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Center for Obesity Research and Education staff

center for obesity research and education (CORE)

Staff Contact Information




Email Address

Kim Brown-Trent

Administrative Coordinator



Andrea Byrd, RD

Sr. Health Services Coord.

215-707-8659 aqbyrd@temple.edu

Antoinette (Toni) Darden-Brown

Administrative Coordinator

215-707-8633 tdbrown@temple.edu

Tori DeLollo

Research Associate


215-707-8662 torid@temple.edu

Danielle Drigo

Project Associate

215-707-8661 ddrigo53@temple.edu

Edie Goldbacher

Postdoctoral Fellow

215-707-2115 ediemg@temple.edu

Liz Hanna    

Research Associate

Family Eating Laboratory



Caitlin La Grotte

Project Coordinator

Beverage Study

215-707-8638 camonks@temple.edu

Darnice Martinez

Medical Assistant


Kevin C. Mathias, MS

Project Coordinator

Family Eating Laboratory



Tara McCoy

Project Coordinator

Corner Store Study

215-707-8667 tmccoy02@temple.edu

Tracy Oliver, PhD, RD, LDN

Health Specialist

215-707-8643 toliver@temple.edu
Tracy Casella, MEd, RD, LDNMs. Oliver received her BS degree in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics from The University of Pittsburgh, and a Master's degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Physiology from Temple University. She received her PhD at Temple University in Kinesiology, again with a concentration in Exercise Physiology where her interest is in the metabolic effects of exercise. Ms. Oliver is currently working on various research studies and weight loss interventions. Her expertise is in weight loss counseling and promoting physical activity in adults.

Naomi Reyes, MS, RD, LDN

Project Coordinator

Eat Right Now

215-707-8670 naomir@temple.edu

Ms. Reyes received her BS degree in Nutrition from the University of Florida, completed her Dietetic Internship at The Cleveland Clinic and received her MS in Nutrition Communication from Tufts University in Boston, MA. Ms. Reyes is currently working on various research studies and weight loss interventions, including the Temple Bariatric surgery program. Her expertise is in weight loss counseling, school-based studies and program evaluation.

Dominique G. Ruggieri, MA

Fit to Quit Study

215-707-5320 dgr@temple.edu
Dominique Ruggieri, MA is a health communications specialist who has assisted on a variety of research projects at the Center for Obesity Research and Education.  Ms. Ruggieri received her BA in Communication Studies from West Chester University and her MA in Media Studies from Temple University.  She will be completing her PhD in Mass Media and Communication at Temple University in December 2007.  Her doctoral dissertation focuses on the portrayals of overweight people and obesity on television.  Ms. Ruggieri has worked for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and the Temple University Public Health Department as a research consultant specializing in the development of culturally sensitive public health risk communication campaigns for low literacy and disadvantaged populations.  She also co-directed the "Conference on Obesity for the Health Professional" at Temple University, a 5-week academic program and conference about current obesity interventions and research.  Additional areas of expertise and interest include media entrepreneurship and media readiness training, health communication related to HIV/AIDS and breast cancer, and intercultural, political and risk communications.

Stephanie Vander Veur

Program Director

Clinical Research

215-707-8635 stephanie.vanderveur@temple.edu
aMs. Vander Veur received her BS in Sociology and a Master in Public Health from West Chester University. Ms. Vander Veur is also certified by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals as a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator (CCRC). Ms. Vander Veur is currently working on a variety of adult weight loss interventions with CORE with special attention to evaluating the efficacy of different weight loss approaches including their psychological and metabolic effects. She is also interested in the area of community health education including the prevention of childhood obesity and type2 diabetes.

Amy Virus, RD, LDN

Sr. Health Services Coordinator

215-707-8669 amyvir@temple.edu

Amy Virus, RD, LDNAmy received her Public Health/Nutrition degree from West Chester University and completed her Dietetic Internship at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. Her current work includes school-based research, school food service management & menu analysis and pre-surgery screening and patient education with the Temple Bariatric surgery program. Amy is also involved in the area of adult community health education involving the education and management of Type 2 diabetes. Amy is the president of the Pennsylvania Dietetic Association Foundation and Immediate past president of the Pennsylvania Dietetic Association. She is also currently the Technology Resource Coordinator for the Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association.

Stella Weidner


215-707-8636 sweidner@temple.edu