Our MAC Study Team
This study is being conducted by a team of nutrition researchers at the Loma Linda University School of Public Health.
The protocol of the MAC study has been approved by the Loma Linda Institutional Review Board (IRB), an independent committee of physicians and public health professionals tasked with ensuring the safety of participants in clinical trials.
Dr. Joan Sabaté
Nutritionist, Principal Investigator
Dr. Joan Sabate is a professor of nutrition and director of the Center for Nutrition, Healthy Lifestyle and Disease Prevention at Loma Linda University School of Public Health. He is the principal investigator of the MAC study and a leading researcher in nutrition. He has several decades of experience in conducting clinical trials on the benefits of many plant foods, including nuts, avocado and soybean. He has also directed considerable research in the area of vegetarian nutrition in the prevention of chronic diseases and the environmental impact of vegetarian diets. He has authored more than 150 research articles, many of them in high-impact journals. Dr. Sabate will be investigator overseeing all aspects of the study.
Dr. Sujatha Rajaram
Associate Professor of Nutrition Dr. Sujatha Rajaram is co-investigator of the MAC study. She has contributed significantly to the research activities at the Center for Nutrition, Healthy Lifestyle and Disease Prevention at Loma Linda University. Dr. Rajaram has served as both principal investigator and co-investigator on several clinical trials, specifically feeding studies on tree nuts, and plant omega-3 fatty acids with respect to cardiometabolic disease outcomes and healthy aging. She will be involved in the selection of study participants and provide oversight during data collection with respect to following established study protocols.
Dr. Celine Heskey
Main Research Dieticien
Dr. Celine Heskey is an Assistant Professor of nutrition and program director for the MPH Nutrition Coordinated Program in Public Health Nutrition and Dietetics at Loma Linda University School of Public Health. Her recent and current research activities revolve around the effects of various nutrients and foods, including n-3 fatty acids, nuts, and avocado, on adiposity and cardiometabolic health. For the MAC study, she will create menus that help subjects incorporate macadamia nuts in their diets. She will take part in the process of interviewing potential participants and will play a key role in ensuring subject compliance and retention during monthly meetings.
Julie Jones is a Nutrition PhD student at the Loma Linda University School of Public Health. Julie completed medical school at New York Medical College and a general surgery residency at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She then completed a fellowship in breast surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and practiced surgical oncology for approximately a decade. She has now retired from medicine and is exploring the field of nutrition (a passion of hers). She will serve as a clinician for the MAC study and will be involved in study design, recruitment and selection of participants, clinic visits, and data collection and analysis.
Amandeep Kaur is a research manager at the Loma Linda University School of Public Health who holds a Master of Public Health degree in Health Education. A colleague of Dr. Sabate and the nutrition research team for the past three years, she has expertise in coordinating and managing the conduct of clinical trials. She has been involved with larger clinical trials like the Walnuts and Healthy Aging Trial (WAHA), which followed over 300 elderly participants for two years. More recently, she was involved in a small intervention study with soy supplement under more controlled conditions. Her role in the MAC study will include the coordination and selection of participants, clinic visits, and data collection and management.
Rawiwan Sirirat is a research associate at the Loma Linda University School of Public Health. She is a Registered Dietician with experience in clinical nutrition and accumulative research experience in many fields of nutrition. Her research experiences are related to nutrition dietary data collection and quality control, in additoin to processing and handling of biological samples from clinical trials and population studies. Her responsibilities in the MAC study include overseeing the processing and handling of various biological specimen collected from study participants and quality control of collected data.