2008 Outstanding Young Alumni

Christina Sherry '04
Doctoral student

The Outstanding Young Alumni Award is awarded to an alumnus who graduated within the last 10 years and has dedicated him or herself to serving people, community or the church or has made extensive contributions to his or her career.

Christina SherryPsychoneuroimmunology. Those 21 letters are keeping Christina Sherry busy as she completes her fourth year of the Ph.D./Registered Dietitian program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she is studying nutrition and immunology in the Division of Nutritional Sciences. Psychoneuroimmunology, or PNI, is the study of the interactions between the nervous system and the immune system, and its relationship between behavior and health. Christina's research investigates how diet affects the immune system and inflammatory pathologies, such as diabetes, specifically, how one's diet influences the severity and duration of inflammation.

In just three years, Christina has seen three co-authored articles—of which one she was the principal researcher—published in The Journal of Immunology and The Neuroscientists. She applied for and received an ASBMB Graduate/Postdoctoral Travel Fellowship and Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society Travel Fellowship, which allowed her to present her research at conferences in Arcachon, France, and Madison, Wis. She recently received funding from the American Heart Association to study the relationship between heart failure and obesity. The funding will aid in the completion of her dietetics internship requirement, which she will finish in 2009.

Christina is active with the Nutritional Sciences Graduate Student Association, having served as chairperson. She received a Division of Nutritional Science Margin of Excellence Award and was inducted into Gamma Sigma Delta, the Honors Society of Agriculture. After graduation, she is considering post-doctoral research opportunities or industrial positions.

Christina lives in Champaign, Ill.