Nutrition is a strong research theme in our department and is closely integrated with our campus' outstanding Graduate Group in Nutritional Biology, a cooperative interdepartmental organization involving faculty from 17 departments in three UC Davis colleges (Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Letters and Science and Biological Science) and two professional schools (Medicine and Veterinary Medicine).
Our faculty members have long-standing programs in nutritional research. Their work has a major global impact on public health and influences food production, fortification, and consumption world-wide.
- Ralph Green’s work focuses on the role of folate, B-12 and homocysteine metabolism in the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Drs. Green and Konstantinos Zarbalis are studying the effects of high folate levels on fetal brain development as co-PIs via funding from a NIH R01 grant. Dr. Green was recognized as a World Expert in Deficiency Diseases during years 2011-2021 by Expertscape and was elected a member of the American Society for Nutrition Class of 2021 Fellows, the highest honor within this society.
- Assistant Professor Ananya Datta Mitra serves on the USAID Advancing Nutrition Anemia Biology Working Group.
- Yu-Jui Yvonne Wan’s research has had a long-standing focus on the role of retinoids, chemical compounds related to vitamin A, and their receptors in control of liver function. More recently, Dr. Wan is studying how the Western Diet which is high in fat and sugar, influences the microbiome and increases the risk of developing liver and gastrointestinal (GI) cancers, obesity, diseases of the skin and brain, and nausea in pregnancy.