Dhillon Lab Members

The Dhillon lab welcomes people of any race, religion, national origin, gender identity, caregiver and family commitments, political affiliation, sexual orientation, and eligible age or ability.
See our lab mission and philosophy.

Onyedika Ani, MS
Onyedika Ani, MS
Doctoral Student
ogang(at) missouri.edu

I am currently a Doctoral Student in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, University of Missouri-Columbia. I hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Biochemistry from Ebonyi State University, Nigeria, and the University of Ilorin, Nigeria respectively. After that I moved to England to study Public Health nutrition at the University of Chester, UK, where I qualified as a Registered Associate Nutritionist with the Association for Nutrition, UK. I am passionate about research on nutritional interventions for the improvement of cardiometabolic health. More so, how optimal lifestyle behaviors could be beneficial in improving health and well-being.


John Cullen, BS
John Cullen, BS
Graduate Researcher
jmcqhn (at) mail.missouri.edu

After graduating with my bachelors in Exercise Science from Truman State University, I worked as a personal trainer and a soccer performance coach in St. Louis before coming to Mizzou to further my education and pursue my Masters in Exercise Physiology. I have always been interested in health and learning firsthand what steps I can take to live a healthier life. Outside of school, I enjoy reading, video games, playing and watching sports, chess, riding my bike and anything that gets me outdoors in nature.


Etai Dean
Etai Dean
Undergraduate Researcher
eddxbr (at) mail.missouri.edu


Jaapna Dhillon, PhD
Jaapna Dhillon, PhD
Principal Investigator
jdhillon (at) missouri.edu
@jaapnadhillon

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. I received my PhD in Nutrition Science with a focus in ingestive behavior from Purdue University, an MS degree in Nutrition Science with a focus in community nutrition and dietetics from Syracuse University and a BTech degree in Bioinformatics from JUIT in India. My current research examines 1) the effects of dietary and exersice interventions on cardiometabolic outcomes, gut microbiome, and multi-omics profiles, and 2) pre- and post-ingestive controls of food intake. My research also integrates large datasets generated from dietary interventions into developing computational models that can predict metabolic responses to diets.


Eleanor Levinson
Eleanor Levinson
Undergraduate Researcher
eel2vb (at) mail.missouri.edu

I am an undergraduate student studying Nutrition and Exercise Physiology with an emphasis in Human Physiology and Translational Sciences. I am new to research, but looking forward to learning the work that goes into discovery. The personalized diet study is near to my heart because nutrition has been a passion of mine since I was young. A dream of mine is to work in healthcare in the future as a physician in areas that have little access.


Elaheh Rabbani
Elaheh Rabbani
Incoming PhD Student

I am an incoming PhD student in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, University of Missouri-Columbia. In my master’s research I studied how reducing inflammation and oxidative stress by nutrition interventions can prevent cardiometabolic diseases in hypothyroid patients. During this time, I also got interested in the disruption of gut microflora in autoimmune diseases and how dietary interventions can impact the gut microbiome and improve chronic diseases. Personally, I believe everybody should find their favorite sport to live an active lifestyle. For me it is ballet, and I am going to make a difference in dancers’ nutrition.


Shahim Shahzad
Shahim Shahzad
Undergraduate Researcher
ssbk4 (at) mail.missouri.edu