the team


Kyle S. Burger MPH, RD, PhD


Google Scholar, Faculty Page, CV

I joined the Department of Nutrition at UNC-CH in the fall of 2013. My primary area of research focuses on ingestive behavior. Specifically, how the food environment, neural, hormonal and psychological mechanisms interact to impact food intake and weight regulation.  In my time at UNC-CH I’ve instructed courses on research methodology and general nutrition and metabolism.


Grace E. Shearrer PhD

Assistant Professor

Google Scholar

I joined UNC-CH and the NIBL team as a post doc in 2016 after completing my doctoral degree at the University of Texas in Nutritional Science. My research examines the homeostatic and hedonic motivations of eating behavior. Specifically, how hedonic signals influence homeostatic mechanisms both neurologically and hormonally. My previous work, under Dr. Jaimie Davis, focused on the effect of sugar-sweetened beverages on satiety signaling in Hispanic youth.


Jennifer R. Sadler

Doctoral Student

Google Scholar

I am a PhD student in the Nutrition Department. Before coming to UNC-Chapel Hill, I completed research on the biological and behavioral characteristics of women with bulimia nervosa under the direction of Dr. Michael Lowe in the Psychology department at Drexel University As an undergraduate in Biological Basis of Behavior at the University of Pennsylvania, I completed research on the hormonal control of feeding behavior in animal models with Dr. Harvey Grill. Currently, I’m interested in researching the role of chronic high sugar, high fat food intake in decision making and weight regulation.


Brian P. Brown

Research Specialist

In fall of 2017 I came to UNC-CH to join NIBL. I previously worked at Virginia Tech in Dr. Warren Bickel’s lab researching behavior related to eating and substance use. I studied alcohol use, caffeine use, and other health related issues at UNC Wilmington where I received my MA.


Katie M. Gandee

Research Assistant

I joined UNC-CH as a research assistant at NIBL in Fall 2017. This followed my graduation from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University where I earned my BS in Psychological Sciences. I am interested in the reciprocal impacts between food and the brain; both how our psychology influences our eating behavior and how the foods we eat can alter our neural processes. I am excited to use my time here to explore the relationship between neurotransmitter functioning and sugar intake


Nichollette Acosta

Data Analyst

I joined the NIBL team shortly after completing my B.S. in Computer Science with a focus in computing systems, and a minor in Bioinformatics. I am interested in logic, finding patterns in data and finding insights in natural science. I chose computer science because I naturally enjoy approaching situations creatively and modularly, and I have an intrinsic fascination with life and its patterns, leading me into bioinformatics. Throughout my undergraduate years I chose classes in machine learning, data mining, natural language processing, artificial intelligence and statistical computing. Coming into NIBL I was welcomed into a new world of neuroinformatics, where I want to continue engineering pipelines, and help the team discover new things with data analytics.

Your name here!

We currently have funded PhD positions available.

Undergraduate Lab Members

Ryesa Mansoor

Peter Dinh

Lab Alumni

Lia Bauert
Abigail Fisher
Kathrin M. Hennigan
Lily Jones
Pranish Kantak
Megan Neff
Benjamin Smart
Andrew Thompson, Jr.
Shelley Warner

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