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Marissa Burgermaster, Ph.D.


Ph.D., Behavioral Nutrition
Columbia University


Marissa Burgermaster, Ph.D., M.A., is a behavioral nutrition scientist. She is joint-appointed in The University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Nutritional Sciences in the College of Natural Sciences and the Department of Population Health at Dell Medical School. Her research applies biomedical informatics methods to improve nutrition and community health.

The goal of this research program is to leverage patient-generated data to personalize nutrition interventions to prevent and manage chronic disease, with a special focus on groups for whom new technologies are not typically developed. Burgermaster’s current research on personalizing diet goal-setting in primary care encounters is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. As principal investigator of this project, she leads an interdisciplinary team of health information technology, user experience, behavioral nutrition and clinician researchers to develop and test software to be deployed in real-world clinics.

Previously, she held an early career award from the New York Academy of Sciences Nutrition Program to support her work developing methods for psychosocial-behavioral phenotyping, a method she developed to support “Precision Behavioral Nutrition.” Burgermaster is a director at large on the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior’s board of directors.

Prior to joining the faculty at UT, Burgermaster completed a postdoctoral fellowship in biomedical informatics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, where she conducted research on technologies for diabetes management among underserved New Yorkers and completed master’s in biomedical informatics.

She led a sequential multiple assignment randomized trial of Platano, a motivationally tailored app for underserved patients with diabetes, and was also the behavioral nutrition lead for the CUIMC-based team that developed “Taming Type 2 Diabetes Together,” a voice application for personalized nutrition and diabetes self-management that was a finalist in the 2017 Alexa Diabetes Challenge and the 2017 World Cup of Voice Tech in Diabetes.

Burgermaster holds a Ph.D. in behavioral nutrition from Columbia University, where her research at Teachers College’s Tisch Center for Food, Education and Policy focused on improving the evaluation of school-based childhood obesity prevention interventions. Burgermaster holds an M.S. in nutrition and food science from Montclair State University and an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from William & Mary. She previously had a career as a teacher and school administrator.

Professional Affiliations
  • Society for Nutrition Education & Behavior
    Board of Directors, 2020-2023; Chair, Digital Technology in Nutrition Education & Behavior Division, 2018-19
  • American Medical Informatics Association
  • American Society for Nutrition
  • Society of Behavioral Medicine
    Program Committee, 2019
  • Computing Community Collaborative Sociotechnical Interventions for Health Disparity Reduction Working Group
Awards & Honors
  • 16th NIH Matilda White Riley Behavioral & Social Sciences Honors Early Stage Investigator Paper Award
    National Institutes of Health, 2023
  • Outstanding Faculty Researcher of the Year, Department of Population Health
    Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, 2020