Newer Additions to Team Cheatham 2015

Thomas Jackson


Research Technician

Thomas Jackson is a North Carolina native who joined the lab in November of 2014. Thomas earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences from NC State University in May of 2014. He hopes to gain a better foundation in the possibilities that nutritional interventions offer to ameliorate fetal alcohol effects and to expand his knowledge of brain development through his work here on a fetal alcohol model. In his free time, Thomas loves to spend time with his dog, Daisy, and they can often be found at the park. Additionally, Thomas is a competitive bowler and enjoys bowling in leagues and tournaments.



Lucy Connolly



Lucy is currently an undergraduate student at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is going into her senior year and is working towards earning her Bachelor of Science in Public Health with a minor in biology. She has always been passionate about the relationship between nutrition and health and hopes to turn that passion into a career. Lucy has dreams of becoming involved in nutritional epidemiology to study the causes and solutions to the many nutrition-related disorders that impact our world today. She strives to uphold a healthy lifestyle by making good nutrition and exercise a central part of her life every day.



Anna Silver



Anna just graduated as valedictorian from Northwest Cabarrus High School, where she was very involved in athletics, community service, and student government.  She will be attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the honors program this fall.  She plans to major in biology and then continue on to medical school.  She has always found the neuroscience aspect of biology particularly interesting, so she is intrigued by the studies in the Cheatham Nutrition and Cognition Lab.


Kalei Woodford

Kalei IMG_2707


Kalei is currently a senior at Lake Norman Charter High School where she is involved in clubs like history and photography. She hopes to be admitted to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She plans on majoring in psychology, history or criminal justice and continue to graduate school. She has always been interested in psychology and how it relates to biology, which makes the studies of the Cheatham lab particularly interesting to her.


Farewell to some of our team members!


Padydeh Doroodchi


During my time at The Cheatham Nutrition and Cognition Lab I experienced what it means to work in a lab environment. The past eight months I understood what protocols need to be taken and how detail oriented a lab member needs to be in this environment. This lab in particular gave me a new perspective on how to work with human participants and what kind of challenges that come along with it. I was able to observe the lab collect data in a variety of different ways from the participants. The lab also showed me how important it is to have a strong team behind the lab because without teamwork nothing would be able to get done. My duties were different on a daily basis - I was able to organize samples one day, while the next day I was brainstorming ideas on how to recruit more participants for a study. Needless to say, I had a wonderful time at the Cheatham Lab because of the great work environment the lab team showed me. This experience will definitely help me with my future endeavors. I am forever grateful for the opportunity the Cheatham Nutrition and Cognition Lab has given me.


Kierra Simmons


This past semester we asked Kierra Simmons, a graduating senior from A.L. Brown, to design a toy that can be used in our lab as part of a study for children. The idea is that the toy will have three steps. The researcher will show the child each step and ask the child to complete the steps as they are shown.  Kierra had this to say about her time with the lab, “This internship took me back to my pre-school days. Imagining what I, as a small child, enjoyed about my favorite toys. The design that I chose was a toy that has a button that is pressed to release a sliding slab and on that slab will be a picture. Unfortunately, my design had minor malfunctions and needed more work than expected. As a perfectionist, this taught me that as an engineer I will not always have a design that works perfectly the first time. Even with that little hiccup, I loved my experience with the Cheatham Lab, and it will be something that I will remember forever. “