Lab Members

Amandine Chaix Ph.D. Assistant Professor

Amandine completed her MS in Immunology and PhD in Biology in Marseille France.  Amandine moved to the United States for her postdoc in Dr. Panda lab at The Salk Institute in San Diego. As a postdoc fellow, she explored the relationship between the circadian clock and nutrition. In particular, her work focused on exploring the benefits of time-restricted feeding (TRF) in preclinical models of obesity and metabolic disease. In January 2021, she became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition & Integrative Physiology at The University of Utah.

Molly Gallop Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow

Molly completed her PhD in Nutritional and Metabolic Biology at Columbia  University in the summer of 2021.  As a predoctoral fellow, she studied how diet palatability and dietary composition influenced caloric intake and body weight set-point. Prior to graduate school, Molly studied type 2 diabetes and metabolism in at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center of Harvard Medical School.  She is passionate about mentoring and teaching students and is excited to continue her research on feeding and metabolism.

Paul-Emile Bourrant, PhD Student

Paul-Emile earned a B.S. in Human Nutrition in 2020. Before joining the Chaix lab he was volunteering in the Summers Lab. Paul’s volunteer position consisted of analyzing histological samples derived from animals metabolic disease in order to better assess the metabolic underpinnings of ceramide driven tissue dysfunction.

Selene Tobin MS, PhD Student

Selene earned her bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Performance at the University of Montana. She then came to the University of Utah for a master’s program in Health and Kinesiology where she worked in clinical trials and studied appetite regulation. Selene’s research interests are now centered on energy expenditure in models of dietary intervention. When Selene is not in the lab she is probably running, climbing, or cooking with her husband and two dogs.

Jessica Van Onselen, MS student

Jessica earned a B.S degree in Integrative Physiology at the University of the Free State, South Africa. She studied the role of cancer-associated adipocytes in breast cancer cell survival and metastasis as part of her final year research project.

Renan Vieira, MS student

Renan earned a degree in sports science from the University of Campinas – UNICAMP and is a visiting master’s student from Brazil. In Brazil, he is mentored by Dr. Pauli and studies the effects of physical exercise on the regulation of hepatic gluconeogenesis in hyperglycemic mice. In Dr. Chaix lab, he will study the effects of time-restricted feeding (TRF) on models of aging and diabesity.

Lori Begay, Lab Technician

Lori is a lab technician with an undergrad degree in international studies with an emphasis in global health from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. Prior to joining the Chaix lab, Lori worked at the U in different avenues of research such as functional characterization of genes in adipocytes, if the undertreatment of iron-deficiency anemia increases the risk of postpartum blood transfusion, the access among rural-dwelling American Indians and non-American Indians with opioid use disorder in pregnancy, and most recently functional characterization of rat brain mitochondria. She is hoping to attend an MD/Ph.D. program.

Sophie Eckel, Lab Technician

Sophie earned B.S. degrees in biochemistry and psychology at the University of New Mexico. Prior to joining the Chaix lab she worked as a research technician in the Mellios lab in the UNM Neuroscience Department, studying the role of circular RNA molecules in brain development, function and disease. She is hoping to attend medical school and outside of the lab enjoys running, cooking, and skiing with her husband Zac who is a postdoctoral fellow in the University of Utah Drummond Lab. 

Elijah Matsuzaki, Undergrad

Elijah is an undergraduate student who joined the lab in spring of 2021. He is currently attending the University of Utah and hopes to attend medical school.

Noah Wynn Johnson, Undergrad

Noah is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Utah studying Spanish and Chemistry. He has been a member of the lab since February of 2022 and has been working as a lab assistant. He will be beginning his UROP project with the help of Dr. Chaix starting in the fall semester and will be studying the effects of time-restricted feeding and calorie restriction on heart function in mice. He will be studying the biochemical and histological structure of the heart along with the transcriptional response of the heart under different feeding conditions. Noah is planning on going to medical school and will be taking the MCAT in Spring of 2023. When he is not in the lab, working or studying, he loves to mountain bike, snow ski, and spend time outdoors with his wife.

Raquel Perry, Undergrad

Raquel is an undergraduate student at the University of Utah, majoring in Biology with Anatomy and Physiology Emphasis. She has been a member of the lab since August 2021, and has been working as an undergraduate lab assistant. She will be starting her UROP project this fall semester with the help of Dr. Chaix, focusing on the effects that time-restricted feeding and calorie restriction has on the bone density in mice. Raquel will be graduating in Spring 2023, and plans to go to medical school to become an Emergency Room Physician. Outside of classes and the lab, Raquel is usually hiking, spending time with her dog, or watching scary movies. 


Kavan Hess, Lab Technician

Kavan Hess is a lab technician with his undergrad in Public Health with an emphasis in Health Science from Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. Kavan prior to joining the Chaix lab worked both at Mayo Clinic and BYU focused on Type One Diabetes. Kavan’s research interests are based in diabetes and how through Time Restricted Feeding Pancreatic Islets become more responsive to glucose. Kavan Plans on attending Medical school in Fall 2021 at a yet to be determined school. (Kavan can be reached via email at