Nutrition student named Vice President for Research Graduate Student Fellow

Man standing in winter gear in front of a snowy mountain scene.The challenge: summarize your research project in three minutes while a panel of judges scores you on content, comprehension, and communication skills.

Scott Wrigley, a graduate student in Colorado State University’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, rose to the challenge, earning the distinction of Graduate Student Fellow in the Vice President for Research 3 Minute Challenge competition. From the 39 students who competed in the Vice President for Research 3 Minute Challenge, fifteen were selected for the 2019 – 2020 Vice President for Research Graduate Student Fellowship cohort.

Wrigley works in the Integrative Cardiovascular Physiology Lab, led by faculty member Chris Gentile, while studying in  Food Science and Human Nutrition. Originally from Illinois, Wrigley worked as a professional coach prior to when he moved to Fort Collins.

Heart disease and gut health

For his 3 Minute Challenge research presentation, Wrigley discussed “The Gut Microbiome: The Missing Link.”  His presentation explained that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world and has been for more than 100 years. However, recent studies, including Wrigley’s own, have shown a link between the gut microbiome and heart disease. Microbiome targeted therapies may be the future of prevention and treatment for many diseases, including heart disease.

Wrigley says that his experiences at CSU have been crucial to achieving his goal of becoming a VPR Fellow. “Since starting graduate school, being part of the Integrative Cardiovascular Physiology Lab and the Intestinal Health Lab has helped push me to develop and integrate my knowledge of nutrition and physiology,” said Wrigley.

Top notch program

Wrigley had already earned multiple nutrition coaching certifications, but had been contemplating a graduate degree to increase his nutrition expertise.

“Researching schools, I noted that CSU has a top notch Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics program,” he said. “Paired with the amazing access to the outdoors and the Fort Collins food and brewery scene, I knew that CSU was where I wanted to be.”

Man in hiking gear standing in front of grasslands.

Food Science and Human Nutrition faculty members Tiffany Weir and Gentile have mentored Wrigley, and their support of his goals and development as a professional has pushed Wrigley to be his best, for which he is immensely grateful. He also wanted to thank his lab mates Micah Battson, Dustin Lee, Raj Trikha, Kayl Ecton, Michael Sumpter, and Keely Thomas for challenging him to learn.

Outside of lab work and graduate school, Wrigley has volunteered with the Larimer County Food Bank as well as CSU’s Early Childhood Center. Following the completion of his master’s degree, Wrigley will be working to earn his PhD.

The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.