306 Atwell Hall
453 W. 10th Ave.
Columbus, Ohio 43210

Phone: (614) 688-4651
Email: spees.11@osu.edu

Primary Professional Areas of Interest

  • Nutritional genomics 
  • Cancer prevention and survivorship
  • Health promotion and personalized medicine
  • Food insecurity and chronic disease

Research Focus

Dr. Colleen Spees serves as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Medical Dietetics & Health Sciences at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Her primary focus of research involves targeting interventions aimed at providing optimal nutrition for cancer prevention and survivorship in disparate populations. In this capacity, Dr. Spees has initiated multiple studies in collaboration with food pantries and federally qualified health centers serving our most vulnerable.

In addition, Dr. Spees is PI of OSU’s Food Innovation Center’s Hunger.FOOD.Health Initiative. Her team includes experts in food and crop science, social work, public health, nutrition, medicine, policy and business that seek to improve access to culturally appropriate, health-promoting and functional foods by impacting food availability, food access, food quality, and food use. 

Dr. Spees is also a member of OSU’s prestigious Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her cancer laboratory focuses on evaluating biomarkers of dietary interventions in human carcinogenesis. Her current projects include assessing modifiable lifestyle behaviors associated with cancer survivorship at the Garden of Hope. Dr. Spees also authored and teaches OSU’s first Nutritional Genomics Graduate Course in the College of Medicine.

Recent Research

Spees CK, Hill E, White S, Grainger E, Kleinhenz M, Buell J, Weiss R, Gildersleeve R, Clinton SK. Feasibility, Preliminary Efficacy, and Lessons Learned from a Garden-Based Lifestyle Intervention for Cancer Survivors. Cancer Control. In press.

Spees CK, Wexler RK, Bittoni MA, Panchal AR, Taylor CA. Characterization of Low Income Adults Use of Emergency Department Services. Health Behavior and Policy Review. 2015;2(4):251-259.

Spees CK, Alwood A, Wolf KN, Rusnak S, Taylor CA. Poor Adherence to Preventive Healthcare and Cancer Screening Guidelines Among Food Pantry Clients. Hunger Environ Nutr. doi: 10.1080/19320248.2015.1095143. In press.

Recent Presentations

2016 International Li-Fraumeni Syndrome Conference and 3rd Annual LiFE Consortium and LFS Association Conference. Does DNA = Destiny? Deciphering evidence-based guidelines for diet and physical activity. Columbus, OH. Invited presenter. Jun 2016. 

Research that Matters: Food Insecurity, Community Engagement and Impact. The New Face of Food Insecurity. Food Security and Sustainability Institute. University of South Florida, College of Public Health, Tampa FL. Invited Keynote. Apr 2016. 

National Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE), Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Nutrition and Cancer: From Genotype to Phenotype. Houston, TX. Invited Keynote. Oct 2013.

Courses Taught

  • Advanced Human Nutrition and Metabolism (Med Diet 3100)
  • Case Studies in Health Sciences (Health Sci 5350)
  • Evidence-based Practice (Med Diet 6300)
  • Nutritional Genomics (MD 6900)


  • 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.
My Research Links

My Research Links

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