretty sure I will never go a day without eating this delicious Gulf Shrimp!
What tip(s) would you give to our readers?
Be careful reading primary literature (i.e. PubMed; this sounds harsh, but I see improper conclusions being drawn far too often with young minds)! Remember, most research you see published is NOT conducted to affect your personal diet or RD practice. If you find an interesting study that you feel may affect your opinion on nutrition concepts, do these 3 steps.
First, take a deep breath. Be confident in your ability to read literature, but not cocky – understand there is so much information that you don’t know. Until you have been reading and following the literature for years on a topic, you are only touching the tip of the iceberg. Keep that in mind.
Second, utilize resources like eatright.org or the Evidence Analysis Library (EAL; If you are an RD/RD2B, you should be visiting this on a regular basis.). Eatright.org will make it easy to improve your personal diet by taking established research and making it ‘everyday life’ applicable. Similarly, the EAL contains the collective opinions of the top minds and experts in the field of nutrition. The EAL will simplify the vastness of the literature and relate it specifically to our dietetic practice. Your research conclusions should align with the overarching themes described in the EAL.
Third, email the authors or an experienced researcher in the field (we don’t bite!). Often, you will find these researchers have a unique understanding of the entire landscape of the literature (i.e. landmark work, major limitations, technical methods, whether other work corroborates the same findings, etc). This will help guide you in the right direction.
Or … reach out for professional insight on social media. Twitter has been adopted by the scientific and health community as our primary forum for social media discussions. It can be an outstanding resource if you follow the right people/organizations.
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