Melissa Kay, PhD

Research Scholar


Melissa is a Research Scholar interested in early life obesity prevention within the first 1,000 days – the period of conception through 2 years of life. She is interested in the connection between maternal and infant diet and the realities of healthy eating during the postpartum period. Her research focuses on the implementation and dissemination of innovative digital health interventions to improve diet quality and support breastfeeding. Melissa is originally from Massachusetts where she completed her BA at the College of the Holy Cross and MS/MPH at Tufts University. She is also a Registered Dietitian. Melissa came to North Carolina in 2010 as a fellow from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and she stayed to complete her PhD in Nutrition at UNC. Melissa likes to read, bike and cook. She also loves to run, having completed 8 Boston Marathons, and hopes to get back into marathon running, but right now spends most of her time running after her toddler. 

Finish this sentence: If I wasn’t working in global digital science, I would be…running a beachfront bed and breakfast.