Heather L. Hutchins-Wiese PhD, RD

A photo of Heather Hutchins-Wiese


Health Sciences

308 Marshall


[email protected]


Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Connecticut Health Center, Center on Aging

Ph.D. Purdue University 

M.S. University of Connecticut 

B.S. University of Connecticut


Dr. Hutchins-Wiese started at EMU in 2012 after a research fellowship at the University of Connecticut Health Center, Center on Aging where she studied the impact of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the Mediterranean diet on health outcomes in postmenopausal women. Since joining EMU she has conducted community-based research with the local Meals on Wheels to identify the most at risk using frailty and nutritional assessment.  Additionally, she developed and pilot tested a Mediterranean diet and lifestyle assessment tool for older adults to better understand Mediterranean diet and lifestyle characteristics in older adults. 

Overall, Dr. Hutchins-Wiese is interested in examining the effect of diet and dietary patterns on the maintenance of independence with advancing age. She is particularly interested in addressing dietary modulators of conditions that can accelerate functional declines and loss of independence such as osteoporosis, frailty, osteoarthritis, hip fracture, and diabetes. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the impact of a modulated fatty acid intake (i.e., reduced saturated fat and increased monounsaturated and/or n-3 polyunsaturated fat) within the context of a nutrient-rich diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, are of particular interest. She enjoys working with mid-life and older adult populations to promote their well-being.

Dr. Hutchins-Wiese mentors undergraduate and graduate students to complete research projects which have resulted in presentations at state and national professional meetings. She is also a faculty affiliate in the Aging Studies program and has developed interprofessional collaborations with faculty from a variety of disciplines. 

Her research interests include:   

  • Dietary and lifestyle interventions



Book Chapter:

Hutchins-Wiese HL. Nutrition for Women. In: Alexander IM, Johnson-Mallard V, Kostas-Polston EA, Fogel CI, Woods NF, editors. Women’s Health Care in Advanced Practice Nursing, Second Ed. New York. Springer Publishing Company; 2017. pp244- 276. 


Select Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles: 

Angastinioti E, Zakrajsek AG, Hutchins-Wiese HL. An Exploratory Study Examining Mediterranean Diet Perceptions, Eating Practices, and Food Choice of Emerging Adults from Cyprus and the United States. World Nutrition. 2020 Dec;11(4):22-43.

Hutchins-Wiese HL, Walsh, SE. Frailty and nutrition risk screening in home-delivered meal clients. Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics. 2020 April-Jun;39(2):114-130.Epub 2020 Feb 3.

Bihuniak J, Ramos A, Huedo-Medina T, Kleppinger A, Hutchins-Wiese H, Kerstetter J, Kenny AM. Adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet and its impact on cardiovascular risk factors in postmenopausal women. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016 Nov;116(11):1767-1775. 

Hutchins-Wiese HL, Picho K, Watkins BA, Yong L, Tannenbaum S, Claffey K, Kenny AM. High dose eicosapenatenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid supplementation reduces bone resorption in postmenopausal women on aromatase inhibitors: a pilot study. Nutr Cancer. 2014;66(1):68-76.

Mangano KM, Hutchins-Wiese HL, Kenny AM, Walsh SJ, Abourizk RH, Bruno RS, Lipcius R, Fall P, Kleppinger A, Kenyon-Pesce L, Prestwood KM, Kerstetter JE. Soy Proteins and isoflavones impact on serum lipids and inflammatory markers in older women: a randomized controlled trial. Nutr Res. 2013 Dec;33(12):1026-33

Hutchins-Wiese HL, Kleppinger A, Annis K, Liva, E, Lammi-Keefe C, Durham H, Kenny AM.  The impact of supplemental long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and dietary antioxidants on physical performance in older postmenopausal women. J Nutr Health Aging. 2013 Jan;17(1):76-80

Hutchins-Wiese HL, Li Y, Hannon K, Watkins BA. Hind limb suspension and long-chain omega-3 PUFA increase mRNA endocannabinoid system levels in skeletal muscle. J Nutr Biochem. 2012 Aug; 23(8):986-93.

Hutchins HL, Li Y, Hannon K, Watkins BA. Eicosapentaenoic acid decreases expression of anandamide synthesis enzyme and cannabinoid receptor 2 in osteoblast-like cells.  J Nutr Biochem. 2011 Feb;22(2):195-200. 

Duffy VB, Lanier SA, Hutchins HL, Pescatello LS, Johnson MK, Bartoshuk LM. Food preference questionnaire as a screening tool for assessing dietary risk of cardiovascular disease within health risk appraisals. J Am Diet Assoc 2007 Feb:107(2):237-45. 



DTC 108- Careers in Dietetics and Nutrition 
DTC 375- Integrative Medicine
DTC 430- Community Nutrition
DTC 500- Research Methods
DTC 602- Phytonutrients (developed the course)
DTC 648- Methods and Strategies for Community-Based Nutrition Services
DTC 658- Nutrition and Aging DTC 668- Protein, Carbohydrates and Lipids


Professional Awards and Recognitions:  

Summer Research Award, 2019

Josephine Nevins Keal Professional Development Fellowship, 2016

Faculty Research Fellowship, 2016/2017

College of Health and Human Services Marshall Award for Research, 2015

Jo-Anne Smith, MD, Memorial Fund Research Award, 2011

UConn Center on Aging Day, Clinical Research Poster Award, 2010

Practice Experience:  

Dr. Hutchins-Wiese has practiced in acute care hospitals, research, and the supplement industry.