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Heather Leidy, PhD

Heather Leidy

Assistant Professor
Nutrition & Exercise Physiology
307 Gwynn Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211
Phone: (573) 882-0654
Vita (PDF)


Heather J. Leidy, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, School of Medicine at the University of Missouri. Dr. Leidy received her BS in Biology from Shippensburg University and taught junior-high biology in the Pennsylvania public school system for several years. She then went on to complete her MS and PhD in Physiology at Penn State University as well as a Post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Foods & Nutrition and the Ingestive Behavior Research Center at Purdue University. As a translational, nutritional physiologist, she incorporates a ‘pipet to dinner-plate’ approach by examining the homeostatic and hedonic mechanisms by which the consumption of dietary protein improves weight management. This line of research has led to the development of novel dietary strategies and recommendations for the prevention and/or treatment of obesity across the lifespan. Specific focus areas include the effects of protein quantity, quality, and timing of consumption on the appetitive, hormonal, and neural signals controlling appetite, satiety, and ingestive behavior. She has over 40 research publications and has given over 50 invited research talks in this area. She has recently completed several studies exploring the benefits of consuming a protein-rich breakfast in overweight and obese ‘breakfast skipping’ adolescents. Her funding has included both industry support and NIH.

Research Focus

Dr. Leidy’s research focuses on the metabolic, hormonal, and neural regulation of appetite, food intake and body weight in overweight and obese individuals across the lifespan. She has over 10 peer-reviewed, original research publications in obesity-focused research, has given over 20 presentations at various scientific conferences including endocrinology, experimental biology, The Obesity Society, and American College of Sports Medicine, and has received/been involved with 9 internal and external (NIH and industry) grants. She was awarded a 2009 KUMC BIRCWH Award for research in her research program. Dr. Leidy has also mentored and directed the research projects of over 10 undergraduate honors’ and medical students, kinesiology interns, and MS and PhD graduate students.

"Beneficial effects of a higher-protein breakfast on the appetitive hormonal, and neural signals controlling energy intake regulation in overweight/obese, "breakfast-skipping," late-adolescent girls."

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