July 18, 2024
overcast clouds Clouds 69 °F

Associate professor recognized by Sigma Xi for research, service

Lina Begdache named a full member of the Scientific Research Honor Society

Lina Begdache, PhD '08, is an associate professor in Decker College's Division of Health and Wellness Studies. Lina Begdache, PhD '08, is an associate professor in Decker College's Division of Health and Wellness Studies.
Lina Begdache, PhD '08, is an associate professor in Decker College's Division of Health and Wellness Studies. Image Credit: Jonathan Cohen.

Earlier this month, Lina Begdache, associate professor of health and wellness studies at Binghamton University’s Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences, was elected to full membership in Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society, one of the oldest and largest scientific organizations in the world.

Begdache is a registered dietitian-nutritionist, certified nutrition specialist-scholar and a fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She has a background in nutrition sciences, dietetics and cell and molecular biology, with a concentration in neurosciences. She joined Binghamton University in 2003.

Her research focuses on nutrition at the cellular and genetic level, with a particular interest in the brain. Her work investigates the links between nutrition and well-being, examining nutritional requirements specific to gender and age and introducing lifestyle cofactors like sleep and exercise habits, substance use and even different days of the week. Begdache aggregates data from these projects to create a comprehensive model of diet, the brain, nutritional optimization and mental health.

“We tend to think about mental health as part of the chemistry in the brain,” Begdache said. “But the chemicals are fed by ingredients, and these ingredients come from the diet. So, it’s reasonable to think that our mental health, like our physical health, is impacted by diet; that our brains — just like our hearts, kidneys and livers — can be affected by what we put in our bodies.”

Begdache earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from the American University of Beirut in her home country of Lebanon before coming to the U.S. and earning a master’s degree in nutrition sciences from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She also holds a PhD in cell and molecular biology from Binghamton.

Author of dozens of publications in peer-reviewed and professional journals, as well as abstracts and posters at national and international conferences, Begdache is the recipient of several University and professional awards. In addition, she founded and serves as the faculty mentor for two Binghamton student teams, both of which allow undergraduate students in the Division of Health and Wellness Studies to conduct research. The Binghamton Student-Managed Adderall Research Team (B-SMART) focuses on investigating the harmful effects of Adderall abuse by college students, and the Binghamton Mentors for the Interdisciplinary Nutrition and Distress Study (B-MINDS) researches the connection between diet and mental health and educates the campus and surrounding community about this link.

Begdache said she was honored by her inclusion in Sigma Xi, which is bestowed in recognition of her scholarly achievements and contributions to advancing knowledge in her field.

“Sigma Xi membership is by nomination only, and the email I received that I had been nominated for full membership was a big surprise,” she said. “Sigma Xi nomination is highly regarded, and I am honored and humbled to have been granted this recognition. Being recognized as a contributor to the scientific community, not only in the U.S. but as an international contributor, is an amazing honor, which is the drive to continue with this mission in my professional life.”

About Sigma Xi

Sigma Xi was founded by Cornell University engineering students in 1886. The organization’s membership spans the disciplines of science and technology and has included more than 200 Nobel laureates, such as Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi and Linus Pauling. Sigma Xi chapters can be found at colleges and universities, government laboratories and industry research centers worldwide.

The society is an international, multidisciplinary community of science, technology, engineering and mathematics professionals dedicated to research excellence, promoting public engagement with science and fostering the next generation of researchers. Sigma Xi offers members professional development training, leadership opportunities and access to career development resources.