Alumni Spotlight: Trisha Grevengoed

February 18, 2021

Dr. Trisha Grevengoed started her journey at Iowa State University, as many in the animal science department do, as a pre-vet major. However, she soon realized that the path she had planned for her future no longer aligned with her interests. In 2009, Trisha graduated from Iowa State University with her degree in animal science and a minor in nutrition.  

During her time at Iowa State, Trisha participated in Block & Bridle, tutored students, and was a teaching assistant for the Anatomy & Physiology Lab. Trisha also had the opportunity to take advantage of the study abroad trips Iowa State offers and traveled to Ghana her freshman year with the agronomy department and Ukraine with the animal science department. She described her experiences through both trips as eye-opening and educational.  

Trisha is currently an assistant professor at the University of Copenhagen and is a wife and mother of their eight-month-old daughter. At the university, Trisha studies atypical types of fats that she's found to affect biological activities, such as blood sugar regulation and dietary fat absorption. She further explains that humans make these unusual fats, especially after an omega 3-fatty acid supplement. Trisha is trying to connect the dots to understand how these findings are essential to human health and, more specifically, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.  

Trisha attributes her field of study and a portion of her success to her time at Iowa State University, where she received her first experience in a research lab setting. Through the honors program, she shadowed workers in Dr. Beitz's lab, where she first began to realize her interest in the field. Trisha started her sophomore year working in Steven Lonergan's research lab, where she quickly learned that her passion no longer aligned with her previous pre-vet track but instead with research. As her responsibilities in the lab grew, so did her love for it. Trisha currently enjoys the fact that she is learning about things that no one else has sought to understand and contributes to science by doing so.   

Trisha's advice to young students is to "be open to new experiences and new directions." "You may not always follow the path you first imagined for yourself, but it is okay to change directions as you find new passions and interests."

Read more from the University of Copenhagen on Grevengoed's research: Assistant Professor Trisha Grevengoed to launch group at BMI to unravel the cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 fatty acids -- University of Copenhagen

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