Class of 2012
Major Professor: J. Bruce German
Dr. Dallas received his Ph.D. in Nutritional Biology with a Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology and Area of Specialization in Analytical Chemistry from UC Davis in 2012. After graduation Dr. Dallas worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the UC Davis Department of Food Science and Technology. There he worked for Drs. Carlito B. Lebrilla, Daniela Barile, David Mills, and J. Bruce German with funding provided by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the NIH K99 Career Award. His research focused on identifying the digestive products of breast milk in term and premature infants in order to determine improved feeding solutions for premature infants. Through examining bioactivity of identified naturally-occurring peptides in milk and using cutting-edge liquid chromatography mass spectrometry and database searching, he identified thousands of novel endogenous milk peptides, many of which have antimicrobial or immunomodulatory actions.
Beginning in January, 2016, Dr. David Dallas will be an Assistant Professor in the School of Biological and Population Health Sciences within the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. The overall aim of Dr. Dallas’s research at OSU will be to improve the health of premature infants, a population that suffers greatly reduced health outcomes (including early mortality, developmental disorders, and high risk of infection) in comparison with term-delivered, breast milk-fed infants. The reduced digestive capacity of premature infants results in an inability break down milk proteins in the same way as term infants. This diminished digestive function may result in the premature infant's inability to take advantage of bioactive peptides and glycopeptides encrypted in human milk proteins. In essence, premature infants are not receiving the full and multi-faceted health benefits of milk.