Start Center - Strategic Analysis, Research & Training Center

Emahlea Wilcher (Jackson)

Co-Founder & CEO, Beet

Emahlea Wilcher (Jackson) holds a PhD (ABD) in Epidemiology from the University of Washington in March 2023. Emahlea did a clinical rotation and supervised practice experience in dietetics in 2021, when she graduated with an MPH in Nutritional Sciences, and an MS in Epidemiology at the University of Washington. She earned a bachelor's degree in dietetics from Seattle Pacific University. While completing her undergraduate education, she assisted with studies related to nutritional epidemiology and the human microbiome at both the National Cancer Institute and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She previously provided nutrition counseling as a Registered Dietetic Technician (NDTR) at Lahai Health, a free clinic dedicated to serving patients experiencing financial hardship. Emahlea completed a thesis project that examined the relationship between household food security status and presence of disordered eating behaviors in youth and young adults with diabetes.

Emahlea worked on four projects during her six-month engagement at START. Below are highlights from two of the projects Emahlea worked on:

  • Nutritional Recommendations for Pregnant Women:┬áThe START team reviewed the evidence supporting IOM and WHO recommendations on 19 micronutrients for pregnant and lactating women and girls.
  • COVID-19 in Pregnancy and Infancy Weekly Digest:┬áDuring the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, the extent of its impact on vulnerable populations, including pregnant women, newborns and children under five, was largely unknown. As the pandemic evolved rapidly, relevant literature became available through peer-reviewed and grey literature channels. The START team was tasked to compile weekly digests summarizing newly available pregnancy- and young child-related literature on COVID-19.

Emahlea is Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Beet.