Sean H. Adams, M.S., Ph.D. for UC Davis Health

Sean H. Adams, M.S., Ph.D.

Vice Chair for Basic Research, Department of Surgery

Professor, Department of Surgery





Locations and Contact

4625 2nd Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95817

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Additional Numbers

Clinic Phone


Physician Referrals

800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Philosophy of Care

Dr. Adams serves as the Scientific Director for the UC Davis Center for Alimentary and Metabolic Science (CAMS). The mission of the CAMS is to conduct research that spans from the molecule to the bedside, to expand fundamental knowledge that has relevance to improve health and thwart disease.

Clinical Interests

Dr. Adams is a research professor who works closely with clinical colleagues in Surgery and other departments to study the origins of metabolic disease, and to identify factors that promote metabolic health. He has special expertise in nutrition and metabolism.

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Adams and his colleagues at the UC Davis Center for Alimentary and Metabolic Science research factors that regulate one's metabolism and risk for metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Molecular links that impact metabolic health stem from dietary patterns, physical fitness and muscle physiology, and from the naturally-occurring bacteria in the gut (aka, the gut microbiome) that produce xenometabolites. Research in these areas is relevant to culinary medicine, diabetes prevention and treatment, and development of new therapeutics to prevent or treat metabolic disease.


General Surgery

Undergraduate School

B.A., California State University, Fresno CA 1988

Other School

M.S., Marine Sciences, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz CA 1990

Other School

Ph.D., Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana IL 1994


Biochemistry, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain 1994-1995


Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas TX 1995-1998

Associate Editor, Advances in Nutrition, 2014, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Fellow, The Obesity Society, 2017

International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) North America Future Leader Award, 2009

National Science Foundation/North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NSF/NATO) Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 1994

Publications may be found at the GoogleScholar website:

Maurer A, Ward JL, Dean K, Billinger SA, Lin H, Mercer KE, Adams SH, Thyfault JP. Divergence in Aerobic Capacity Impacts Bile Acid Metabolism in Young Women. J Appl Physiol. 2020 Oct 1;129(4):768-778. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00577.2020. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Ono-Moore KD, Rutkowsky JM, Pearson NA, Williams DK, Grobe JL, Tolentino T, Lloyd KCK, Adams SH. Coupling of energy intake and energy expenditure across a temperature spectrum: impact of diet-induced obesity in mice. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2020 Sep 1;319(3):E472-E484. doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00041.2020. Epub 2020 Jul 21.

Grapov D, Fiehn O, Campbell C, Chandler CJ, Burnett DJ, Souza EC, Casazza GA, Keim NL, Hunter GR, Fernandez JR, Garvey WT, Hoppel CL, Harper ME, Newman JW, Adams SH. Impact of a weight loss and fitness intervention on exercise-associated plasma oxylipin patterns in obese, insulin-resistant, sedentary women. Physiol Rep. 2020 Sep;8(17):e14547. doi:10.14814/phy2.14547. PMID:32869956.

Mercer KE, Ten Have GAM, Pack L, Lan R, Deutz NEP, Adams SH, Piccolo BD. Net release and uptake of xenometabolites across intestinal, hepatic, muscle, and renal tissue beds in healthy conscious pigs. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2020 Aug 1;319(2):G133-G141. doi:10.1152/ajpgi.00153.2020. Epub 2020 Jun 15. PMID:32538141.

Mercer KE, Yeruva L, Pack L, Graham JL, Stanhope KL, Chintapalli SV, Wankhade UD, Shankar K, Havel PJ, Adams SH, Piccolo BD. Xenometabolite signatures in the UC Davis type 2 diabetes mellitus rat model revealed using a metabolomics platform enriched with microbe-derived metabolites. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2020 Aug 1;319(2):G157-G169. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00105.2020. Epub 2020 Jun 8. PMID: 32508155.

Diaz EC, Weber JL, Adams S, Catarina YG, Shasha B, Børsheim E. Blood Pressure, Fitness, And Fatness In Children The Arkansas Active Kids Study: 3687 Board# 4. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2020 Jul;52(7S):1005. doi:10.1249/01.mss.0000686524.95720.9b.

Piccolo B, Mercer K, Have GT, Deutz N, Adams S. Intestinal, Hepatic, Muscle, and Renal Xenometabolite Release and Uptake in Healthy Conscious Pigs. Curr Develop Nutrit. 2020 Jun;4(Supplement_2):1579. doi:10.1093/cdn/nzaa062_036.

Brink LR, Mercer KE, Piccolo BD, Chintapalli SV, Elolimy A, Bowlin AK, Matazel KS, Pack L, Adams SH, Shankar K, Badger TM, Andres A, Yeruva L. Neonatal diet alters fecal microbiota and metabolome profiles at different ages in infants fed breast milk or formula. Am J Clin Nutr. 2020 Jun 1;111(6):1190-1202. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqaa076. PMID:32330237.

Carvalho E, Adams SH, Børsheim E, Blackburn ML, Ono-Moore KD, Cotter M, Bowlin AK, Yeruva L. Neonatal diet impacts liver mitochondrial bioenergetics in piglets fed formula or human milk. BMC Nutr. 2020 Apr 15;6:13. doi:10.1186/s40795-020-00338-7. eCollection 2020.

Grapov D, Fiehn O, Campbell C, Chandler CJ, Burnett DJ, Souza EC, Casazza GA, Keim NL, Newman JW, Hunter GR, Fernandez JR, Garvey WT, Hoppel CL, Harper ME, Adams SH. Exercise plasma metabolomics and xenometabolomics in obese, sedentary, insulin-resistant women: impact of a fitness and weight loss intervention. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Dec 1;317(6):E999-E1014. doi:10.1152/ajpendo.00091.2019. Epub 2019 Sep 17. PMID: 31526287.