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. Engle-Stone's research focuses on global public health nutrition, with an emphasis on micronutrient nutrition and planning and evaluation of programs to improve nutritional status in disadvantaged populations. Specific research areas include design and evaluation of micronutrient intervention programs, particularly large-scale food fortification; complementarity and cost-effectiveness of nutrition programs; and overlaps between micronutrient deficiencies and non-communicable disease risk.
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: Sensory strategies for dietary change; sensory determinants of food intake; food preferences; sensory properties and acceptability of foods and beverages.
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.
My overarching goal is to evaluate the risks and opportunities of nutritional factors in enhancing neurodevelopment and host resilience to early-life adverse events (e.g. infection and stress). Our research use neonatal pigs as a translational model, becasue of broad resemblance between pigs and humans in many aspects, such as digestive physiology, components of immune system, anatomic structure of brain and perinatal neurodevelopment. Specifically, our current project investigates how unbalanced iron status in early life affects systemic and CNS iron hoemostasis, susceptibility to infections, brain energy metabolism, and social cognition using nursing pigs
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.
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 evaluation of the effects of diet patterns and physical activity on energy balance and metabolic flexibility in adults at risk for chronic disease. Recent work includes the development and application of novel tools to assess satiety in response to specific foods or meal challenges.
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 bioactive components in breast milk, 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 group is developing and applying targeted and untargeted metabolomics tools to investigate metabolic responses to diet and their implications in the context of obesity and its associated co-morbidities. Active research areas include: 1) Investigating the functional implications of lipoprotein particle metabolomics structure on vascular and adipose physiology; 2) Investigating cross-talk between mediators of energy metabolism, inflammation, tissue growth and satiety; 3) Mapping the natural variance in metabolic responses to dietary challenges; 4) Investigating the impact of diet quality and weight maintenance/loss on metabolic indices of health.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.