March 1, 2023

Junior/Rising Researcher Profile – Lisa T. Jansen, Ph.D.

Dr. Lisa Jansen is an Assistant Professor with the department of Dietetics & Nutrition at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Her research focuses on efforts to improve and/or prevent life with obesity. Her scientific work centers around advancing specificity of recognized lifestyle modifications in improving metabolic health in high-risk groups.

Currently, she is investigating glycemic patterns during pregnancy ancillary to a physical activity intervention trial in pregnant women with obesity. With this data Dr. Jansen aims to identify periods during pregnancy where shifts in metabolic processes occur. On this basis, future interventions may be more targeted; an important step in reducing patient burden while increasing the odds of successful implementation.

Prior to joining team UAMS, Dr. Jansen completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. There, she studied metabolic adaptation to a change in macronutrient composition following weight-loss. Assessing glycemic patterns via continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) in overweight and obese adults led to the finding that glucose metabolism undergoes a prolonged adjustment period (~35 days) when transitioning from a very-low-carbohydrate diet (7.5% of daily energy intake from carbohydrates) to a high-carbohydrate diet (57% of daily energy intake from carbohydrates). This finding, published in Diabetes Care, is important for clinical consideration when interpreting oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT) in populations managing their glycemia with a low-carbohydrate diet, as their test following a “standard” 3-day preparation with high-carbohydrate intake may not be representative of true glucose metabolism capacity. Furthermore, it raises caution to the implementation of “cheat-days” when following very-low-carbohydrate-diets, as the abrupt switch from low- to high-carbohydrate diet may cause large oscillations in blood glucose, a risk factor for cardiovascular complications.

Dr. Jansen received her Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR. Her dissertation studies assessed the effect of cellular dehydration on glucose metabolism. The data, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show an acute deterioration in OGTT performance when participants were in the “acutely dehydrated” state. Her Masters Thesis investigated the effect of dietary nitrate supplemented via beetroot juice on tolerating exercise in the heat during a simulated military march.

Starting with an exercise physiology focus on hydration, Dr. Jansen has since added muscle metabolism and nutrition research into her repertoire of experiences.

As an active member of the American Physiological Society (APS), the American Society for Nutrition (ASN), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Dr. Jansen is steadily striving to expand her expertise through research and collaboration.

Dr. Jansen has published 18 peer-reviewed articles and one book chapter. She regularly attends international meetings where she presents on her current works. She is a proud primary mentor to 3 Master of Clinical Nutrition Students and is always happy help with ongoing research endeavors.

Dr. Jansen is a current principal investigator on a Center for Childhood Obesity Prevention (CCOP) Pilot grant. She plans to submit a grant proposal for a coveted Research Project Leader Spot in Spring 2023, a three-year program funded at up to $450,000. Data from these studies will position her to submit a future R01 application to the National Institutes of Health.

Download Dr. Jansen's CV