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Idaho State University psychology professor Erin Rasmussen secures $402,000 to study food insecurity and obesity in women


Dr. Erin Rasmussen, psychology professor, received the grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Rasmussen and her team working on the grant titled “Food Insecurity, Obesity, and Impulsivity” will look at the special conditions that might lead or influence impulse food choice.

Rasmussen described food insecure individuals as those who are concerned or uncertain about where their next meal might come from, and impulsivity as a pattern of choosing immediately available outcomes without thought to long-term consequences. She has studied impulsivity in both rats and humans and has found that both obese rats and obese humans are impulsive when it comes to food, compared to leaner controls.

Rasmussen and her team point to literature that shows that women who are food insecure are more likely to be obese. When a person is food insecure, they are more likely to purchase cheaper foods that are often higher in refined carbohydrates, sugar and fat, instead of fruits, vegetables and high protein foods. This type of diet can blunt their sensitivity to food reward.

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“ONEIdaho” The 2017 Idaho NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-1 Competition

Prepared by:

Senator Laird Noh
Chair, Idaho State EPSCoR Committee

Dr. Cornelis Van der Schyf
Vice President for Research
Idaho State University

Dr. John McIver
Vice President for Research and Economic Development
University of Idaho

Dr. Mark Rudin
Vice President for Research and Economic Development
Boise State University

Peter Goodwin
Rick Schumaker
Idaho EPSCoR Office
July 13, 2016

The objective of the EPSCoR RII is to build the research infrastructure of the State and help Colleges, Departments and Programs transform themselves, support the Idaho Science & Technology (S&T) plan, contribute to the institutional strategic plans and build regional, national and international recognition. The Idaho EPSCoR Committee wish to stress that their ultimate goal is to help institutions build the intellectual environments where faculty can excel and build the research capacity of Idaho.

NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) competitions are becoming increasingly competitive at the national level. Idaho will be eligible to submit its next RII proposal in August 2017. This announcement outlines the process to develop a unified statewide initiative to strengthen the Idaho Science Community and increase our national and international competitiveness. While the NSF Program Solicitation for 2017 may be different, for reference, the NSF EPSCoR RII announcement for 2016 can be found here: 

Complete information for this 2017 Idaho NSF EPSCoR: Request for Concept Proposals can be found here: Idaho EPSCoR RII Track_1 RFP Process 071316


An informational webinar will be hosted by the Idaho EPSCoR Office on July 29, 2016 from
10:00-11:00am PDT and repeated on August 2, 2016 1:00-2:00pm PDT.

Concept Proposals (4 pages) should be submitted in Word format to
by 5:00pm PDT on Wednesday, August 31, 2016.

Preliminary Proposals (15 pages)—by invitation only—will be due in Word format to by 5:00pm PST Friday, November 18, 2016.

Idaho State University interns design robot for nuclear fuel facility

By Nora Heikkinen, INL Public Affairs and Strategic Initiatives

CheRobot_transfer_sample (002)ers erupted from an audience peering over plywood walls into a mock-up work cell. The robot  inside had successfully
transported a surrogate radioactive sample from an inter-facility transfer box, out of its transfer  containers, into an examination instrument, and then back again. It was a satisfying ending to a  nine-month-long project for four Idaho State University (ISU) mechanical and nuclear engineering  students serving internships at Idaho National Laboratory.

One of those students, Larinda Nichols, served a prior INL internship, which included attending design meetings for future post-irradiation examination (PIE) work. From that, Mitchell Meyer, the lab’s director of characterization and advanced PIE, assigned Nichols a senior project to demonstrate the use of robotics in instrument cells.

Nichols formed a team with fellow students Cody Race, Jerron Bennett and Sage Thibodeau. They received approval from ISU and – with the help of INL mentor Kevin Croft, a senior advisory engineer in INL’s Environmental Engineering & Technology Department – began work on the project.

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Pocatello, Idaho, 83209