Katie Kavanagh, PhD, RDN, LDN

Dr. Kavanagh is an Associate Professor in Public Health Nutrition and Director of the THRIVE component of the ICAN Lab at The University of Tennessee. Her research explores the behavioral aspects of infant feeding during the first year of life and the development of interventions to modify those behaviors that fall outside of current infant-feeding recommendations. Research projects focus on both breastfeeding and formula-feeding families. Dr. Kavanagh's lab includes both graduate and undergraduate students.

Interested in current projects?

Check out our                  

Interested in previous work?

Check out our               

Scroll down to see how to get involved and see where we are presenting our work next...

ICAN-THRIVE lab members 2018-2019

Information for Potential Students

NUTR 493 Opportunity!

We are looking for 2 UTK students who can assist us with transcribing interviews with mothers! If interested, review the NUTR 493 syllabus, & then complete & turn in this application

Undergraduate students: Dr. Kavanagh generally accepts 1-2 undergraduates a semester, via the NUTR 493 credit mechanism. Please review her NUTR 493 syllabus to learn more about this opportunity.


If you meet the requirements for Dr. Kavanagh's NUTR 493 opportunity, and are interested in applying for an opening, please complete this application and email it to Dr. Kavanagh to set up an interview. For planning purposes, it would be best to complete this process at least 4 weeks prior to the start of the semester you are interested in coming on board.

Graduate students: Potential MS or PhD students should review the entire website and get to know what current and former students have done or are currently doing. In addition, you should review our                            page, to get a sense of Dr. Kavanagh's overall research agenda. You should also check out                                           as well as the Graduate Nutrition Program at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. If you are interested in what we are doing, be sure to reach out to Dr. Kavanagh to discuss our program in greater detail.

Recent, Current, and Upcoming Events

~ ​Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement ~

April 17 – 21, 2017


Becca Zuchowski presented preliminary results of her undergraduate research project, "Maternal and infant factors associated with spit-up estimation accuracy", on April 17th, 2017.

~ Experimental Biology Annual Meeting ~
April 22-26, 2017
Dabney Powell presented results of her thesis project, "Associations between breastfeeding intention and accurate body size estimation among female college students", in Chicago, on April 23rd, 2017.

Mariana Rendon presented results of her thesis project, "Breastfeeding knowledge, attitudes, prior exposure and intention of a sample of undergraduate students in Honduras", in Chicago, on April 23rd, 2017.

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