Faculty and Staff

Diane Stadler GPHN Program Director

Diane Stadler, PhD, RD, LD 

Professor of Medicine, GPHN Program Director & Dietetic Internship Director

Dr. Stadler received a BS in Special Studies with an emphasis in Genetics and Development from Davidson College, an MS in Nutrition Science from Virginia Tech, and a PhD in Human Nutrition from the University of Iowa. She completed a post-graduate fellowship at the Kennedy-Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins Hospital and focused in nutritional interventions for children with developmental disabilities and/or gene disorders. She worked with dietetic interns at the University of Iowa and directed the Nutrition Science and the Coordinated Masters Programs at the University of Utah before joining the faculty at OHSU in 2000.

Dr. Stadler is a Professor of Medicine and Director of the Graduate Programs in Human Nutrition at OHSU.  Her clinical work and research has focused on dietary interventions for the treatment and prevention of disease including:

  • Nutritional rehabilitation of severely malnourished children in Zambia, Africa
  • Nutrition education and growth monitoring of infants and young children at risk for malnutrition in the rural mountainous region of eastern Honduras
  • Dietary treatment of children with rare genetic disorders
  • Use of extremely high fat ketogenic diets for children with severe, unresponsive seizure disorders
  • Comparing the health risks and benefits of very low-and high-complex carbohydrate diets for weight loss in obese adults
  • School-based interventions for diabetes prevention
Melanie Gillingham - Master's Program Director

Melanie Gillingham, PhD, RD

Professor & MS Program Director, Thesis Option

Dr. Melanie Gillingham is a Professor in the department of Molecular & Medical Genetics and the Graduate Programs in Human Nutrition at Oregon Health & Science University. She received her BS in Nutrition from Texas Christian University, Ft. Worth, TX & her MS in Nutritional Sciences from University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, OK & completed her PhD at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI. Dr. Gillingham coordinates the Masters programs and maintains an active research laboratory. Her research interests are on the nutritional treatment of inborn errors of metabolism and the effect of diet on fatty acid oxidation. The mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation (FAO) pathway is critical for survival during periods of fasting and for the maintenance of normal body weight and insulin sensitivity. The Gillingham Laboratory has been investigating the metabolic consequences of genetic disorders in the FAO pathway including inherited deficiency of very-long chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase (VLCAD), long-chain 3-hydroxyacyl CoA dehydrogenase (LCHAD) and carnitine palmitoyltransferase type 1A (CPT1A) deficiencies. FAO disorders are inherited in an autosomal recessive manner and collectively have an incidence of 1:9000 live births. Infants with a FAO disorder typically present with hypoketotic hypoglycemia and Reye-like symptoms precipitated by fasting or illness. The treatment for long-chain fatty acid oxidation disorders has been primarily with a modified diet including avoiding long periods of fasting, and frequent high carbohydrate meals. We have been investigating alternative nutritional approaches including fish oil supplements, medium-chain triglyceride supplements prior to exercise, and high protein diet low-fat diets on the outcomes and complications of these disorders. Dr. Gillingham is an active member of the Genetic Metabolic Dietitians International, the Society of Inherited Metabolic Disease, American Society of Nutrition and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She has received several awards for her teaching and her research including the OHSU Teaching Excellence Award in Graduate Education in 2016 and 2019, Archibald Garrod Award and OHSU Women in Academic Health and Medicine Discovery in Science Award. 

Joanna Cummings Instructor

Joanna Cummings, MS, RD-AP, CNSC, CSD

Instructor & Associate Dietetic Internship Director 

Joanna is the Associate Dietetic Internship Director and Instructor in the Graduate Programs in Human Nutrition at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).  Joanna earned her master’s in Human Nutrition at OHSU, is an Advanced Practice (AP) Registered Dietitian, and is Board Certified as a Clinical Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC). She also holds a Board Certification as a specialist in Sports Dietetics. In her previous role at OHSU, she was the Director of the OHSU-Lao Nutrition Education and Research Partnership where she facilitated collaborative engagement with the Lao Ministry of Health to provide clinical nutrition education and research on behalf of OHSU with the goal of building capacity of clinical nutrition in the low-resource country of Lao PDR. Joanna also is on the Board of Editors for EatRightPrep and the Board of Directors for Global Health Promise, a local non-governmental organization working with female sex workers and their children in low-income countries. She is also a Nutrition Focused Physical Exam Trainer for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


Julie McGuire, MS, RDN, LD

Assistant Professor & MS Program Director, Capstone Option

Julie began her academic career at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA, where she received a BA in Biology and Environmental Studies. After time spent volunteering with AmeriCorps and working in the field of clinical research, she returned to school and received a BS in Nutrition and Food Management from Oregon State University. She is an alumna from the program having completed her dietetic internship and MS in Clinical Nutrition at OHSU. Julie has worked as a clinical dietitian at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center and the VA Portland Health Care System. She has also instructed the Medical Nutrition Therapy course for the School of Biological and Population Health Sciences at Oregon State University. Julie's professional interests include oncology, geriatrics, and the nutrition-focused physical exam. Her current research focuses on the relationship between muscle assessment through the CT imaging and the nutrition focused physical exam, and how that relationship is impacted by excess adiposity. Professional affiliations include the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Oregon Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is at member of Nutrition Care Process Research Outcomes Committee for CDR and is also a Nutrition Focused Physical Exam Trainer for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

Sandra Van Calcar Assistant Professor

Sandra van Calcar, PhD, RD, LD

Associate Professor

Dr. van Calcar completed her undergraduate work at Oregon State University and Master's Degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She then served as a metabolic dietitian in the Biochemical Genetics Program at UW-Madison and her practice included both patient care and clinical research for those with inborn errors of metabolism. She finished her doctorate degree in Nutritional Sciences from UW-Madison in 2009. Her dissertation focused on the use of glycomacropeptide (GMP) as a new protein source for treatment of phenylketonuria (PKU). Dr. Van Calcar joined the faculty of the Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics and Graduate Programs in Human Nutrition in 2014. Her current research interests focus on nutrition management of inborn errors of metabolism (IEM), with emphasis on classical galactosemia, fatty acid oxidation disorders and pregnancy in IEM. Sandy directs the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Training Program at OHSU. She is an editor of the book “Nutrition Management of Inherited Metabolic Diseases” published in 2022. She is a founding member of Genetic Metabolic Dietitians International and currently Past-President of this organization. Membership in other national professional organizations include the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Society of Inherited Metabolic Disease.

Maggie Jerome Cropped

Maggie Jerome, PhD, RD, CNSC, LD

Assistant Professor

Dr. Jerome completed her undergraduate degree in nutrition at Auburn University and her Master of Science degree and dietetic internship at Texas Woman's University. During her dietetic internship and master's degree, she was introduced to the exciting world of neonatal nutrition while completing the Baylor College of Medicine Neonatal Nutrition Fellowship. Dr. Jerome worked as a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) dietitian, first at the University of Kentucky HealthCare and then at Oregon Health and Science University. While practicing as a dietitian, Dr. Jerome developed an interest in premature infant nutrition research and educating other nutrition professionals and members of the healthcare team about neonatal nutrition. She subsequent went back to school, pursuing her Ph.D. in Nutrition Science at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. While at UAB, she joined a lab focused in preterm infant nutrition and body composition. She returned to OHSU as a pediatric dietitian in 2021 and joined the Graduate Programs in Human Nutrition as an Assistant Professor in 2022. Dr. Jerome teaches Nutrition Physiology and her research interests include nutrition support practices in the NICU and as well as nutrition recommendations for preterm infants post-discharge from the NICU and their effect on body composition and long term health. Dr. Jerome is a certified nutrition support clinician (CNSC) and her professional affiliations include the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Society for Nutrition, and Oregon Pediatric Nutrition Practice Group.

FSS Co Director

Patricia Allen, PhD

Associate Professor & Food Systems and Society Co-director

Dr. Allen is the founder and co-director of the M.S. program in Food Systems and Society. Her interest in and commitment to food-systems equity result from her experiences in farm and food labor work. She earned a B.S. in Political Economy at the University of California (UC) Berkeley;an M.S. in International Agricultural Development;and a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz. Dr. Allen's work has focused on the social construction of society and environment; gender, race, and class in the food system; discourse and initiatives in social movements, and alternative imaginaries of food cultures. Her edited volume, Food for the Future: Conditions and Contradictions of Sustainability is one of the first texts to call attention to social justice in sustainable food systems. Her book, Together at the Table: Sustainability and Sustenance in the American Agrifood System, addresses social problems and social change in food systems. Prior to joining OHSU, Dr. Allen established the M.S. program in Food Systems at Marylhurst University. Before that she directed the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems research and education program at the University of California where she conducted research on gender, alternative food initiatives, and food movements. At OHSU Dr. Allen teaches courses that include foundations in food systems and society, economic justice, applications of scholarly work in food systems change, and 

FSS Co Director

Sean Gillon, PhD

Associate Professor & Food Systems and Society Co-director

Dr. Sean Gillon is an Associate Professor of Food Systems & Society in the Graduate Programs in Human Nutrition at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). He serves as Co-Director of the M.S. Program in Food Systems & Society. Dr. Gillon earned a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz; and a B.A. in Global Studies from the University of Iowa. Dr. Gillon completed a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship on the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s National Science Foundation-funded Water Sustainability and Climate Project. Dr. Gillon’s interdisciplinary research engagements have focused on science, policy, and politics in the US food system and aim to improve outcomes through critical inquiry, policy, and practice. His work includes analyses of organic food regulation, the social and ecological dimensions of biofuel production, conservation and climate change in agriculture, agroecological science and practice, and equity and political economy in the food system. Dr. Gillon teaches courses including Food Policy and Politics, Food System Theory, Food Systems Inquiry, and the Capstone series in the MS in Food Systems and Society Program. Prior to joining the faculty at OHSU, Dr. Gillon served as Department Chair of Interdisciplinary and Applied Liberal Arts at Marylhurst University. Outside of academia, Dr. Gillon has worked throughout the food system, conducted research for groups working for social justice, and served non-profit organizations as a  researcher and director.


Carol DeFrancesco, MA, RD, LD

Instructor & Senior Research Assistant

Carol DeFrancesco, MA, RD, LD is a Senior Research Associate of Medicine in the division of Health Promotion and Sports Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). She received her Bachelor of Science in nutrition from Oregon State University and her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Reed College. She graduated with honors from both institutions and was a member of the Oregon State University women's basketball team. Ms. DeFrancesco completed her dietetic internship at Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in 1989. She joined the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Clinical Nutrition at OHSU, working with Dr. William E. Connor and Sonja L. Connor conducting omega-3 fatty acid research, counseling in the Lipid Disorders Clinic and editing the Lipid News. In 1999, Carol joined the Division of Health Promotion and Sports Medicine to direct ATHENA (Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise and Nutrition Alternatives) an award winning, eating disorder and drug prevention program for female athletes. She coordinates PHLAME (Promoting Healthy Lifestyles Assessing More Effects), a research project studying health behavior change in fire fighters. Carol trained as a Motivational Interviewing trainer in 2000 under William Miller PhD and has since been an active member of the international network of Motivational Interviewing trainers. She teaches sports nutrition, yoga and motivational interviewing at OHSU. She has published more than 20 peer-reviewed articles and is an accomplished speaker and motivational interviewing trainer.

Jessie Pavlinac

Jessie Pavlinac, MS, RDN-AP, CSR, LD, FAND

Adjunct Instructor 

Jessie recently retired as Clinical Nutrition Manager and renal and solid transplant dietitian at OHSU. She co-authored Chronic Kidney Disease and the Nutrition Care Process. She serves on the Board of Editors for the Journal of Renal Nutrition and eatrightPREP. She currently serves on the Academy Nominating Committee and Chair of the Nutrition Care Process Research Outcomes Committee. She serves on the Advisory Committee of the Academy/ASPEN Nutrition consensus-derived Indicators for Malnutrition (AAIM) and the Assessing Uptake and Impact of Guidelines for Clinical Practice in Renal Nutrition (AUGmeNt) Workgroup. Jessie received her bachelor of science degree in zoology from Oregon State University, master’s degrees in nutritional science from University of Wisconsin-Madison and healthcare management from OHSU.

Darcy - GPHN Cropped

Darcy Harris, MPA:HA

Administrative Coordinator

Darcy received her Master’s degree in Public Administration with a focus in Health Administration (MPA:HA) from Portland State University and received her undergrad degree in International Relation at California State University, Chico in Northern California. She has worked in the healthcare field as an administrator; as well as, in other operational roles for roughly six years and has worked for Portland State University as a student intern while receiving her Master Degree. She loves the Pacific Northwest and all of the outdoor opportunities that it offers.