Amanda Bries plans to work as a translational or clinical scientist after she earns her Ph.D. in nutritional sciences. When she isn’t studying or researching, Amanda enjoys refurbishing furniture, creating wood burn art, and attending concerts.
Get to know Amanda
- Program: Interdepartmental graduate program in nutritional sciences
- Class: Second-year Ph.D. student (fourth year as a graduate student)
- Hometown: Manchester, Iowa (Delaware County)
- Career goal: Translational or clinical scientist
- Clubs/activities: Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS)
- Awards/honors: Presidential graduate student scholar, GPSS Leadership Award recipient
- Favorite place on campus: West wing of the Memorial Union, overlooking Lake LaVerne
- Most influential ISU mentor: Too many to name
- Favorite class: MICRO 553, Pathogenic Microorganisms
- Why Iowa State: Strong mentorships, low cost of living, unique professional opportunities
Amanda Bries continues her adventure with nutrition research
After earning her bachelor’s degree in dietetics in 2016 and her master’s in nutritional sciences with an emphasis in biochemical and molecular nutrition in 2017, both from Iowa State University, Amanda Bries decided that she wasn’t done learning quite yet.
Amanda has always pursued knowledge. She said she’s been asking the “why” question from a young age, and that curiosity developed into a passion for research as she went through school and earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees.
“I knew that I loved research and needed to pursue graduate school because I wanted to become a scientist,” she said. “At first, I wasn’t sure of all of the doors research would open, but as I became more involved, I was confident in my abilities to continue.”
Amanda’s most recent research is on nutrition intervention strategies for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This study focuses on the relationship between one-carbon metabolism and PCOS so that one day, this research may address infertility and alleviate common symptoms in women with PCOS.
Presenting research with Iowa State has provided Amanda with many travel opportunities across the U.S. as well as overseas.
A College of Human Sciences study abroad scholarship – the M. Catherine Welsh Fund – allowed her to travel abroad while researching iron deficiency anemia. Her favorite part of the trip was connecting with big names in the research field.
“When you’re reading research articles, you’re reading [about] all these profound scientists, but you don’t actually get to meet and engage with them,” Amanda said. “I was given the rare opportunity to travel overseas and interact with these scientists that I had been reading about — that I had referenced in my thesis. It was an amazing opportunity to build connections and talk about the research that our group was doing.”
Amanda’s driving desire to learn has led her to new discoveries throughout her academic career. The experiences she sought out and gathered during her time at Iowa State continually prepare her as she launches into a career in research.
“I found my own motivation and I sought out opportunities for myself,” Amanda said. “Keep knocking on doors and get that experience. If the first go-around isn’t a fit for you, keep going to see what is.”Student Spotlights