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Scientific Advisory Board

Nicole Avena, Ph.D.

Nicole Avena, Ph.D.

Member, RiverMend Health Scientific Advisory Board

Research Faculty, Obesity Research Center/Columbia University

My Clinical Expertise:

  • Neuroscience
  • Food Addiction
  • Medicine & Nutrition
  • Psychology

Dr. Nicole Avena is a research neuroscientist and expert in the fields of nutrition, diet and addiction. She is a pioneer in the field of food addiction, and it was her seminal research work that jump started this exciting new field of exploration in medicine and nutrition. Dr. Avena received a Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience from Princeton University in 2006. She then completed her postdoctoral fellowship in 2010 at the prestigious Rockefeller University in New York City, an all-research institution that lays claim to having had 24 Nobel Prize winners on its staff over the years.

Dr. Avena presently holds a research faculty position at the New York Obesity Research Center, a part of Columbia University. She also is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at University of Florida. She has published over 60 scholarly journal articles on topics related to diet, nutrition and overeating, and she frequently presents her research findings at scientific conferences and University symposia. Her research achievements have been honored by awards from several groups including the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Psychological Association, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She has received research funding from prestigious sources, including the National Institutes of Health and the National Eating Disorders Association.

  • Ph.D., Psychology and Neuroscience, Princeton University
  • Fellowship, Rockefeller University
  • Research Faculty, New York Obesity Research Center, Columbia University
  • Adjunct Professor, Psychiatry, University of Florida
  • Author, over 60 scholarly journal articles
  • Recipient: Awards from New York Academy of Sciences, the American Psychological Association, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Recipient of grant funding from National Institutes of Health and the National Eating Disorders Association

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