By Published: Sept. 23, 2022

Let’s CU Well presentation on Sept. 29 to cover the ins and outs of bionutrition and CU Boulder’s Clinical Translation and Research Center

As diets and nutrition become more important, so does research. That is where Kathleen Farrell enters the equation.

Farrell, a registered dietitian nutritionist at the University of Colorado Boulder, will discuss her role as a research bionutritionist in her upcoming presentation, “The Science of Food.” This in-person event will be held in the CASE Chancellor’s Hall Auditorium at the University of Colorado Boulder on Thursday, Sept. 29, at 11 a.m. The event is free, but registration is required.


Kathleen Farrell frames the word “diet” as a memorable acronym: “Did I Eat (mindfully) Today.”

The event is part of the Let’s CU Well speaker series. The series is part of Be Well, an initiative launched by the College of Arts and Sciences to promote healthier lifestyle choices.

As a research bionutritionist, Farrell works with scientists to develop and carry out research on nutrition. Farrell leads and participates in dietary screenings of study participants for various research studies. 

Farrell gives instructions and dietary guidance to research study participants, develops and implements research diets and manages dietary data. She employs dietary assessment tools, including food preferences for development of research diets, food records and food-frequency questionnaires. 

For example, Farrell instructs subjects on how to record their food intake. The subjects’ records then give Farrell information on each subject’s ingestion of macro and micro-nutrients, along with data about saturated fat, fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, etc. 

The food record yields detailed information on foods, beverages and possibly dietary supplements consumed during the study period. 

Farrell uses Nutrition Data System Software for Research (NDSR), which is designed for dietary analysis. The NDSR database includes about 19,500 foods, of which 8,100 are brand name products. Ingredient choices and preparation methods provide more than 160,000 food variants. 

This presentation will help people learn about the Clinical Translation and Research Center (CTRC), which facilitates human biomedical research. Farrell’s presentation will double as a discussion of the significance of nutrition research and an introduction to the CTRC at CU Boulder.

If you go
What: “The Science of Food.”
Where: CASE Chancellor’s Hall Auditorium
When: Thursday, Sept. 29, at 11 a.m.
Tickets: The event is free, but registration is required.

Nutrition research conducted at the center ranges from metabolism, clinical health, fitness, population health and learning more about mechanisms at the molecular/biochemical and cellular levels relevant to human nutrition.

As Nikki Leonardo, administrative manager at the CTRC, describes it, facility is a support center for faculty involved in clinical research: “We provide resources to facilitate a safe environment for human biomedical research. We are here to help investigators take their research from the bench to the bedside.” 

The CTRC provides infrastructure, resources and dedicated space to conduct clinical research, and the center’s staff includes physicians, nurses, an exercise physiologist, a biostatistician and a research-subject advocate.

Farrell and Leonardo encourage investigators and researchers who want to take a medically in-depth approach with their participants but do not have the means to do it safely to visit the CTRC.