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 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.
Dr. Avena’s latest book, Why Diets Fail (2014, Ten Speed Press) reviews the research on food addiction and provides a way in which people can remove added sugars and carbohydrates from their diet. Dr. Avena is a sought-after speaker, and she has been lauded by her colleagues and the public for her ability to explain complex scientific principles and research findings to a lay audience. Dr. Avena regularly makes public speaking appearances to discuss her research and discoveries throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. She is regularly asked to speak to special-interest groups, industry groups, and schools. She has appeared on news programs, been a guest on several radio programs, and has been filmed for two documentaries on the obesity epidemic. Dr. Avena is a member of the Random House Speakers Bureau.
Dr. Avena has been identified as an expert in diet research by Psychology Today and has a blog featured on their website entitled Food Junkie, which explains relevant research findings in an accessible way. You can also follow her on Twitter or Facebook.