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Who is the Nutritional Genomics Institute?

Christy and Jessica both graduated with honors from the University of Bridgeport's functional nutrition master's program. After forming a strong personal and professional relationship, they both continued to Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) where they graduated with a Doctor of Clinical Nutrition. During these years in academia, they founded Zebra Diagnostics, a research diagnostics company designed to study the frequency of rare diseases. The mantra for rare disease sufferers around the world is "When you hear hoof beats, think zebra's, not horses". Due to this, they have been nicknamed "Zebra Hunters".   They also formed SNPed, a webinar based series to educate practitioners in nutritional genomics and systems medicine. Lastly, they have developed course work at the master's level at MUIH in nutritional genomic counseling, have published a series of peer-reviewed journal articles on the microbiome and contributed to chapters on nutritional genomics in a graduate level nutrition textbook. The Institute houses several related companies that help to expand the field of nutritional genomics, metabolomics research and application and the management of rare diseases. 





Dr. Christy B. Williamson DCN, CNS, MS

Managing Partner

Christy Williamson graduated with honors from the University of Bridgeport’s functional nutrition master’s program, is a Certified Nutritional Specialist and is a candidate for the Doctor of Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health. Christy has a bachelor of science in Biology with concentrations in both chemistry and psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Christy is the co-owner of the Nutritional Genomics Institute and Zebra Diagnostics. Her companies focus on functional nutrition as it relates to biochemical nuances within the genome, metabolome and microbiome. Zebra Diagnostics is designed for state of the art research in genomics and houses SNPed, a webinar based educational series in nutritional genomics for nutrition and medical professionals. Christy is also an adjunct faculty member at Maryland University of Integrative Health and teaches Introduction to Nutritional Genomic Counseling. 


Dr. Jessica M. Pizano 

DCN, CNS, MS

 Partner

Jessica Pizano graduated with honors from the University of Bridgeport’s functional nutrition master’s program, is a Certified Nutritional Specialist and is a candidate for the Doctor of Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health.

Jessica is the co-owner of the Nutritional Genomics Institute and Zebra Diagnostics. Her specialization with in the Nutritional Genomics Institute is mast cell activation disorders.  Zebra Diagnostics is designed for state of the art research in genomics and houses SNPed, a webinar based educational series in nutritional genomics for nutrition and medical professionals. Jessica is also an adjunct faculty member at Maryland University of Integrative Health and teaches Introduction to Nutritional Genomic Counseling. 


Genomic Nutritionist: 

Michelle Gottfried

 MS, CNS


Jessica Pizano graduated with honors from the University of Bridgeport’s functional nutrition master’s program, is a Certified Nutritional Specialist and is a candidate for the Doctor of Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health.

Jessica is the co-owner of the Nutritional Genomics Institute and Zebra Diagnostics. Her specialization with in the Nutritional Genomics Institute is mast cell activation disorders.  Zebra Diagnostics is designed for state of the art research in genomics and houses SNPed, a webinar based educational series in nutritional genomics for nutrition and medical professionals. Jessica is also an adjunct faculty member at Maryland University of Integrative Health and teaches Introduction to Nutritional Genomic Counseling. 


Nutritionist, Neural Retraining Specialist: 

Laura Kelly 

MA, MS, LDN, CNS

Jessica Pizano graduated with honors from the University of Bridgeport’s functional nutrition master’s program, is a Certified Nutritional Specialist and is a candidate for the Doctor of Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health.

Jessica is the co-owner of the Nutritional Genomics Institute and Zebra Diagnostics. Her specialization with in the Nutritional Genomics Institute is mast cell activation disorders.  Zebra Diagnostics is designed for state of the art research in genomics and houses SNPed, a webinar based educational series in nutritional genomics for nutrition and medical professionals. Jessica is also an adjunct faculty member at Maryland University of Integrative Health and teaches Introduction to Nutritional Genomic Counseling. 


Health Coach; Neural Retraining Specialist and Environmental Exposure Specialist, CNS Intern: 

Gabbrielle Andersen

Jessica Pizano graduated with honors from the University of Bridgeport’s functional nutrition master’s program, is a Certified Nutritional Specialist and is a candidate for the Doctor of Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health.

Jessica is the co-owner of the Nutritional Genomics Institute and Zebra Diagnostics. Her specialization with in the Nutritional Genomics Institute is mast cell activation disorders.  Zebra Diagnostics is designed for state of the art research in genomics and houses SNPed, a webinar based educational series in nutritional genomics for nutrition and medical professionals. Jessica is also an adjunct faculty member at Maryland University of Integrative Health and teaches Introduction to Nutritional Genomic Counseling. 


NGI CNS Intern, Health Coach and 

 Dr. Williamson's Assistant: Samantha Silva Minns MS

Jessica Pizano graduated with honors from the University of Bridgeport’s functional nutrition master’s program, is a Certified Nutritional Specialist and is a candidate for the Doctor of Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health.

Jessica is the co-owner of the Nutritional Genomics Institute and Zebra Diagnostics. Her specialization with in the Nutritional Genomics Institute is mast cell activation disorders.  Zebra Diagnostics is designed for state of the art research in genomics and houses SNPed, a webinar based educational series in nutritional genomics for nutrition and medical professionals. Jessica is also an adjunct faculty member at Maryland University of Integrative Health and teaches Introduction to Nutritional Genomic Counseling. 


NGI CNS Intern:

Dana Bodek MS


Jessica Pizano graduated with honors from the University of Bridgeport’s functional nutrition master’s program, is a Certified Nutritional Specialist and is a candidate for the Doctor of Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health.

Jessica is the co-owner of the Nutritional Genomics Institute and Zebra Diagnostics. Her specialization with in the Nutritional Genomics Institute is mast cell activation disorders.  Zebra Diagnostics is designed for state of the art research in genomics and houses SNPed, a webinar based educational series in nutritional genomics for nutrition and medical professionals. Jessica is also an adjunct faculty member at Maryland University of Integrative Health and teaches Introduction to Nutritional Genomic Counseling. 


Christy's Specialties

In addition to NGI's specialty areas, Christy was active in the 2016 Virginia General Assembly in the passage of legislation which established a statutory definition of nutritional genomics. Christy enjoys legislative process, advocacy and finding creative solutions to complicated problems. She also likes finding the needle in the haystack. On weekends, Christy can be found hiking or kayaking with her two daughters, two dogs  or catching up on the latest nutritional genomics research. 

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Jessica's Specialties

Jessica is the leading nutrition specialist for mast cell activation disorders in the country. As a certified corrective and clinical exercise specialist, Jessica also evaluates and creates plans to correct postural imbalances for connective tissue disease patients and other musculoskeletal disorders. 

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Laura's Specialties

Laura joins NGI as a Certified Nutrition Specialist, Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist, and Neural Retraining Specialist. Laura has a lifelong passion for health and wellness and believes that the simple act of preparing and eating food is a fundamental and foundational practice in caring for ourselves and nurturing others. Addressing our relationship to food has the potential to not only improve our physical health, but can also become an avenue for self-understanding, personal growth, and positive behavioral change. Laura’s strength comes from marrying her experience in psychology and counseling with her passion for biochemistry and functional medicine, leading to an integrative, multidisciplinary and individualized approach to treatment.

Laura received her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and Biology from George Washington University. She then went on to complete a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from Naropa University and a Master of Science degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition from New York Chiropractic College.

Laura lives in Gambrills, Maryland with her husband and twin boys. She enjoys being out in nature, playing with her boys, reading anything and everything, and spending time with family and friends. 

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Michelle's Specialties

Michelle holds a Masters degree in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport and is certified as a CNS by the Board of Nutrition Specialists. She also has training through the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM). She is a former CPA who uses her research, spreadsheets and data gathering skills to use labs, functional medicine testing, a clients history and genomics to create personalized nutrition plans for a wide variety of conditions. Michelle started in-depth training with SNPed (Nutrigenomic training for practitioners) over two years ago and has whole-heartedly implemented nutrigenomics into the way she practices. She feels this is the missing piece for a lot of people and that this information can finally help them pick the right diet and truly understand how diet and lifestyle affect all aspects of their health. She enjoys helping individuals find ways to reach their wellness potential and understand "why they are the way they are." She is a former Marathon runner who has retired to walking her chocolate lab. In her spare time, she plays the violin, piano and electric guitar in a rock band and lives in Connecticut with her husband and two teenagers.

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Gabbi's Specialties 

With an educational background in nursing and psychology, Gabbi specializes in evaluating the environmental, emotional health, and lifestyle factors that contribute to overall health and disease. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in human nutrition at the University of Bridgeport. Gabbi is focused on educating and supporting individuals seeking improved health and wellness. While dealing with her own complicated chronic health conditions, Gabbi has become even more passionate about the environmental and psychological aspects of wellness while cultivating an incredible attention to detail. Gabbi enjoys reading, recipe testing, painting, and researching and exploring new avenues that promote optimal health.

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Samantha's Interests

Samantha received her B.S. in Dietetics from James Madison University. After her undergraduate studies, she found that she was craving a more holistic approach to nutrition, which ultimately led her to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. During her time in this health coaching program, Samantha was exposed to the world of functional medicine, and she knew instantly that this was the path for her. She recently completed her Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States and is pursuing her supervised practice hours to obtain her CNS credential. Samantha is honored to have been selected as an intern for NGI and looks forward to learning as much as she possibly can.

Because she has personally experienced the power of food on all aspects of wellness, Samantha is passionate about empowering others to take their health into their own hands. When she is not researching current nutrition topics or eating delicious food, Samantha can be found teaching Zumba, lifting weights, or spending time with her family, her husband, and her dog Mowgli.  

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Dana's Interests

Dana’s journey into nutrition and functional health began a few years ago when her young daughter was diagnosed with food allergies, hypothyroidism and Celiac disease. Her passion for health and a more holistic approach for her own family led her down the path to pursing a nutrition degree to help others. After many years in the corporate world, Dana decided to continue her education and change careers. She recently graduated with a Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition and Integrative Health from Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) and has passed the Certified Nutrition Specialist exam. While at MUIH, she was exposed to nutritional genomics and knew that this was the future of nutrition practice. Dana is honored to be selected as an intern for NGI and is excited to learn from this fantastic team of nutrition experts.

When Dana is not building upon her knowledge in nutrition and health, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family and friends and appreciating musical theater.  

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Future Position 2020

Intern position available in the spring of 2020. 

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