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Debra K. Sullivan, Ph.D., RD

Debra Sullivan portrait
Department Chair, Dietetics and Nutrition

Midwest Dairy Endowed Professor of Clinical Nutrition, Dietetics and Nutrition

Professional Background

Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., RD, is chair of the KU Department of Dietetics and Nutrition at KU Medical Center and Midwest Dairy Endowed Professor of Clinical Nutrition.

She received both her undergraduate and master’s degrees in nutrition and medical dietetics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Sullivan earned her doctorate in nutritional sciences from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and worked clinically as a registered dietitian while completing her doctorate. She has more than 10 years of experience as a clinical dietitian.



Sullivan is currently studying the measurement of dietary intake and behavior modification interventions in a variety of settings. Her early research focused on prevention of obesity in children as well as weight management in adults.

She continues her weight management investigations but has expanded to research to other areas. In addition, Sullivan is exploring how dietary intake influences the aging brain as well as pain management after surgery. Her research trials continue in all of these areas.