Dr. Allen is the Director of the USDA ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center (WHNRC). Dr. Allen´s research is focused on the prevalence, causes, consequences and prevention of micronutrient deficiencies including iron, vitamin B-12, zinc, vitamin A and riboflavin.
Dr. Bennett is working to identify the interaction of groups of genes, also called biologic networks regulating TMAO levels and affecting cardiovascular disease.
Research Interests: Cardiovascular risk factors; Genetics of lipoprotein(a); Lipoprotein metabolism; HIV and metabolic complications; Postprandial lipemia and relation to cardiovascular disease.
Research Description: Applied research to improve the health and exercise performance of active individuals. Current research projects include optimizing exercise training and performance in competitive athletes, the effects of exercise on the treatment of depression, effects of estrogen on knee osteoarthritis, the effects of oral contraceptives on bone health and exercise performance, ACL injury prevention programs, sports nutrition and metabolism.
Research Interests: Dairy cattle/ruminant nutrition; nutrient digestion and metabolism; milk synthesis; feed evaluation and utilization of by-product feedstuffs.
Dr. Dewey's research area is international and community nutrition, with an emphasis on maternal and child nutrition.
Dr. Engle-Stone's research is in global public health nutrition, with a focus on micronutrient nutrition among women and young children in low-income settings. Research themes include planning, monitoring, and evaluation of food fortification programs; cost-effectiveness and coherence among micronutrient intervention programs, and nutritional assessment
Research Interests: Effects of dietary fats and functional foods on primary and metastatic breast cancer; dietary fat alteration of immune response in animals and humans; tumor metabolism; dietary regulation of cytokine function.
Dr. Fadel's research focuses on feed evaluation, specifically on the effects of processing on carbohydrate (especially fiber) digestibility as well as the mathematical and statistical applications in nutrition and management.
Dr. Falbe’s research focuses on studying programmatic, policy, and environmental interventions to prevent chronic disease and reduce health disparities.
Research Interests: Nutrition and metabolism in the cat and dog. Trace mineral metabolism in the cat. Improvement of pet foods. Veterinary clinical nutrition.
Characterizing the microbiota-gut-brain axis in models of inflammatory bowel disease and following infection with an enteric bacterial pathogen. Determining the mechanisms involved in the development of the microbiota-gut-brain axis in early life.
Research Interests: Chemistry and nutrition of dietary fats. Functions and actions of lactation and milk in food and nutrition. Metabolomics as assessment of diet and metabolic regulation.
Research Interests: Role of nutrition in the development of immune functions and in the susceptibility of cancer development, using a variety of experimental systems involving mice and rhesus monkeys as the beginning of similar studies to be performed in humans.
Research Interests: The role of the B group vitamins folate, cobalamin (vitamin B12), and pyridoxine (vitamin B6) in normal cellular function and metabolism and how deficiency of these vitamins can result in degenerative diseases including cardiovascular, neurological, hematological, neoplastic, and immunological disorders, as well as aging. Development of new and improved biochemical tests to identify deficiency and dysfunction of these vitamins and their cofactors.
Research Interests: Sensory determinants of food intake; food preferences; sensory properties and acceptability of foods and beverages; psychophysics of fats and oils.
Dr. Hackman's research addresses the role of nutritional and botanical supplements for enhancement of human health and performance. His current studies explore the role of fruits, nuts and unique botanical extracts on vascular function and inflammation.
Dr. Haj's research program investigates the role of protein-tyrosine phosphatases in metabolism and type 2 diabetes through the use of advanced cellular imaging and genetic mouse models.
Dr. Havel is investigating the regulation of energy homeostasis and carbohydrate/lipid metabolism, and the involvement of endocrine systems in the pathophysiology of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Hess’ research interests involve the design, implementation and evaluation of programs to control micronutrient deficiencies among children and women in low-income countries, and related issues of nutrient bioavailability, nutrient-nutrient interactions and nutritional assessment. The research program is generally carried out in the context of community-based intervention trials, using an efficacy or effectiveness study design.
Dr. Hovey’s research focuses on the following areas: hormonal regulation of mammary gland growth, lactation, and breast cancer with interests in ovarian and pituitary hormone functions; role of the stromal environment in cell function; and across- species differences in mammary gland biology and hormone function.
Dr. Huang is a Research Geneticist with the Western Human Nutrition Research Center. Her research is focused on identifying the genetic influences on zinc homeostasis at molecular and cellular levels in human and animal models. Particularly, she is interested in roles of zinc transporters in regulation of energy metabolism, body adiposity, insulin metabolism in pancreatic beta-cells and insulin resistance in muscle, fat, and liver.
The goal of our research is to elucidate molecular mechanisms by which different types of dietary fatty acids modulate receptor-mediated signaling pathways, target gene expression, and subsequent cellular responses, and to determine how this modulation by fatty acids is related to risks of developing chronic diseases.
Perinatal period is a critical window of brain development that is featured with robust neuronal growth as well as greater vulnerability to environmental insults. I am interested in evaluating the opportunities and the risks of nutritional factors in modulating neuronal resilience to early-life adverse events (e.g. infection and stress). Domestic piglet is used as translational model of human infants in our studies. We utilize molecular techniques, behavioral tests, disease-challenge models to integrate pathophysiology, neuroimmunology and cognition. In this way, we are able to evaluate how diet induced peripheral “signals” (e.g. metabolites and humoral profiles) exert their function in central nervous system during health and disease.
Dr. Kable is interested in the mechanisms governing how diet impacts the bacterial composition of the human gut and how these diet-bacterial interactions can influence human health. In particular, she is interested in how dietary fiber can affect the composition of the gut microbiota in such a way as to increase or decrease colonization resistance and susceptibility to food borne pathogens.
Research Interests: Clinical studies in humans investigating the effects of diet on body weight and composition, insulin resistance, ovarian function, and various metabolic and satiety parameters using biochemical and molecular strategies.
The interaction of nutrition and inflammation in establishing serum protein concentration in patients with renal failure, and mechanisms of hyperlipidemia in renal disease.
Dr. Keen's research group is primarily concerned with: 1) the investigation of the influence of maternal diet on the risk for pregnancy complications (mother, and conceptus); and 2) the influence of diet on the risk for age-related chronic diseases with a focus on phytochemicals and vascular health.
Dr. Keim’s research program involves validation and application of body composition methodologies, evaluation of the effects of dieting and physical activity on energy expenditure in overweight and obese individuals, and, more recently, development and application of tools to assess appetite, food preferences, and dietary patterns in humans.
Dr. Kelley is interested in studying the effects of diets on inflammation and immune responses. Focus of his studies has been the modulation of risk factors for cardio-vascular disease and insulin resistance by dietary fatty acids and phytonutrients. He is also interested in the effects of fatty acids on cell growth, differentiation and apoptosis.
Dr. King's research focuses primarily on identifying biomarkers of human zinc deficiencies and deriving effective zinc interventions to reduce zinc deficiency world-wide. She focuses her research primarily on the needs of women of reproductive age, pregnant and lactating women, infants and young children.
Dr. Larsen's research interests are mainly focused in clinical nutrition of dogs and cats, nutrient bioavailability, and amino acid nutrition.
Dr. Laugero's research is aimed at understanding the role and underpinnings of chronic psychosocial stress in dysfunctional eating behaviors, particularly as they relate to obesity and the metabolic syndrome.
Dr. Lemay is interested in how dietary components, especially fermentable carbohydrates, affect host response and whether that response is modulated by the functional capabilities of resident microbiota. The lab also applies big data techniques, such as sequencing technologies and machine learning, to understand the effects of diet on human health.
The increasing public concerns about antimicrobial resistance of food-borne bacteria impose urgent needs to seek alternatives to antibiotics in agricultural animal industry. Many of feed ingredients and additives now are available as potential ‘alternatives to antibiotics’, either by altering microbial populations in the gastrointestinal tract or by influencing the immune system. However, the still-unclear mechanism hampers their application in the industry. Our research interest is to evaluate dietary effects on pig health by investigating impacts of products now available to the industry and developing new approach for the industry. Our long-term goal is to help the animal industry deploy feed-based health technologies to improve animal health.
Dr. Lönnerdal's research program is focused on two main areas: infant/pediatric nutrition and trace element metabolism.
Dr. Mackenzie´s research focuses on the role of diet and other lifestyle factors in cancer development and prevention. Current research projects include: 1) Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the link between obesity, inflammation and cancer; 2) Evaluating the role of zinc in pancreatic carcinogenesis; and 3) Investigating the use of select nutraceuticals as potential chemopreventive agents.
Research Interests: Influences of dietary composition on the intestinal microflora and intestinal integrity. Includes studies on the effects of poorly fermentable and fermentable fiber sources on intestinal permeability, bacterial translocation, intestinal morphometry, and intestinal cytokine production.
Dr. McDonald’s research is primarily based in global health nutrition with an emphasis on the design and evaluation of interventions to prevent and treat maternal and child undernutrition in resource-limited settings. Specific topics of interest include: zinc nutrition, child growth and development, and environmental enteric dysfunction.
Dr. Medici’s research interests include the effects of copper accumulation in the liver, as occurs in Wilson disease, on hepatic methionine metabolism, the regulation of gene expression by methylation, and consequent interactions with pathways of liver injury in particular lipogenesis and steatosis. She uses similar methods to study the effects of alcohol drinking on methionine metabolism and the development of alcoholic liver disease. Her studies use genetically altered mouse models of Wilson disease and alcoholic liver disease.
Dr. Newman’s research focuses on the development and application of quantitative profiling technologies for metabolic regulatory domains.
Research Interests: Modeling growth and development; ration formation and evaluation software; computer models of resource use; decision support software for livestock management.
Dr. Oteiza has two primary areas of research. The first is centered on the characterization of the effects of trace mineral deficiencies, and trace mineral toxicities, on early developmental processes. Dr. Oteiza’s second area of research is focused on the putative health benefits of flavonoids.
Research Interests: Fetal and newborn nutrition and metabolism, growth factors and hormones in milk, intestinal development, Insulin-Like Growth Factors during the prenatal period related to Zinc deficiency.
Dr. Prado's research focuses on nutrition and child development. Her research interests also include caregiving, health and other influences on child development in low-resource settings, evaluating programs and policies to support children to achieve their developmental potential, and cross-cultural developmental and cognitive assessment.
Research Interests: Dietary restriction and energy expenditure; aging, oxidative stress and energy restriction; mitochondrial proton leak; regulation of food intake; energy metabolism.
I am an integrative physiologist with training in neurophysiology and gastrointestinal physiology. My research focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which the vagal afferent pathway (the gut-brain axis) transmits information about gut luminal contents to the brain to regulate alter gut physiology and feeding behavior. My research program is aimed at understanding how these pathways are altered in metabolic disease including obesity and type 2 diabetes, and how the gut-brain pathway contributes to altered food intake and metabolism. Recently, the research in the laboratory has elucidated the alterations in gut microbiota and intestinal permeability in rodent models of obesity and how this may drive changes in signaling in the gut-brain pathway. We have an active and funded collaboration with the Milk Bioactives Program (Food for Health Initiative, UC Davis) to help elucidate the interactions between probiotic bacteria with prebiotic substances in milk, and how this interaction produces bacterially-derived factors that are beneficial to the host and that mediate the beneficial effects of probiotic bacteria.
My primary research interests are developing ration formulation methods to minimize nutrient emissions (nitrogen, minerals, methane, etc.) to the environment, using body composition and organ size to estimate energy requirements and managing feeding systems at dairies and feedlots to optimize nutrient supply to the animal and minimize feed waste. Therefore my research focuses on using mathematical modeling techniques coupled with animal and feed measurements to represent animal nutrient metabolism in healthy and diseased states to understand nutrient use and excretion under different production systems.
Dr. Rutledge is an expert in atherosclerosis and lipid disorders. He specializes in preventive cardiology, lipid disorders and reversal of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. His current laboratory research includes biology of the vascular wall, neuroinflammation, cognitive decline, and dementia.
Dr. Ryan's research interests include: Neuroendocrine regulation of feeding behavior, body weight and glucose control;Mechanisms linking psychological stress and metabolic disease; and Nuclear receptors.
Research Interests: Beef cattle/ruminant nutrition; muscle protein metabolism; energetics; mathematical models of animal function.
Dr. Scherr’s research interests are mainly focused on nutrition education and promotion in school-aged children. Research efforts include the implementation of a multi-component, school-based intervention entitled the Shaping Healthy Choices Program. Additionally, Dr. Scherr is focused on the usage of sub-clinical and novel biomarkers in nutrition education to assess the effectiveness of these multi-component interventions.
Dr. Slupsky's research includes understanding the impact of diet on human health from the perspective of nutrition, the gut microbiome, and host-microbial co-metabolism. She uses a multi-discplinary research approach that integrates metabolomics with clinical measures, global gene expression profiles, as well as microbial community analysis to understand the intimate link between our gut microbiome, metabolism, and health. In addition, she is looking into the implication of food processing, agricultural practices, and plant health status on the nutrient content and sensory aspects of the food we eat. These studies will provide novel insight on health management and food development, and usher us into the era of personalized nutrition.
Research Interests: The autonomic, hormonal, and vascular control of the cardiovascular system during exercise. Both animal and human models are studied. Current areas of interest include the effects of dietary supplementation with omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on autonomic function, systemic vascular resistance, ventricular function, endothelial function, and skeletal muscle blood flow during exercise in both healthy individuals and those with cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Steinberg's research interests focus on the physiologic roles of food phytochemicals, particularly soy protein and associated isoflavones, with regard to cardiovascular disease and overall health promotion. She is also interested in clinical nutrition interventions to reduce chronic disease risk, and the metabolism of lipids and lipoproteins.
Dr. Stephensen’s research interests focus on the relation between nutritional status and infectious diseases, particularly the host immune response to infections and the impact of infections on nutritional status.
Dr. Stewart’s research is related to maternal and child nutrition in low income communities, primarily in developing country settings. Her focus is on both the immediate and long-term effects of poor nutrition during pregnancy and early childhood on birth outcomes, infant and child survival, child growth, and risk of chronic disease in later life.
Research Interests: Role of oxidized fatty acids on brain signaling and function. Current projects include the assessment of human oxidized fatty acid intakes and breast milk levels, as well as applied lipidomic and electrophysiology approaches to study brain metabolism and signaling.
Our lab is interested in studying liver fibrosis in non alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) a major liver disease occurring in obese or diabetic patients. Our goal is to evaluate the mechanism by which reactive oxidative species play a role in fibrogenesis and generate potential antifibrogenic therapy based on these findings.
Dr. Van Loan's research focus is to determine the effect of different diets and eating patterns on body composition, weight and fat loss, bone metabolism in at-risk populations.
Research Interests: Biological causes of obesity are identified by searching for genes that increase fat accumulation in some people and not others. These studies are directed both at genes that cause obesity on high-fat diets and at genes that cause spontaneous obesity.
Dr. Winter researches the detection of pesticides and naturally-occurring toxins in foods, how to assess their risks and identify how to use the science in the regulatory decision-making process. His most recent work includes looking at the relationships between crop production systems and naturally-occurring toxins. He also studies how to improve educational activities through incorporation of music into food safety curricula.
Dr. Young's current research focuses on medication management and safety in rural, assisted-living settings; technological approaches to promoting medication safety in rural hospitals and community-based strategies to promote health for rural older adults.
Dr. Zidenberg-Cherr’s research program studies the impact of multi-faceted approaches to nutrition education on the dietary and lifestyle choices of school-aged children. Her research utilizes a food systems approach in the development and testing of nutrition education curricula and comprehensive nutrition education programs for school age children. She also co-directs the Center for Nutrition in Schools in the Department of Nutrition at University of California, Davis. The goal of the Center is to provide state-of the-art research, outreach, and educational programs to improve the nutrition knowledge, skills, and health outcomes of the nation’s children, assisting them in achieving their full potential academically, socially, and physically.
Dr. Zivkovic’s research is focused on the role of diet and nutrition in Precision Health. Precision Health emphasizes individually tailored approaches to optimize health and prevent disease. The Zivkovic Lab has four overall research themes: 1) Investigating the functional biology of HDL; 2) Assessing the effects of diets and dietary constituents on inflammation; 3) Integrating clinical, metabolomic, proteomic, glycomic, transcriptomic, and genomic approaches to characterize metabolic phenotypes and their responsiveness to different diets; and 4) Investigating the effects of diets and dietary constituents on the gut microbiota and how they in turn affect host health.
Dr. Zunino’s lab is interested in how phytochemicals regulate immune response. Obesity increases the risk of developing viral and bacterial infections compared to normal weight individuals. The focus of the laboratory is to understand how dietary phytochemicals may modulate the innate immune response to decrease the risk of infection in the obese.