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In the CTSI Spotlight: Kathleen Keller

Kathleen Keller, HUB Research Capacity Core Leader

Kathleen Keller, PhD, has been at Penn State for more than 11 years. In her role as HUB Capacity Core leader for the University Park campus, she familiarizes new faculty with CTSI’s offerings and ensures CTSI users are aware of all the benefits the CTSI has to offer.

What are you most proud of what you do in your role with CTSI?
I am a big proponent of team-based science, and one of the things I love about working at Penn State with the CTSI is being able to work with people who have such diverse interests and expertise. My ability to communicate and engage people from diverse backgrounds (both professional and personal) is something I am proud of.

What did you do before you worked in CTSI?
I was an associate professor in the Departments of Nutritional Sciences and Food Science and a co-fund in the Social Science Research Institute. I am now a professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and direct the Children’s Eating Behavior Laboratory on campus.

What did you do professionally before you had your current position?
I was a post-doc and then a research assistant professor at the St. Luke’s New York Nutrition Obesity Research Center and an assistant professor at the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University. Before academics, I did many jobs, but a favorite was as a manager for a French café and bakery in Milwaukee.

What’s your favorite part of your work day?
Any part that involves mentoring students in the laboratory. I love teaching in the classroom as well, but my favorite part of the day is any opportunity I get to engage with undergrads and graduate students who are doing research in the laboratory.

Kathleen Keller says goodbye to former nutritional sciences doctoral student Shana Adise on graduation day.

Kathleen Keller, PhD, (left) bids farewell to nutritional sciences doctoral student Shana Adise, PhD, (right) who is now an assistant professor of research pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

What do you enjoy most about working with/for CTSI?
I enjoy meeting and engaging with people from multiple disciplines. I enjoy engaging with the community (both faculty and the broader community) about the great work the CTSI does.

Who inspires you, and why?
I am inspired by many people, scientists, professional role models, graduate students who always seem to know more than me, my professional mentors who have helped me throughout my life, and my son and husband.

What’s one thing — either professional or personal — you learned in the last month?
I turned 50 this past month, and I learned just how amazing my husband is. He started contacting friends, family, teachers, mentors, students, etc. from my life over 6 months ago. On my 50th birthday, I was presented with a box of pictures, letters, mix tapes, recipes, and other special memories from all these special people. It was pretty great!

What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?
I went to Woodstock ’99 and barely made it out before all the fires and mayhem.

What’s the last book you read?
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver.

What is your favorite hobby?
Cooking and food.

What’s on your bucket list?
Travel to Japan.

Are you currently binge-watching any shows?
Yes, Succession (although I’m caught up), and Yellowjackets.

If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Real New York City pizza.

What’s one item you can’t live without?
My family, good bread, cheese, wine, and soy sauce (couldn’t pick just one).

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