Jessica Dauz Bihuniak

Visiting Research Scientist in Medicine (Endocrinology)

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I am currently pursing my PhD in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Connecticut. I received my Master’s degree from the University of Connecticut in 2010. This work involves both clinical and bench projects. There is an increasing interest in finding dietary alternatives for both prevention and treatment of bone loss as osteoporosis continues to afflict an estimated 10 million people in the United States. We hypothesize that dietary protein beneficially impacts the skeleton by increasing calcium absorption and slowing bone turnover. My clinical trial will test the hypothesis that dietary protein affects the efficiency of intestinal calcium absorption by activating the calcium sensing receptor. We are seeking to determine if supplementation of a low dietary protein intake (0.7 g/kg-bw/day) with selected functional groups of amino acids, increases intestinal calcium absorption to the same extent as does increasing protein intake from low to high (2.1è0.7 g/kg-bw/day). In the lab, I am exploring the effects of different functional groups of amino acids on the level of expression and the cellular distribution of the pore-forming tight junction protein, claudin-2. In my spare time I enjoy biking, jogging and cooking for family and friends.

Education & Training

MS University of Connecticut (2010)
BS University of Connecticut (2007)

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Jessica Dauz Bihuniak