Spees 825x990


Associate Professor 

Office: 306 Atwell Hall
Lab: 170 Atwell Hall
453 W. 10th Ave.
Columbus, Ohio 43210

Phone: (614) 266-9234
Email: spees.11@osu.edu

Primary Professional Areas of Interest

  • Biobehavioral nutrition interventions targeting high-risk populations
  • Nutritional genomics and biomarkers of exposure
  • Modifiable lifestyle behaviors in cancer prevention, treatment, and survivorship
  • Health disparities and chronic disease

Research Focus

Dr. Colleen Spees serves as an Associate Professor in the Division of Medical Dietetics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She also holds joint academic appointments in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and the College of Education and Human Ecology (EHE). In addition, she is a member of OSU’s prestigious Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research laboratory focuses on evaluating biomarkers of biobehavorial interventions in vulnerable populations. Her currently funded projects include assessing modifiable lifestyle behaviors associated with low-resource families and cancer survivors at the Hope Gardens and testing the impact of nutritional counseling and medically-tailored meals for patients receiving lung cancer therapy.

Dr. Spees is co-author of two nutrition textbooks, Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, executive member the Academy’s National Nutrition Access and Cancer Health Outcomes Committee, recipient of the Distinguished Practice Award, Distinguished Service Award, and 3-time winner of the Award for Excellence in Oncology Nutrition Research. In 2020, she was appointed to the American Cancer Society (ACS) Scientific Guideline Panel for Dietary and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention. She is currently serving on the ACS Scientific Guideline Panel for Cancer Survivorship.  

Recent Research

Spees CK, Braun A, Hill E, Grainger E, Portner J, Young G, Chitchumroonchokchai C, Kleinhenz M, Clinton SK. Impact of a Tailored Nutrition and Lifestyle Intervention for Overweight Cancer Survivors on Dietary Patterns, Physical Activity, Quality of Life, and Cardiometabolic Profiles. J Onc. 2019 Nov; 2019. doi:10.1155/2019/1503195. PMID: 31871455.

Rock C, Thomson C, Gansler T, Gapstur S, McCullough M, Patel A, Andrews K, Bandera E, Spees C, Robien K, Hartman S, Sullivan K, Grant B, Hamilton K, Kushi LH, Caan B, Kibbe D, Donze Black J, Weidt T, McMahon C, Sloan K, Doyle C. American Cancer Society Guideline for Diet and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2020 July; 70(4):245-271. doi:10.3322/caac.21591. PMID: 32515498. 

Trujillo E, Claghorn K, Dixon S, Hill E, Braun A, Lipinski E, Platek ME, Vergo M, Spees, CK. Inadequate Nutrition Coverage in Outpatient Cancer Centers: Results of a National Survey. J Onc. 2019 Nov; 3019. doi:10.1155/2019/1503195. PMID: 31885583.

Anderson CAM, Thorndike AN, Lichtenstein AH, Van Horn L, Kris-Etherton PM, Foraker R, Spees C. Innovation to create a healthy and sustainable food system: a science advisory from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2019 Apr; 139:e000–e000. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000686. PMID: 31030543.

Recent Presentations

Tele-Motivational Interviewing for Cancer Survivors: Feasibility, Preliminary Efficacy, and Lessons Learned. Presented at: Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) National Webinar; October 2019.

Recognizing Malnutrition and Recommendations for Interventions. Presented at: 24th National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Nursing Program: Advancing Oncology Nursing; Orlando, FL, United States. March 2019. 

Does DNA = Destiny? Deciphering Evidence-Based Guidelines for Diet and Physical Activity. 2016 International Li-Fraumeni Syndrome Conference and 3rd Annual LiFE Consortium and LFS Association Conference. Columbus, OH. Invited Platform Presenter. Jun 2016. 

Seeds of Hope: Garden-Based Interventions Improve Health Outcomes for Cancer Survivors. Presented at: 2018 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Exhibition (FNCE); Washington, DC, United States. October 2018. 

Courses Taught

  • Nutritional Genomics (MEDDIET 6900)
  • Evidence-based Practice (MEDDIET 6300)
  • Foundations of Research and Application (MEDDIET 6001/6002/6003)
  • Service-Learning in Vulnerable Communities (HTHRHSC 2300)


  • 1987: B.S., Allied Medical Professions and Medical Dietetics, The Ohio State University.
  • 1989: M.Ed., Health Promotion and Exercise Science, Vanderbilt University.
  • 2011: Ph.D., Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. The Ohio State University.
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