In This Story
Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Food Studies Raedeh Basiri was featured as the RDN (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) Spotlight and discussed the importance of nutrition to public health.
Basiri gave this interview to the Northern Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (NVAND) and it was originally featured in NVAND's August 2022 newsletter.
1. What has been your path through dietetics? How did you get to where you are today professionally?
I have always been very interested in helping people to live healthier. I chose nutrition to support people’s health and well-being with minimum side effects. I got my bachelor’s degree in clinical nutrition and worked in in-patient and outpatient settings for seven years. Additionally, I was a founder of a dietetics clinic. Working with patients showed me that nutrition can play a very important role in the treatment of various diseases.
Therefore, I decided to help more people by adding to this amazing science. I was determined to go to graduate school, but I wanted to do it in the most advanced country in this field. After researching different programs in different countries, I chose the United States. I self-taught myself English and got admitted to Florida International University (FIU). I received my master’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition at FIU and got accepted into the Ph.D. in nutrition at Florida State University (FSU). My passion for clinical nutrition made me go through the RD program again, this time in the US. After receiving my Ph.D./RD, I continued as a post-doctoral research fellow at FSU to do more research on the effects of functional foods on the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. I joined the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at George Mason University in August of 2021 to educate and inspire more nutrition and dietetic students.
2. Tell us more about your career and what you enjoy most about your work.
I love that my teaching, research, and service activities influence people directly to make positive lifestyle choices. For my dissertation, I examined the effects of nutrition education and supplementation on wound healing in patients with diabetic foot ulcers. The results of my study showed that nutrition intervention helped diabetic foot ulcers heal 12.85 times faster than the control group. This indicates how nutrition can make a great difference in the quality of life of these patients. I love producing scientific evidence to prevent disease at first and to help patients with chronic diseases to better manage their conditions. I am so grateful that at George Mason University, my teaching, research, and service activities are all strategically aligned to facilitate the greatest synergy in my professional work. As a result, I have been fortunate to receive funding to evaluate the effects of individualized nutrition therapy on the prevention and delaying of type 2 diabetes in individuals who are overweight and obese.
3. What do you believe to be emerging trends in the field of nutrition and dietetics, and how can other RDNs and future RDNs best prepare for these changes?
The science of nutrition is growing so fast. There are lots of controversies in this field and therefore it is essential for RDs to keep themselves up-to-date and to think critically when they are reviewing new information.
4. What have you learned through your experience as an RDN, and what else would you consider valuable in sharing with other NVAND members?
Nutrition plays a very important role in the prevention and treatment of many diseases. RDs should empower themselves by reviewing evidence-based information from valid and reliable sources so they can be confident about what they are doing. This will also support them to have a great positive impact on the quality of care in the healthcare system.