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Ladia M Hernandez

Associate Professor of Instruction; Research Advisor - SoHE Honors Program
Department of Nutritional Sciences


Phone: 512-471-0890

Office Location

Postal Address
200 W 24TH ST
AUSTIN, TX 78712

Ph.D., Nutritional Sciences, Texas Woman's University, Houston, TX

M.S., Nutritional Sciences/Combined Dietetic Internship, Texas Woman's University, Houston, TX

B.S., Food and Nutrition, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX


Current Grants: 


National Cattleman’s Beef Association, A family-based intervention for promoting optimal infant feeding and development; PI: Elizabeth Widen (PI, University of Texas at Austin); Co-PIs: Ladia Hernandez, Nancy Hazen, Deborah Jacobvitz; 1/1/2020-8/31/2022.

Egg Nutrition Center, Mothers and careGivers Investing in Children (MAGIC) – A family-based intervention for promoting optimal infant feeding and development. PI: Elizabeth Widen (PI, University of Texas at Austin); Co-PIs: Ladia Hernandez, Nancy Hazen, Deborah Jacobvitz; 11/2/2020-5/2/2023.

Past Grants:

Dates: 10/1/17 – 9/30/19 

Title: Promoting positive parent feeding practices and healthy eating in young children: The unique role of grandparents, St. David’s Foundation Opportunity Grant

Investigators:  Deborah Jacobvitz, Nancy Hazen, Ladia Hernandez and Elizabeth Widen

Past Research Projects:

Title: Application of ergogenic aids to the prehabilitation of abdominal cancer patients undergoing surgery

Investigators: Hirofumi Tanaka, Declan Fleming, J Stuart Wolf, Jr., Dixie Stanforth, Philip R. Stanforth, Ladia Hernandez, Savannah Wooten, and Sten Stray-Gundersen

Exploring Health and Lifestyle in Firefighters

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of on-duty death among firefighters accounting for approximately 45% of on-duty fatalities. Work conditions and hazardous exposures, along with certain behaviors, such as diet, may increase a firefighters cardiovascular risk. Elevated lipids and prevalence rates of overweight and obesity among these firefighters provides evidence to support the implementation of a tailored wellness initiative to reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease development.  This study examines how firefighters perceived their health and lifestyle as well as their attitudes to nutritional and health assessments and intervention programs to reduce cardiovascular disease risk.

  • Wooten, SV, Fleming RYD, Wolf, JS, Stray-Gundersen, S, Bartholomew, JB, Mendoza, D., Stanforth PR, Stanforth, D, Hernandez, LM, Tanaka H. Prehabilitation program composed of blood flow restriction training and sports nutrition improves physical functions in abdominal cancer patients awaiting surgery. European Journal of Surgical Oncology, 2021, June 1; S0748-7983(21) online ahead of print. PMID 34092455
  • Zhu Y, Hernandez LM, Dong Y, Himes JH, Caulfield LE, Kerver JM, Arab L, Voss P, Hirschfeld S, Forman MR. Weight estimation among multi-racial/ethnic infants and children aged 0-5.9years in the USA: simple tools for critical measure. Public Health Nutrition, 2019 Jan;22(1):147-156. PMID: 30333072
  • Zhu Y, Hernandez LM, Mueller P, Dong Y, Forman MR. Predictive Models for Characterizing Disparities in Exclusive Breastfeeding Performance in a Multi-ethnic Population in the US. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 2016 Feb;20(2):398-407. PMID 26515468
  • Zhu Y, Hernandez LM, Dong Y, Himes JH, Hirschfeld S, Forman MR. Longer breastfeeding duration reduces the positive relationships among gestational weight gain, birthweight, and childhood anthropometrics. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2015 Jul;69(7);632-8. PMID 25680365.
  • Forman MR, Zhu Y, Hernandez LM, Himes JH, Dong Y, Danish RK, James KE, Caulfield LE, Kerver JM, Arab L, Voss P, Hale DE, Kanafani N, Hirschfeld S. Arm Span and Ulnar Length Are Reliable and Accurate Estimates of Recumbent Length and Height in a Multiethnic Population of Infants and Children under 6 Years of Age. Journal of Nutrition, 2014, 144(9): 1480-1487. PMID: 25031329.
  • Zhu Y, Hernandez LM, Mueller P, Dong Y, Forman MR. Data acquisition and preprocessing in studies on humans: what is not taught in statistics class? The American Statistician, 2013, 67(4):235-241. PMID:24511148.
  • Ying J, Rahbar MH, Hallman DM, Hernandez LM, Spitz MR, Forman MR, Gorlova OY. Associations between dietary intake of choline and betaine and lung cancer risk. PLoS ONE, 2013, 8(2).
  • Swartz MD, Peterson CB, Lupo PJ, Wu X, Forman MR, Spitz MR, Hernandez LM, Vannucci M, Shete S. Investigating multiple candidate genes and nutrients in the folate metabolism pathway to detect genetic and nutritional risk factors for lung cancer. PLoS ONE, 2013, 8(1).
  • Gorlova OY, Weng S-F, Hernandez L, Spitz MR, Forman MR. Dietary patterns affect lung cancer risk in never smokers. Nutrition and Cancer. 2011; 63(6):842-9. PMID: 21774612.
  • Zhao H, Lin J, Grossman HB, Hernandez LM, Dinney CP, Wu X. Dietary isothiocyanates, GSTM1, GSTT1, NAT2 polymorphisms and bladder cancer risk. International Journal of Cancer. 2007, May, 15; 120(10):2208-13. PMID: 17290402
  • Schabath MB, Spitz MR, Lerner SP, Pillow PC, Hernandez LM, Delclos GL, Grossman HB, Wu X. Case-control analysis of dietary folate and risk of bladder cancer. Nutrition and Cancer. 2005; 53(2):144-51. PMID: 16573375
  • Schabath MB, Hernandez LM, Pillow PP, Wu X, Spitz MR. Dietary phytoestrogens and lung cancer risk. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2005 Sep 28; 294(12):1493-504. PMID: 16189362 Recipient of the 2006 ADA Research Dietetic Practice Group's Annual Paper Award for Co-Authors.
  • Shi Q, Zhang Z, Li G, Pillow PC, Hernandez LM, Spitz MR, Wei Q. Polymorphisms of methionine synthase and methionine synthase reductase and risk of lung cancer: a case-control analysis. Pharmacogenetics and Genomics. 2005 Aug; 15(8):547-55. PMID: 16006998
  • Shi Q, Zhang Z, Li G, Pillow PC, Hernandez LM, Spitz MR, Wei Q. Sex differences in risk of lung cancer associated with methylene-tetrahydrofolate reductase polymorphisms. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention. 2005 Jun; 14(6):1477-84. PMID: 15941959
  • Schabath MB, Grossman HB, Delclos GL, Hernandez LM, Day RS, Davis BR, Lerner SP, Spitz MR, Wu X. Dietary carotenoids and genetic instability modify bladder cancer risk. Journal of Nutrition. 2004 Dec; 134(12): 3362-9. PMID: 15570038 Recipient of the 2005 ADA Research Dietetic Practice Group's Annual Paper Award for Co-Authors
  • Lin J, Spitz MR, Wang Y, Schabath MB, Gorlov IP, Hernandez LM, Pillow PC, Grossman HB, Wu X. Polymorphisms of folate metabolic genes and susceptibility to bladder cancer: a case-control study. 2004 Sep; 25(9):1639-47. PMID: 15117811

Undergraduate Courses:                                          

  • NTR 338W Issues in Nutrition and Health            
  • NTR 234L Lab in Foodservice Systems    
  • NTR 337 Nutritional Epidemiology                          
  • NTR 352 and 355 Individual Instruction
  • NTR 330 Nutrition Education and Counseling
  • NTR 245C Clinical Practice in Medical Nutrition Therapy I
  • UGS 303 Personalized Health Research

Undergraduate Seminar:

  • SoHE Honors Seminar

Graduate Course:

  • NTR 380K Study Design and Research Methods