Associate Professor and Vice Chair, Nursing Graduate Programs

Dr. Jennifer Laurent is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with over 20 years of experience in primary care with a particular focus in chronic disease management. Her area of research focuses on brain and behavioral mechanisms that contribute to weight gain and obesity in youth. In addition to her research and teaching, Dr. Laurent was elected to serves on the Vermont Board of Nursing, Board of Nursing representative to the APRN sub-committee to the Board of Nursing, and the NCSBN Leadership Succession Committee. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, Kappa Tau Chapter and an AACN ELAN fellow.


Selected Recent Publications

  • Chaarani, B., Hahn, S., Allgaier, N., Adise, S., Owens, M.M., Juliano, A.C., Yuan, D.K., Loso, H., Ivanciu, A., Albaugh, M.D., Dumas, J., Mackey, S., Laurent, J., …. Potter, A., Garavan, H.P., & the ABCD Consortium. (in-press). Brain function in the pre-adolescent brain: Results from the ABCD Study. Nature Neuroscience.
  • McNiss, C., Kalarchian, M. &. Laurent, J.S., (2021). Factors associated with childhood sexual abuse and adolescent pregnancy: an integrative review. Child Abuse & Neglect.
  • Adise, S., Allgaier, N., Laurent, J., Hahn, S., Chaarani, B., Owens, M., Yuan, D., Nyugen, P., Mackey, S., Potter, A., & Garavan, H. P. (2021). Multimodal brain predictors of current weight and weight gain in children enrolled in the ABCD study. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 49(100948), 1-14.
  • Laurent, J. S., Tompkins, C. L., Cioffredi, L.-A., Wollenburg, E., Smith, D., & Fontaine, E. (2020). Are we underestimating overweight and obesity prevalence in children? Public Health Nursing, 37(5), 655–662.
  • Rapuano, K. M., Laurent, J. S., Hagler, D. J., Hatton, S. N., Thompson, W. K., Jernigan, T. L., Dale, A. M., Casey, B. J., & Watts, R. (2020). Nucleus accumbens cytoarchitecture predicts weight gain in children. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 117(43), 26977-26984.
  • (PR/I) Laurent J.S., Watts R, Mackey S. (2020). Toward inclusion of youths with psychiatric disorders in brain-body research—Reply. JAMA Pediatrics. 174(9), 907-908.
  • Laurent, J. S., Watts, R., Adise, S., Allgaier, N., Chaarani, B., Garavan, H., Potter, A., & Mackey, S. (2020). Associations Among Body Mass Index, Cortical Thickness, and Executive Function in Children. JAMA Pediatrics. 174(2), 170-177.
  • McDonald, E. & Laurent, J.S. (2019). Hedonic eating behaviors and food preferences associated with medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. Journal of Opioid Management, 15(6), 487-494.
  • Goldschmidt A.B., Cotton B.P., Mackey S., Laurent J, Bryson W.C., Bond D.S. (2018) Prevalence and correlates of loss of control eating among adults presenting for methadone maintenance treatment. Int J Behav Med. 25(6), 693-697. doi: 10.1007/s12529-018-9750-z.

Awards and Recognition

  • Vermont State Nurses Foundation Recognition Award, 2009, 2010
  • Freeman Nurse Scholarship for Doctoral Studies, 2005-2008
Jennifer Laurent

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

How dietary sugars affect brain reward circuits, gut metabolism, and eating behaviors such as addictive-like eating in obese adolescents


  • Ph.D.; Duquesne University, 2010
  • M.S., Nursing; University of Massachusetts-Lowell, 1997
  • B.S., Nursing; University of Connecticut-Storrs, 1991


  • (802) 656-3024
Office Location:

204 Rowell Building

Courses Taught

  • GRNS 405 – Advanced Neuropsychopharmacology
  • GRNS 415 – Primary Care Management of Acute and Common Health Conditions
  • GRNS 419/420/421 – Primary Care Management of Chronic and Complex Health Conditions