What do we do?
The Nutritional Science Journal Club is dedicated to helping students understand how to read, analyze, critique and apply the scientific literature in the field of nutrition. While we will focus primarily on topics related to nutrition, the skills taught and practiced by members of the NSJC are foundational to every healthcare profession setting. Skills learned with the NSJC will help members make more informed, evidence-based healthcare decisions.
How do we do it?
In line with Texas A&M Universities' core values, members of the NSJC hold themselves to a higher standard than most when it comes to understanding research and helping others make informed decisions based on the nutrition literature. Using contemporary
nutrition articles, together we will analyze, discuss and openly critique articles according to appraisal criteria set forth by the Journal of the American Medical Association (or JAMA) and the Critical Appraisal Skills Program (or CASP). We will appraise various study designs (e.g. laboratory-based animal studies, randomized clinical trials, cohort studies, and case-control studies) with a primary focus on reading and appraising randomized controlled trials, given they reflect the totality of evidence for a given clinical or public health question. The main questions we aim to answer with every study are these:
1. Are there risk of bias issues present in the study?
2. What were the results of the study and are they important?
3. How can we apply the best available evidence based on client values and preferences?
The results of our discussions can be found on our page under the Critical Appraisal Bank listed at the top of our page.
The Texas A&M Nutritional Science Journal Club was formed by a group of students who all met and quickly bonded over their passion for different areas within the field of nutrition. Allied to our interest in helping others in their health journeys, our interests range across a variety of health issues and fields in relation to nutrition exposures and intervention.
Our aim is to grow and develop in scientific nutrition literacy by engaging in a team effort to better understand research design, epidemiological concepts and critical appraisal knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors. We will practice the skills necessary to critically think within the professional field of nutritional science and encourage our fellow peers and students to do the same.
Abby Armand, NSJC Co-Founder
Abby Armand was born in Louisiana but grew up in Katy, Texas. Despite being an LSU fan, after visiting Texas A&M on her older sister's college tour, she was determined to be an Aggie! Following the loss of a close relative Abby felt a strong pull to the medical field, specifically nutrition and pharmacy. In order to gain a well rounded background and provide the best possible care for her future patients, she decided to pursue Bachelors of Science in General Nutrition along side her pre-pharmacy coursework. After encouraged by both advisors and past professors to gain research experience, she asked Dr. Bradley Johnston for an opportunity to work under him, to which he suggested a Nutritional Sciences Journal Club.
Elisabeth White is originally from Columbus, Indiana but grew up in an Aggie home. Growing up, she dreamt of going to Texas A&M University. Her journey with nutrition began as a self-conscious middle schooler who found comfort and confidence through playing sports. During her seven years as an athlete, Elisabeth grew even more passionate about using nutrients and physical activity in balance with each other to promote individual health. Now, as a junior student, Elisabeth is part of the Texas A&M Didactic Program in Dietetics Track (DPD) and is aspiring to become a registered dietitian. Her plan is to eventually work with other athletes in sports and performance nutrition. She also loves scientific research, so when approached about helping found the NSJC, she jumped at the opportunity.
Lauren Rushing, NSJC Co-Founder
Lauren Rushing is from Conroe, Texas. At first, she wanted to go to The University of Houston but after visiting Texas A&M for a football game, she decided that A&M was the school she truly wanted to be a part of. She loved the traditions and sense of unity that came with being an aggie. After a couple of years at a community college, she decided to apply as a nutrition major at Texas A&M. Originally, she wanted to major in nutrition and go to dental school but after taking a few nutrition courses, she realized she wanted to become a dietitian. After taking a nutrition course that focused on nutrition through all the stages of life she decided she wanted to specialize in neonatal dietetics. It was recommended to her that she gain some research experience by an advisor and when she found out that she could do research through the NSJC, she decided this was a great opportunity for her.
Nirjhar Ruth Ghosh, Graduate Student Representative & Mentor
Nirjhar Ruth Ghosh is a native of Bangladesh. She came to the U.S. in 2018 to complete her master's degree in Medical Dietetics from Saint Louis University. After graduation, she worked with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) for 10 months as a Nutritionist. She then chose to pursue her passion for research and came to Texas A&M to join Dr. Bradley Johnston's lab as a Ph.D. student. She is a second year Ph.D. student in the applied nutrition track, with the main focus on evidence-based practice and systematic review methodology. Her aim is to become an applied research methodologist and to teach and promote evidence-based practice among nutrition trainees and professionals. She became involved with NSJC because it is an opportunity to work with nutrition students to help improve their critical appraisal and evidence to decision-making skills!
By joining the NSJC, students will gain practical skills in critical thinking and literature appraisal. They will be empowered to learn more about public health nutrition and how they can make an impact on future generations. Through their knowledge and skills, students will be able to read and interpret scientific literature at a more advanced level. Students will gain experience in evidence-based practice and research design and will be presented with the opportunity to network with other students as well as Texas A&M University faculty.