Professional Development and Research

Professional Development and Membership Teams

Alefiya Faizullabhoy, MBA, MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, FAND (Webinar Chair) has more than 14 years of experience as a Registered Dietitian and has been a Certified Diabetes Educator since the past 10 years. Alefiya has experience in the pediatric as also the pregnancy population. Currently, she works in a busy Endocrinology outpatient practice in a large New York based Health system. Her work with adults is focused on weight management in patients with pre diabetes and diabetes. Alefiya is passionate about promoting healthy food choices and disease prevention. She also teaches nutrition and diabetes wellness classes, precepts dietetic interns and allied health professionals interested in obtaining their CDE credentials. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling and dabbling in home renovation projects.

Manju Karkare, MS, RDN, LDN, CLT, FAND (Webinar Co-Chair) Manju Karkare is President/CEO of Nutritionally Yours LLC, a private practice providing individualized integrative and functional nutrition counseling for prevention and wellness, weight management, and gut health as well as culinary nutrition for corporate wellness. A nationally recognized leader who has served at state and national levels, she currently serves as Chair of the Legislative & Public Policy Committee. She is a graduate of SNDT University, Pune, India and she earned her Master of Science in Nutrition from the University of Kentucky.

Shelly Summar, MSEd, RD, CD (Resources Co-Coordinator) serves as the manager of Weighing In, a program at Children’s Mercy Kansas City, working to lead community collaboration to support healthy lifestyles. She has over 25 years of experience treating children and families for nutrition related issues. She received her undergraduate degree in Nutritional Sciences from Kansas State University and her Masters in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kansas. She also completed a Certificate of Training in Childhood & Adol Weight Management.

Julia Axelbaum, RD, CSOWN (Resources Coordinator) is a Registered Dietitian board-certified in obesity and weight management, is the Clinical Nutrition Director at Form Health, a telehealth obesity medicine startup. She studied Nutrition at New York University and completed clinical training at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Julia holds a Certificate of Training in Obesity Interventions and received the Weight Management Excellence in Emerging Practice Award in 2022. Her focus is on expanding access to obesity treatment, raising awareness of obesity as a complex medical condition, and empowering patients to control emotional eating and improve their relationship with food.


Research Team

 Gwendoline Balto, (Research Briefs Editor) info coming soon!

Courtney Luecking, PhD, MPH, RDN (Newsletter CPEU Editor) is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist for Health and Nutrition at the University of Kentucky. Her portfolio of work aims to improve population health and health equity in Kentucky through facilitating cross-sector partnerships with Cooperative Extension and development, implementation, and evaluation of multi-level interventions that elevate the quality of nutrition and feeding environments during the early childhood period. Her previous work experiences span clinical, community, and research settings.

Jacob T. Mey, PhD, RD (Newsletter Assistant CPEU Editor) Jake is an Assistant Professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He runs the Mitochondrial Energetics and Nutrient Utilization (MENU) Lab, where he uses clinical-translational research approaches to understand how diet (our “MENU”) affects the way cells use energy and how that in turn impacts human health and disease. His driving passion is to elevate the dietetic profession and to expand the reach of evidence-based nutrition information to the public.