Berna El Rahi

Berna El Rahi

Berna El Rahi, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Human Sciences | 936-294-1986 | MLHB 224

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Berna El Rahi is an assistant professor of nutrition. She received her Doctoral degree in geriatric nutrition with an emphasis on epidemiology from University of Montreal and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in nutritional epidemiology at the National Health Institute of Medical Research (INSERM), University of Bordeaux. She then completed a second fellowship in nutritional geriatric psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. At UCLA, Dr. Rahi was also affiliated to the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, where she was a research coordinator and a health educator on several studies. Prior to coming to Sam Houston State University, Dr. Rahi was an assistant professor at the Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon.

Dr. Rahi’s main research interest focuses on the role of nutrition in successful aging and in particular the role of diet quality in physical, cognitive and mental aging. Dr. Rahi’s research is also concentrated on preventing and managing chronic diseases among older adults and particularly, Type 2 Diabetes. Dr. Rahi also assesses the nutritional determinants of frailty and sarcopenia.

Besides her academic work, Dr. Rahi likes to collect post-its, build Lego sets, reading, hiking, traveling, and playing online games. 


  • Ph.D. in Clinical Nutrition, University of Montreal, QC, Canada
  • MS in Nutrition, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
  • BS in nutrition and dietetics, Notre Dame University, Lebanon

Professional Experience

  • Epidemiology of nutrition and age-related disorders
  • Nutritional determinants of healthy aging and health-related QoL
  • Nutritional psychiatry

Professional Experience

  • Rahi B, Pellay H,  Chuy V, Helmer C, Samieri C, Féart C. “Dairy Product Intake and Long-Term Risk for Frailty among French Elderly Community Dwellers”. Nutrients, 2021 Jun 23;13(7):2151, doi: 10.3390/nu13072151.
  • Siddarth P, Rahi B§, Emerson ND, Burggren AC, Miller KJ, Bookheimer S, Lavretsky H, Dobkin B, Small G, Merrill DA. “Physical Activity and hippocampal sub-region structure in older adults with memory complaints”. J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;61(3):1089-1096. doi: 10.3233/JAD-170586.
  • Rahi B*, Ajana S, Tabue-Teguo M, Dartigues JF, Peres K, Feart C. “Higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet and lower risk of frailty among French elderly community-dwellers: results from the Three-City-Bordeaux study”. Clin Nutr. 2018 Aug;37(4):1293-1298. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2017.05.020. Epub 2017 May 31.
  • Rahi B*, Colombet Z, Gonzalez-Colaço Harmand M, Dartigues JF, Boirie Y, Letenneur L, Feart C. “Higher Protein But Not Energy Intake Is Associated with A Lower Prevalence Of Frailty Among Community Dwelling Older Adults In The French Three-City-Cohort”. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2016 Jul 1;17(7):672.e7-672.e11. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2016.05.005.