About Us

Frese, Ph.D.

Dr. Frese is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of Nevada, Reno. He also holds an Adjunct Assistant Professor affiliation with the Department of Food Science at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Dr. Frese earned his doctorate at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and completed postdoctoral training at the University of California, Davis. From 2015-2020, he led Research and Development at Evolve Biosystems, Inc (Now Infinant Health, Inc) and helped develop and launch their flagship product in neonatal nutrition.

Dr. Frese’s research is centered on the human gut microbiome and its inhabitants. Our work at the University of Nevada, Reno examines how diet, food science, and biotechnology can be leveraged to meaningfully improve human health and nutrition. 

Follow Dr. Frese’s publications on Google Scholar

Richardson, M.S.

Irene Richardson was raised in the suburbs of Washington D.C. and is currently a Graduate Assistant pursuing her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Nevada, Reno. Irene completed her MSc in Nutrition with Dr. Frese at UNR.


Matt is from Morgan Hill, CA and completed his BSc in Biochemistry and Cell and Molecular Biology as well as his MSc in Biotechnology at the University of Nevada, Reno. Matt’s Masters thesis focused on epigenetic signal transduction and its regulation of inflammation with Dr. Brad Ferguson. Matt’s research now focuses on diet-microbe interactions and food processing. Matt’s other interests include sports nutrition and fitness. Find Matt on LinkedIn here.

Karla Flores Martinez

Karla is from Sinaloa, Mexico and earned her bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology Engineering from ITESM, Mexico where she graduated with honors. She has previous experience working in industry as a Tissue Culture Specialist for CryoCell and as an engineer at Philip Morris International. Karla is currently pursuing her PhD Degree in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Nevada, Reno and her current research is focused on epigenetic mechanisms within the gut microbiome that impact the preterm infant gut epithelium.

Chandler Zundel

Chandler Zundel is from Reno, NV and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Nutrition at the University of Nevada, Reno. After graduation, she plans on becoming a Registered Dietitian. Chandler’s research focuses on diet/lifestyle and microbiome interactions among Nevadans.

Zahra Alipour

Zahra Alipour received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Science and Research University in Tehran, Iran. She spent almost three years as a research assistant in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida working on water quality and microbial ecology. Zahra joined UNR in the Fall of 2021 as a master’s student in the Department of Nutrition. Her research focuses on the impact of the gut microbiome on immune system development in early life.


Odunayo Abiodun was born and raised in Lagos state, Nigeria. She had her bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at the Bells University of Technology, Nigeria. She is currently a graduate student pursuing her master’s degree in Nutrition at the University of Nevada Reno. Odunayo’s other interests include food science, research, and product development

Renu Sitaula,

Renu was born and raised in Nepal. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology at Tribhuvan University. For her Bachelor’s thesis, she optimized hard candy incorporating mandarin peel powder, which started her interest in nutrition. Then, she completed a MA in Food and Nutrition at the same University. Currently, she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Nutrition at the University of Nevada, Reno. In the lab, she is developing skills in bioinformatics and applying them to nutrition research.


Jaiden Christopher is from Las Vegas, Nevada and is an undergraduate student at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is completing her degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry with a minor in Analytical Chemistry in May 2023.

Other Members of the Lab

Joseph Lee (Undergraduate student, Pre-Med)

Blesethe West (Undergraduate student, Pre-Med)

Lab Alumni

Subash Kethavath, MSc. Subash completed his MSc in Animal and Rangeland Science in Dr. Frese’s lab. He is now an Associate Scientist at MapleLeaf Foods (Chicago, IL)

Bryce Hunt, BSc. Bryce is now a student in the MS/Dietetics Internship Program at Auburn University.

Jared Lewis, BSc.

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