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Bryant Keirns

Nutritional sciences doctoral student awarded prestigious fellowship

Friday, May 1, 2020

Bryant Keirns, an Oklahoma State University doctoral student in nutritional sciences, received the Mars, Inc. Predoctoral Fellowship. The $5,000 award is presented by the American Society for Nutrition Foundation.

Keirns’ research, titled “Postprandial Triglycerides for Sensitive Risk Screening in Normal-weight Obesity and Metabolically Healthy Obesity,” will study whether individuals are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

“The rise in triglycerides in the blood after consuming a high fat meal is an important cardiovascular disease risk factor,” Keirns said. “In some cases, it may be a more sensitive tool since it's an acute challenge to the body.”

Keirns will test blood triglyceride levels in two populations who may be at risk for cardiovascular disease but go undetected. Individuals with a high body mass index (BMI) who do not show symptoms of cardiovascular disease and individuals with a healthy BMI but increased midsection fat (a cardiovascular disease risk factor) will be fed a high-fat meal and have blood triglycerides monitored four hours after eating. 

Dr. Sam Emerson, Oklahoma State University assistant professor of nutritional sciences, has worked closely with Keirns’ as his academic advisor.

“This fellowship is a significant accomplishment,” Emerson said. “(Bryant’s) proposal was accepted as the top application out of presumably a very large number of submissions. In addition, this award will likely comprise a significant portion of his dissertation. Bryant is a very hard-working student and deserving of this grant. He put significant time into crafting a competitive and robust proposal, and I am pleased to see him receive the grant and be able to conduct the study.”

Keirns earned his master’s degree from OSU in nutritional sciences, conducting research on gluten sensitivity in modern and heirloom wheat varieties.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brittany Bowman | 405-744-9347 |

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