Heather Rasmussen



Dr. Rasmussen's experience as both a researcher and registered dietitian nutritionist has centered on how dietary intake impacts the gastrointestinal tract, including gut microbiota and intestinal permeability. Not only is dietary intake central to the health of the gastrointestinal tract, but also to the health of the entire individual; through dietary modulation of gut microbiota, microbial metabolites, and intestinal permeability, identification of additional ways to improve overall health can occur. Specifically, she is interested in how supplements such as prebiotics can modify both gastrointestinal symptoms and markers of intestinal health in humans.

As Dietetic Internship Director, she coordinates all aspects of the dietetic internship, including working with preceptors and ensuring students the training and experiences needed to become registered dietitian nutritionists.

She believes that a thorough understanding of the mechanisms behind our dietary recommendations is important for every student to understand and is passionate about understanding and disseminating these mechanisms to future nutrition professionals. She is also committed to providing students with a nurturing environment in which to learn, both in the classroom and research setting, and strive to make every student experience positive and successful.

Featured Publications

Engen PA, Zaferiou A, Rasmussen HE, Naqib A, Green SJ, Fogg LF, Forsyth CB, Raeisi S, Hamaker B, Keshavarzian A. Single-Arm, Non-randomized, Time Series, Single-Subject Study of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Multiple Sclerosis. 2020 Sep;11:978. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.00978

Cantu-Jungles TM, Rasmussen HE, Hamaker BR. Potential of prebiotic butyrogenic fibers in Parkinson’s disease. Front Neurology. 2019 June;10:663. DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00663

Mahdavinia M, Rasmussen HE, Botha M, Tran TDB, Van den Berg JP, Sodergren E, Davis E, Engen K, Gray C, Lunjani N, Hlela C, Preite N, Basera W, Hobane, L, Watkins A, Engen P, Mankahla A, Gaunt B, Thomas F, Tobin M, Landay A, Weinstock G, Keshavarzian A, Levin, ME. Effects of diet on the childhood gut microbiome and its implications for atopic dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2019 April;143 (4):1636-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2018.11.034

Krumbeck J, Rasmussen HE, Hutkins R, Clark J, Shawron K, Keshavarzian A, Walter J. Microbiome Probiotic Bifidobacterium Strains and Galactooligosaccharides Improve Intestinal Barrier Function in Obese Adults but Show No Synergism When Used Together as Synbiotics. Microbiome. 2018 June;6:121. DOI: 10.1186/s40168-018-0494-4

Rasmussen HE, Hamaker B. Prebiotics and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Gastroenterol Clin N Am. 2017 Dec;46(4):783-95. PMID: 2917352. DOI: 10.1016/j.gtc.2017.08.004