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Fats; burger fat versus avocado fat

Why the Fat You Eat Matters

Greg Shearer, the 2021 recipient of the Pauline Schmitt Russell Distinguished Research Achievement Award, presented "Why the fat you eat matters: The fats we eat affect how our body responds to disease" at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12. 2022.

Shearer addressed two findings from his research: first, it is not a single fat that is used to generate regulatory signals, and second, that signals are transported throughout the body and can change functions in distant areas.

“Everyone has heard advice on how much fat to eat, and what kinds of fat to eat. Why is it such an issue? Our research sheds light on how fats help us regulate basic bodily functions, from our immune responses to how our hearts work to how our brains work.” 

Greg Shearer, professor of nutritional sciences

Greg Shearer

About the presenter

Greg Shearer earned his Ph.D. in human physiology from UC Davis in 2000, studying the fat metabolism in kidney disease. In 2001, he began postdoctoral work at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and in 2007 took a position as a research scientist at Sanford Research in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and the Department of Internal Medicine. In 2013 he came to Penn State’s Department of Nutrition. His career has focused on how fats, especially polyunsaturated fats, are used to regulate our body’s response to stressors.

Each year, the Schmitt Russell Research Lecture is presented by the most recent recipient of the Pauline Schmitt Russell Distinguished Research Achievement Award, recognizing the contributions of a distinguished faculty member whose career-long research has had a profound impact on a specific field of study.