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Hull Body Composition Laboratory Team

Holly Hull portraitPrimary Investigator

Holly Hull, Ph.D.

Hull’s long-term research goal is to understand interventions to enhance maternal and fetal health during pregnancy. This is intended to provide optimal well-being for mother and baby. Recently, she has focused primarily on the prevention of excessive gestational weight gain and improving baby body composition from a mother experiencing excessive gestational weight gain.

Previous research has made Hull an expert in body composition assessment, interventions to improve the health of the mother during pregnancy, and assessing how the time period surrounding pregnancy influences the health of mother and baby.

She has published numerous research articles and spoken widely at many invited presentations on a variety of topics. Her research has been funded by the NIDDK, NHLBI, NCCAM, NCI, and NICHD. Learn more about Hull from her faculty bio page.


Lab Team Members


photo of Sarah HortonSarah Horton, M.S., RD
Research Associate

Horton obtained her master's degree in dietetics and nutrition from the University of Kansas in May 2019. During her time in the program, Horton worked closely with Hull to study the impact of DHA supplementation on infant body composition.

Following graduation, Horton continues to work with Hull as a research coordinator for the ADORE GAINS Study.


photo of Laura Castro de SantiagoLaura Castro de Santiago
Research Associate

Castro de Santiago obtained her bachelor's degree in health science and minored in Spanish and public health at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in May 2016.

During her career, she has worked with underserved populations, with specific focus on mother and baby health and wellness.

Castro de Santiago currently works with Hull on the ADORE GAINS study as a research associate. Her work in the lab includes but is not limited to working with Latinx populations in the study.


photo of Amy HermanAmy Herman, M.S., RD
Medical Nutrition Science Doctoral Student

Herman received her undergraduate degree in education and human sciences from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her master's degree in dietetics and nutrition from the University of Kansas.

After graduation, Herman worked as a research coordinator for Hull and also started doctoral study at KU in fall 2018.

She is interested in studying the microbiome as a possible mechanism for dietary intervention effects during pregnancy and early infancy.


photo of Lauren Hand

Lauren Hand, M.S., RD
Medical Nutrition Science Doctoral Student

Hand earned her master's degree in dietetics and nutrition from the University of Kansas in May 2015. Her graduate work included a fellowship and certificate in dietetics in integrative medicine along with research in specialized immunonutrition surrounding cystectomy in bladder cancer patients.

Currently, Hand is pursuing her doctorate in medical nutrition science under the mentorship of Hull with research interests in nutritional influences on prenatal and early life development.


photo of Anna Hoover

Anna Hoover, RD
Graduate Research Assistant

Currently working on the GAINS study in Hull’s laboratory, Hoover graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor's degree in food science and human nutrition and a minor in chemistry in 2018. Hoover completed her dietetic internship at the University of Kansas Medical Center in May 2019, and is now a registered dietitian.

She plans to complete her master's degree in dietetics and nutrition from KU in May 2020. She is working with Hull on her thesis which explores the impact of a single goal versus a multi-goal intervention on diet quality during pregnancy.

School of Health Professions

Dietetics and Nutrition
KU Medical Center
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mailstop 4013
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-5355 • 711 TTY