Maternal to Adolescent Eating, Nutrition, and Development Laboratory

Meet the Team

Grace Shearrer, PhD

Dr. Shearrer earned her PhD in Nutrition from the University of Texas at Austin after completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Wyoming. Dr. Shearrer specializes in maternal and child nutrition behavior. 

Grace is from Denver, CO but now lives happily in Laramie, WY with her husband and their 4 cats (yes 4). Grace loves playing soccer, making green chile, and hanging out with her 2 brothers.


Graduate Students

Grace Strahan

Seeking Master's of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Grace Strahan (McCartney) earned her BS in Family Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Dietetics in May of 2023 from the University of Wyoming. She joined the lab team in the Fall of 2023. 


She looks forward to continuing her education at UW, participating in the incredible research the M2AENAD lab is doing, identifying relationships between maternal, and adolescent nutrition and being able to help moms in the future with their needs! She currently resides with her husband and dog and loves getting to hike and spending time exercising in any form! Grace also stays busy outside of the classroom by coaching at the local CrossFit gym and aiding adults in their health and fitness goals!

Sara Ghasem Pour

Seeking Master's of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Sara joined the M2AENAD lab in Spring 2022. She is a Master's student in the field of Human Nutrition with a passion for understanding the complex relationship between eating behavior and nutrition. As a member of the dedicated team at the Maternal to Adolescent Eating, Nutrition, and Development (M2AENAD) Lab, she is working to identify bio-behavioral risk factors for overeating and excess weight gain.

"As I work towards my graduation in Fall 2024, I am excited to continue contributing to the groundbreaking research at the M2AENAD Lab. In addition, I have ambitious plans to pursue a Ph.D. in the Biomedical and Neuroscience fields within our lab, where I hope to further explore the intricate connections between eating behavior and neural function and diseases.

My goal is to use my knowledge and experience to develop effective interventions that promote healthy eating habits and prevent obesity-related health conditions."

Muzayyana (Yanko) Akhmadjonova 

Seeking PhD in Neuroscience

Yanko joined the M2AENAD lab in Spring 2022. She has a medical doctor degree and now is pursuing her Ph.D. in Neuroscience.

“I am fascinated by learning how the human brain works and manages doing the largest variety of jobs among all the body's organs. Can you imagine that the brain controls every organ in your body? And no, it doesn’t just warrant your survival from the biological point of view, it also lets you think and understand this text and make your own opinion of it. I do believe that it’s amazing and I would like to contribute to revealing the mysteries of the human brain!”

Lab Helpers

Emily Polson

Research Assistant

Emily Polson joined the lab in 2023 as a research assistant. She has enjoyed working on the mROC-T project. She is a junior studying Human Nutrition and Food. 

"I have a passion for nutrition and plan on attending grad school after my undergrad to pursue an RD. In the future, I want to focus on disease prevention through diet and promoting nutrition education. In my free time, I enjoy playing pickleball and traveling.. I look forward to furthering my education and participating in the great research the lab produces."

Michaela Eddy

Research Assistant

Michaela Eddy joined the lab in 2024 as a research assistant. She is a junior studying Human Nutrition and Food as well as International Studies. Michaela has plans to obtain a PhD and a career in research related to global longevity and preventative healthcare. 

Michaela resides in Laramie, WY where she takes full advantage of the open access to nature and the great outdoors. She enjoys cooking, curling up with a good book, and travelling anywhere, any time she gets the chance.

Lora Acres

Senior Project Coordinator

Lora earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management and Leadership from Central Wyoming College in May 2023.  She joined the lab shortly after.

Lora resides in the Riverton area with her husband and two girls.  Her eldest is currently attending the University of Wyoming and her youngest is attending middle school.  The family enjoys riding horses, fishing, and hunting.  Lora keeps busy on the small family farm spending time with her horses, Jersey cows, dogs, cats, and chickens.

She looks forward to being the Project Coordinator in the Riverton area to help encourage and educate teen girls to improve their nutrition.

Ana Urena

Research Assistant

Ana recently graduated with her bachelor's in Physiology and is currently applying to graduate schools in Physician Assistance. 

"I am fascinated by the human body and how nutrition as well as exercise plays a role in our everyday lives from our physical to our mental health including our gut microbiome. As a medical provider, I would like to educate my patients to understand and practice how nutrition can impact their health to prevent diseases and metabolic disorders. I enjoy being outdoors as well as keeping myself active to live a sustainable healthy lifestyle."