About Us

Steven 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 and helped 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


Irene Richardson

Irene Richardson was raised in the suburbs of Washington D.C. and is currently a Graduate Assistant pursuing her Master’s in Nutritional Science for the University of Nevada, Reno. Her research is focused on the relationship of the human gut microbiome and the effects of common food additives.

Matt Bolino

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.

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.


Kelsey Heflin

Kelsey Heflin was born in Carson City, NV and is an undergraduate student at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Immunology and plans on attending medical school then specializing in pediatric medicine. Kelsey’s work in the lab focuses on the interactions of dietary additives with the human gut microbiome.

Bryce Hunt

Bryce was born and raised in Reno, NV, and will earn his B.S. in Nutrition — Dietetics Specialization in May 2022. After his education, his ultimate goal is to spread nutrition knowledge in a way that is understood by all.  Bryce’s work in the lab has focused on probiotics in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).


Other Members of the Lab

Zahra Alipour (Masters Student in Nutrition)

Joseph Lee (Undergraduate student, Pre-Med)

Jared Lewis (Undergraduate student, Biotechnology)

Abbey Leff (Undergraduate student, Biology)

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)

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