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2017 Distinguished Researcher Dr. Erin Rasmussen

Erin Rasmussen conducts translational research in the area of obesity. She has two laboratories (animal and human) that are dedicated to examining behavioral economic and neural correlates of behaviors and decision-making involved in obesity. Her animal work examines the extent to which dopaminergic, endocannainoid, and opioid neurotransmitter systems affect the value of food reinforcement in diet-induced and genetic rodent models of obesity. Her recent work in this area has shown that high-fat, high-sugar diets influence reward processes in delay discounting—a measure of impulsive food choice. Her human work examines how aspects of food availability impact decision making for food.  One example of this is the finding that obese individuals tend to prefer more immediate food outcomes (that is, they are more impulsive) than healthy-weight controls. She recently was awarded a three-year research grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate the relations among food insecurity, diet, obesity, and food impulsivity in humans. She is also collaborating on a grant with researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health in the Czech Republic. She has almost 40 peer-reviewed publications to date, many of which involve ISU graduate and undergraduate student co-authors.  Rasmussen is also an associate editor of the flagship journal (The Behavior Analyst) for her major professional organization-- the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and has also served on the ABAI Science Board.  She has supervised five doctoral dissertations, four master’s theses, and one undergraduate honors thesis, almost all of which have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.



Distinguished Researcher Award

Full-time ISU faculty are invited to nominate a member of the faculty who exemplifies excellence in research. Please consider research attributes only. Elements such as service and teaching are not to be considered for this award.

Nominees should meet the following eligibility standards:

  1. Any member of the university faculty currently in his or her third or subsequent year of full-time service at Idaho State University
  2. She or he must be continuing as a member of the University faculty for 2017 – 2018

Only one nomination ballot is needed per nominee. Nominations are due to the Office for Research on January 2017. Please download the nomination form for more information.

The ISU Research Council will select a maximum of five (5) Outstanding Researchers from the nominees. The Research Council will provide this information to the Vice President for Research for consideration.

The faculty member chosen for this award will be honored at the Distinguished Faculty Awards reception as the Distinguished Researcher and will be given an award of $3,000.

Selection Criteria for the Distinguished Researcher Award

  • Significance/impact of the research, scholarship, creative activities in relation to the frontiers of knowledge in that field.
  • Publication of research findings in peer reviewed national or international journals or juried/invitational show, exhibits, or performances. Include impact factors from the Hirsch index or Google Scholar if appropriate.
  • Excellence in basic or applied research as evidenced by invention disclosures, provisional patent applications, perfected patents, advisory positions in industry, or mentorship of successful students.
  • Evidence of extended, intentional development of the topic of research that resulted in a significant contribution.
  • Any other evidence of the outstanding nature of the research activity that may be relevant.
  • The review committees will consider the entire body of research conducted over a career, but the work conducted at ISU will be emphasized in the review.

download the nomination form

The Distinguished Researcher Award is part of our ongoing efforts to encourage excellence in research at ISU and honor those who have accomplished it.

Each year, an Idaho State University faculty member is selected for the ISU Distinguished Researcher Award for faculty members who have made significant contributions in research to the University and society.

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