Postdoctoral Fellows

Lauren Fowler, PhD
T-32 Postdoctoral Research Associate

Lauren Fowler, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Healthy Weight and Wellness. Fowler received her PhD in applied social psychology from the George Washington University in 2018, and her BS in mathematics with a concentration in statistics and psychology from Eastern Michigan University in 2013. Her research involves assessing and developing interdisciplinary models of health-related cognitions and behaviors to improve weight-related outcomes and reduce health disparities through the examination of health determinants (i.e., biological, psychological, social, and health systems factors) and interventions. Fowler has a particular interest in examining the use of mobile technology as assessment and intervention tools, and investigating the influence of social media on health behavior. Her research has also focused on the social cognitive processes that determine health decision making and behavior and poor outcomes following weight-loss surgery.

Melissa Ramel, PhD, RD, LD
Postdoctoral Research Associate

Melissa Ramel PhD, MPH, RD, LD is a postdoctoral research associate in the Center for Healthy Weight and Wellness. Ramel received her PhD in education, with a concentration in curriculum and instruction from Saint Louis University in 2017, MS in medical dietetics and MPH in community health from Saint Louis University in 2009, and her BA in dietetics from the University of Northern Colorado in 2005. She completed her dietetic internship at Saint Louis University. Ramel has experience as an instructor/nutrition coordinator in community dietetics and as a clinical dietitian in long-term care. Ramel’s research interests are vast, but include overweight and obesity in underserved families, increasing access to healthy options for underserved families, and intergenerational healthy eating and behaviors.  

Mary Katherine Ray, PhD
T32 Postdoctoral Research Scholar

Mary Katherine Ray, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Healthy Weight and Wellness. Ray received her PhD in Psychology with a concentration in Behavioral Neuroscience from The University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2018, and her BS in Psychology from The University of North Alabama in 2013. Her primary research interest is the role of executive functioning in eating behavior, obesity, and weight-loss. Ray also works on the PLAN study to implement family-based behavioral weight loss treatment within the primary care setting.