Alumni

Ph.D recipients

Grant J. Aaron

Graduation Date: 2010
Major Professor: Kenneth H. Brown
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: 'Interventions to Control Deficiencies of Zinc and other Micronutrients in West Africa." (Supported by GAIN, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, and HKI, Helen Keller International.)

Dr. Aaron received a B.S. in Clinical Nutrition, and a M.S. in Nutritional Biology at UC Davis. His research interests focus on the burdens of malnutrition in lower-income countries, with emphasis on research activities that are relevant to understanding and guiding nutrition policy and advocacy.
 

Seth Adu-Afarwuah

Graduation Date: 2006
Major Professor: Kathryn G. Dewey
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Efficacy and acceptability of three types of multiple micronutrient supplements for home fortification of complementary foods for infants in Ghana" (supported by the Fogarty International Center and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, The Nestle Foundation and USAID).

Dr. Adu-Afarwuah received his B.S. in Nutrition and Food Science with Biochemistry from the University of Ghana, Legon and his MPhil in International Health and Nutrition from the University of Bergen, Norway. He is currently the Project Manager of the iLiNS-Dyad Project in Ghana. His research interests include the development and evaluation of low cost interventions to improve nutrition and health of infants and children in low income populations.

Alberto Aguilera

Graduation Date: 2015
Affiliation:
Graduate Group in Nutritional Biology
Major Professor: Lucia L. Kaiser
Dissertation Title: "Changes in eating patterns of young Mexican-origin children"

Since graduating from the UC Davis Graduate Group in Nutritional Biology in 2015, Dr. Aguilera has been working as a postdoctoral scholar in the UC Davis Nutrition Department focusing on the USDA-AFRI Niños Sanos, Familia Sana (Healthy Children, Healthy Families) project. Dr. Aguilera was selected as a recipient of the Chancellor’s Achievement Award for Diversity and Community for 2016-2017 in the Post-doc category.

Shaikh Meshbahuddin Ahmad

Graduation Date: 2007
Major Professor: Charles B. Stephensen
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Immune function in men with marginal and adequate vitamin A stores." (Supported by Fogarty International Center and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture).

Dr. Ahmad received his B.S. and M.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is currently an Associate Scientist in the Nutritional Biochemistry Unit of ICDDR,B Dhaka, Bangladesh. His research interest is prenatal/postnatal micronutrient status in the development of protective immunity.

Emmanuel Aklamati

Graduation Date: 2008
Major Professors: Kenneth H. Brown and Marjorie Haskell
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Absorption and retention, and impact of high-dose vitamin A supplements on total body vitamin A stores of 3-4 year old Zambian boys." (Supported by the Fogarty International Center, USAID/ CDC, and the Bristol Myers Squibb Freedom to Discover program.

Dr. Aklamati received a B.S. in Nutrition and Biochemistry and a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Nutrition from the University of Ghana, Legon. His research interests include micronutrient metabolism and the effectiveness of food-based interventions in improving micronutrient status among populations in least developed countries.

Miriam Anaya-Loyola

Graduation Date: 2007
Major Professor: Lindsay H. Allen
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Vitamin B12 deficiency: prevalence and causes in Mexico" (Supported by CONACYT, UC MEXUS, USDA, Wyeth.)

Dr. Anaya-Loyola is a faculty member in the Department of Human Nutrition, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, Mexico.

Patrice Armstrong

Graduation Date: 2009
Major Professor: Charles B. Stephensen
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Variation in the ALOX5 Gene and Response to Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements in persons of African Descent." (Supported by the Nutritional Genomics Grant/National Institutes of Health – National Center of Complimentary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Research Foundation.)

Dr. Armstrong received her B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland, and her Masters in Public Health in Environmental Health Science from Columbia University, New York, NY.  She is currently a Senior Nutrition Scientist at the Dannon Research Center, Sorbonne University - University Pierre & Marie Curie. Dr. Armstrong’s research interest is improving the nutritional, environmental and health status of underserved ethnic communities in developing countries and the U.S.

Joanne E. Arsenault

Graduation Date: 2006
Major Professor: Kenneth H. Brown
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Dietary zinc intake of young children in Peru and the US, and effects of supplemental zinc on energy intake, appetite, body composition, and plasma leptin, ghrelin, and insulin concentrations of Peruvian infants." (Supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.)

Dr. Arsenault received her B.S. in biology from Stonehill College, North Easton, Massachusetts. She received her M.P.H. degree in nutrition from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan and is a registered dietitian. She also received an M.S. degree in epidemiology from Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts.  Dr. Arsenault is currently a Nutrition Policy Analyst at RTI International in Research Triangle Park, NC, working on nutrition policy relevant research projects for government agencies. Her research interests include dietary intake analysis, dietary quality of underserved populations, and micronutrient deficiencies as risk factors for disease.

Naila Baig Ansari

Graduation Date: 2010
Major Professor: Philip Kass
Graduate Group: Epidemiology
Dissertation title: "The role of household food insecurity access, socioeconomic status and dietary diversity as underlying determinants of undernutrition in Pakastani households."

Lacey Baldiviez

Graduation Date: 2013
Major Professor: Kathryn G. Dewey
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: The Relationship between Iron Supplementation during Pregnancy and Urinary 8-isoprostane-F2a, a Biomarker of in vivo Lipid Peroxidation, and Severe Cases of Maternal Malaria in Ghana


Dr. Baldiviez received her Ph.D. in Nutritional Biology with a designated emphasis in International and Community Nutrition in 2013. Her research interests are in the area of oxidative effects of iron supplementation in pregnant and lactating women in malaria-endemic regions. Her research analyzes biomarkers of oxidative stress and DNA damage during pregnancy and lactation among women in Ghana comparing different quantities of iron as well as different forms of delivery. Iron-deficiency anemia, malarial infection, maternal morbidity and mortality, iron status of the infant and infant outcomes may all be affected by iron intervention strategies.
 

Jinan Banna

Graduation Date: 2008
Major Professor: Marilyn Townsend
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Food behaviors and physical activity in Spanish-speaking women in California." (Supported by the Public Health Institute, Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Research Fellowship, and Jastro Shields Research Scholarship.)

Dr. Banna graduated with a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Health/Exercise Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is a registered dietitian, having completed her dietetic internship at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York City.  She is currently working as a research scientist at the Instituto de Investigación Nutricional in Lima, Peru, where she is exploring the dietary habits of adolescents in a periurban community. In addition, she is currently teaching nutrition courses online as a faculty member at the University of Phoenix and South University.  Dr. Banna’s research interest is nutrition education in at-risk groups domestically and internationally, particularly in Spanish-speaking populations.  

Khadija Begum

Graduation Date: 2013
Major Professor: Kathryn G. Dewey
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: Prevalence and predictors of breastfeeding practices and perceived breastfeeding problems in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Viet Nam

Dr. Begum is a medical graduate and a trained obstetrician and gynecologist from Bangladesh. She received her Masters in Public Health (MPH) degree from the University of New South Wales, Australia and Doctoral Degree in Nutritional Biology from the University of California, Davis. She served as a clinician in different rural and urban government health institutions and hospitals of Bangladesh. She also worked as Assistant Scientist in the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR, B). Dr. Begum’s research interests include improvement of maternal and newborn health and nutrition in low-income countries, infant and young child feeding including breastfeeding, childhood stunting, pneumonia and diarrhea, survey research and validation study. She is also interested in program monitoring and evaluation. 

Adelia C. Bovell-Benjamin

Graduation Date: 1998
Major Professor: Lindsay H. Allen
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Evaluation of iron amino acid chelates as iron fortificants in maize." (Supported by Albion Laboratories.)

Dr. Bovell-Benjamin is currently a Research Professor in the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences at Tuskegee University. She is currently working on diet, nutrition and cancer prevention issues in African Americans and food product development with emphasis on sensory issues. Her research interests are international nutrition, food product development, and nutrition and cancer prevention issues among African Americans.

Virginia A. Bennett

Graduation Date: 2000
Major Professor: Kenneth H. Brown
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Evaluation of selected methods to assess and enhance complementary feeding of young children in low-income countries." (Supported by UNICEF, USAID/UDLP, USAID/PSTC.)

Dr. Bennett received her B.S. from Central Washington University in Food Science, and her M.S. from the same institution in Nutrition. She is also a registered dietitian. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Human Performance and Nutrition at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. She is also the Director of the Program in Dietetics.

Erick Boy

Graduation Date: 2006
Major Professor: Kenneth H. Brown
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Evaluation of Novel Assessment Tools and Interventions to Improve Micronutrient Nutrition" (Supported by UC Davis and INCAP.)

Dr. Boy received his B.A. in English Literature from Baylor University, his M.D. from the University of San Carlos in Guatemala, and his M.S in nutrition from UC Davis. He currently holds the title of Chief Scientific Adviser at the Micronutrient Initiative in Ontario, Canada, and is responsible for providing technical guidance for institutional strategies and programs; maintaining technical staff updated in key scientific topics related to micronutrient deficiency control and prevention. He is in charge of home fortification of complementary foods and zinc supplementation interventions development, particularly in Latin American countries with high burden of disease and is a liaison with expert technical groups in vitamins and minerals nutrition.

Alex Brito

Graduation Date: 2015
Major Professor: Lindsay H. Allen
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation Title: "Novel Approaches For Detecting Sub-clinical Effects Of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency And Its Interaction With Folate Status In The Elderly"

Dr. Brito's research interests include prevalence, causes and metabolic and functional consequences of micronutrient deficiencies, especially vitamin B12 deficiency and its interaction with folate status. Publications: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alex_Brito/publications/

Diana Bueno-Gutierrez   

Graduation Date: 2013
Major Professor: Caroline Chantry
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation: "Formative Research to Develop Breastfeeding Promotion Messages In Tijuana, Mexico"

Dr.  Bueno-Gutierrez received her M.D. (General Practice) from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC), Tijuana, México in 2003. In 2007 she received an M.S. in Molecular Biology from the same University.  Before coming to UC Davis she worked as a Professor of Molecular Biology at the UABC Medicine School in Tijuana, México, and as a Research Assistant in a project entitled “Prevalence of obesity and body image dissatisfaction among high school students in Tijuana.”  Her research interests include promotion of breastfeeding, maternal nutrition, infant feeding, nutrition education.

Alison Lemon Campbell

Graduation Date: 2003
Major Professor: Lindsay H. Allen
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Causes and consequences of vitamin B-12 deficiency in a Californian Latino elderly population." (Supported by USDA.)

Dr. Campbell received her B.S. in dietetics and M.S. in nutrition from Utah State University and is a registered dietitian. Her master's work included the implementation and evaluation of a nutrition and fitness education program for Ute Indian youth living on the Uintah-Ouray reservation in Eastern Utah. Her current interests include sustainable food based interventions to improve micronutrient status of children in developing countries.

Jennifer E. Casterline-Sabel

Graduation Date: 1998
Major Professor: Lindsay H. Allen
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Vitamin B-12 deficiency and malabsorption in Guatemala and Mexico." (Supported by USAID/UDLP and the Thrasher Research Fund.)

Dr. Casterline received her B.A. from Boston University in Biology, and her M.S. from the University of Connecticut in Nutritional Sciences. Having completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the Epidemic Intelligence Service, she is currently an epidemiologist in the Injury Prevention Program at the Washington State Department of Health in Olympia, WA.

Virginia Chaidez

Graduation Date: 2009
Major Professor: Lucia L. Kaiser
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Toddler-feeding practices in Latinos: An early start in obesity prevention" (Supported by the National Research Initiative of the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UCMEXUS); the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety; the Food Stamp and Nutrition Education Program (FSNEP); and the Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Research Foundation.)

Dr. Chaidez received her B.S. in Foods and Nutrition from San Diego State University, San Diego, California. She is currently conducting postdoctoral research on autism in a large population-based case-control study at UCD's Dept of Public Health Sciences and M.I.N.D Institute. Her research interests include obesity and diabetes in Latinos with particular interest in child-feeding practices and understanding its role in childhood obesity.

Camila Chaparro

Graduation Date: 2006
Major Professor: Kathryn G. Dewey
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Effects of the timing of umbilical cord clamping and other factors on infant iron and lead status at six months of age" (supported by The Thrasher Research Fund and the U.S. Fulbright Program).

Dr. Chaparro received her A.B. degree in Biology from the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL She is currently a Research Specialist for the Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance II Project (FANTA-2), Academy for Educational Development, in Washington, D.C.  Her research interests are maternal and infant health and nutrition and iron deficiency.

Roberta J. Cohen

Graduation Date: 1994
Major Professor: Kathryn G. Dewey
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Optimal age of introduction of complementary foods to exclusively breast fed Honduran infants." (Supported by the Thrasher Research Fund, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and Georgetown University.)

Honors: Society for International Nutrition Young Investigator Award, 1994. Dr. Cohen received her B.A. in Bilingual Education from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and an M.Ed. in Special Education from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. Subsequently, she received an M.S. in Nutrition (minor in Farming Systems) from the University of Florida, Gainesville. After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Cohen worked as a research associate with the UC Davis Program in International and Community Nutrition. She managed two randomized intervention trials in Honduras, one on age of introduction of complementary foods to term, low birth weight breastfed infants, and the second on the effects of iron supplementation of breastfed infants. She then worked on several additional projects while based in Davis, including managing the collection of anthropometric data to be used in developing growth charts based on breastfed infants (coordinated by the World Health Organization), analysis of dietary data from four different studies of infant nutrition in developing countries, and management of pre-natal data collection for a study of early lactation success among first-time mothers in Sacramento. Dr. Cohen retired from UC Davis in 2007.

Kathleen Deegan

Graduation Date: 2008
Major Professor: Lindsay H. Allen
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Vitamin B-12 in Human Milk: Methodology for Measurement and Determination of Deficiency and the Effect of Supplementation on B-12 Deficient Lactating Women" (Supported by the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture)

Dr. Deegan received her B.S. in Zoology from Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas. She received her M.S. degree in Food Science & Human Nutrition from the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida and is a Registered Dietitian. Dr. Deegan is currently an adjunct professor at California State University, Sacramento and is teaching Nutrition & Metabolism, Advanced Metabolism, Cultural Aspects of Food & Nutrition, and Current Topics In Nutrition. Her research interest is micronutrient deficiencies in lactating women and the effect on their infants.

Jessica De Haene

Graduation Date: 2008
Major Professor: Janet King
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Determinants of impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance among Mexican pregnant women." (Sponsored by Fogarty International Center, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Inc., and UC MEXUS.)

Dr. DeHaene received her B.S. in Nutrition from the Universidad Ibero American, Mexico City, Mexico and her M.S. in Public Health from the Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica, Cuernavaca, Mexico. Dr. DeHaene is working as a clinical coordinator at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, California. She is coordinating a research project involving obese women by giving nutrition counseling and monitoring weight gain during pregnancy at San Francisco General Hospital and the University of California San Francisco Medical Center.  Dr. DeHaene’s research interests are impaired glucose tolerance, pregnancy, fetal programming, and childhood obesity.

Swati Deshpande

Graduation Date: 2004
Major Professor: Kathryn G. Dewey
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Strategies to optimize maternal and infant nutrition."

Dr. Deshpande received her B.S. from San Diego State University in Nutrition. Having completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the Epidemic Intelligence Service, she is currently managing the epidemiology unit at the San Mateo County Health Department. Her research interests are HIV/AIDS, maternal and child nutrition.

Daphna Dror

Graduation Date: 2009
Major Professor: Lindsay H. Allen
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Prevalence, predictors, and consequences of vitamin D deficiency in mother-infant pairs in Oakland, CA." (Supported by the Western Human Nutrition Research Center (USDA/ARS), the East Bay Neonatology Foundation and the Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Research Foundation.)

Dr. Dror received her B.S. in Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. She received her M.S. in Nutrition from the University of California, Davis, and also has a Registered Dietician degree from the University of California, San Francisco. Her research interest is micronutrient deficiencies in developed and developing countries.

Reina Engle-Stone

Graduation Date: 2011
Major Professor: Kenneth H. Brown
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Micronutrient status and consumption of fortifiable foods among women and young children in Cameroon: results of a national survey." (Supported by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Sight & Life, and the Henry A. Jastro and Peter J. Shields Graduate Research Award.)

Dr. Engle-Stone is currently a post-doctoral researcher at UC Davis, working in collaboration with Helen Keller International on an impact evaluation of the national food fortification program in Cameroon and a methods study on the response of breast milk vitamin A concentration to maternal vitamin A supplementation in the Philippines.  Her research interests include the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of malnutrition, with a specific focus on the micronutrient status of women and children in low-income settings.

Olga P. Garcia

Graduation Date: 1999
Major Professor: Lindsay H. Allen
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Isotope and community trials of the efficacy of a local food source of ascorbic acid for improving iron absorption and status in rural Mexico." (Supported by CONACYT, Mexico; USAID/OMNI.)

Dr. Garcia received her B.S. in Food Chemistry from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City and her M.S. in Nutrition from the University of California, Davis. She is a Professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, School of Natural Sciences, at the Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro, Queretaro, Mexico. Her research interests include Bioavailability of micronutrients and consequences of micronutrient deficiencies.

Gretchen George

Graduation Date: 2014
Major Professor: Lucia Kaiser
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: Childhood Obesity Reduction Within A Summer Camp Model

Dr. George received her B.S. in Nutritional Sciences from California State University at San Luis Obispo and her M.A. in Family and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis in Public Health Nutrition from Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.  She additionally completed her Dietetic Internship and is Registered Dietitian. Gretchen George is currently an Assistant Professor in the Consumer and Family Studies / Dietetics Department at San Francisco State University. Before and during her doctoral education, Gretchen worked as a Research Registered Dietitian at Stanford Prevention Research Center, where she investigated the impact of diet and lifestyle modifications on reducing cardiovascular risk and disease with both individuals and groups. Gretchen continues to work with summer-focused interventions including individually tailored plans for low-income families in her position at San Francisco State University.

Joanne Graham

Graduation Date: 2004
Major Professor: Lindsay H. Allen
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Benefits of riboflavin plus iron supplementation for pregnant Nepali women." (Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Floyd & Mary Schwall Dissertation Fellowship.)

Dr. Graham received her B.S. from the University of California, Davis in Dietetics. She is also a Registered Dietitian (internship at Olive View UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar, CA 1998). She is currently a Lecturer at Sacramento State University teaching undergraduate nutrition courses, specifically, Metabolism and Lifespan Nutrition. Her interests include pregnancy outcomes, maternal and infant nutrition, and micronutrient deficiencies in developing countries.

Andrea Hacker

Graduation Date: 2013
Major Professor: Janet C. King and Ellen B. Fung
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: Racial Differences in Maternal Bone Density and Calcium Intake in an Urban Population

Dr. Hacker is currently an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin Missouri.

Craig Hadley

Graduation Date: 2003
Major Professor: Monique Borgerhoff Mulder
Graduate Group: Anthropology
Dissertation title: "The Biosocial Correlates of Children's Growth in Two Tanzanian Ethnic Groups." (Supported by NSF, the Gifford Center for Population Issues, and UC Davis.)

Dr. Hadley received his B.S. in Anthropology from the University of Utah and his M.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Davis. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Emory University. He also holds the appointment as the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar in the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health at the University of Michigan. Dr. Hadley is currently involved in studies concerning public health nutrition among Ethiopian adolescents, refugees living the in USA, and studies of the biosocial impact of living in seasonal subsistence environments. His current research interests include nutritional anthropology, mixed methods, social production of health, food insecurity, child feeding, refugees, and East Africa.

Andrew Hall

Graduation Date: 2011
Major Professor: Janet C. King
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Supplemental Animal Source Foods for Reproductive-age Women in Rural Vietnam: Development, Acceptability, and Effects on Usual Diet, Micronutrient Status, and Infections". (Supported by Pacific Rim Research Program, Fulbright U.S. Student Program, and UC Davis (Jastro-Shields Scholarship).)

Dr. Hall received his B.S. in Biochemistry and his M.S. in Nutrition from the University of California, Davis. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) in Oakland, California, where he is examining the impact of supplemental animal source food given prior to conception until term vs. mid-gestation to term on maternal health, pregnancy outcomes, and infant growth in the first six months of life. His research interests include food-based interventions; role of maternal nutrition before and during pregnancy in fetal, infant, and young child growth and development; and interactions between nutrition and infection.

Laura M. Hall

Graduation Date: 2008
Major Professor: Charles B. Stephensen
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Sun Exposure, Skin Reflectance and Vitamin D Intake to Predict Vitamin D Status." (Supported by the NCMHD Center of Excellence in Nutritional Genomics, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Inc., the Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Research Foundation, and the Western Human Nutrition Research Center.)

Dr. Hall graduated with a B.S. in Applied Nutrition from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Food Science and Nutrition Dept. at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where she is teaching clinical nutrition courses, general nutrition courses and advising senior projects and masters students along with developing research. Dr. Hall’s research interests include: Understanding the contributions to individual vitamin D status, Testing the specificity and sensitivity of previous model and recall questionnaires for identifying individuals at risk of vitamin D insufficiency, Vitamin D supplementation and disease outcomes (obesity, insulin resistance, osteoporosis, etc.) and physical performance/muscle function, Identifying vitamin D polymorphisms and disease outcomes, Examining cultural beliefs about sun exposure/supplement use, Promoting vitamin D education and health in the community.

Marjorie J. Haskell

Graduation Date: 1996
Major Professor: Kenneth H. Brown
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Evaluation of the deuterated retinol dilution technique to assess vitamin A status of Bangladeshi adults." (Supported by USAID.)

Dr. Haskell received her B.S. in Nutrition at the University of Massachusetts and her M.P.H. at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill). She is currently an Associate Research Nutritionist at the University of California, Davis, working on bioavailability of vitamin A and carotenoids, assessment of vitamin A status, and food-based interventions for improving maternal and infant vitamin A status.

Eric Hazzard

Graduation Date: 2009
Major Professor: Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Utilization of garden-based education to positively impact children's nutrition knowledge and behaviors."

Mohammad Bakhtiar Hossain

Graduation Date: 2006
Major Professor: Bo Lönnerdal
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Effects of Maternal Iron and Zinc Deficiency and Supplementation on Neonatal Iron and Zinc Status, Iron Uptake, and Intestinal Iron and Zinc Transporter Expression in a Rat Model" (Supported by the Fogarty International Center and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.)

Dr. Hossain received both a B.S. and M.S. in Biochemistry from Dhaka University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is an Assistant Scientist at the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Dr. Hossain’s studies will involve the effect of zinc supplementation on intestinal zinc transporter expression. His research interests include improving micronutrient status of vulnerable population in developing countries using biofortification.

Md. Iqbal Hossain

Graduation Date: 2009
Major Professor: Kenneth H. Brown
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Risk factors for severe malnutrition among hospitalized Bangladeshi children, and controlled evaluation of different community-based treatment protocols" (Supported by Sida-SAREC, Sweden, ICDDR,B, and Program in International and Community Nutrition, UC Davis and the Fogarty International Center.)

Dr. Hossain received an M.B.B.S (graduate degree in medical science) from the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh, and a D.C.H. in Pediatric Medicine from Dhaka University, Bangladesh. His current position is Scientist, Center for Nutrition and Food Security & Clinical Lead, Nutrition Unit, at Dhaka Hospital, ICDDR, B.  His focus is on pediatric clinical services, hospital- and community-based clinical and nutritional research, and teaching about human nutrition, diarrheal diseases, research methodology, and biostatistics. His research interests include: management of severely malnourished children; long chain fatty acid in preterm and malnourished children; use of soy protein in malnourished children; and short chain fatty acid in diarrheal diseases.  He is also an Adjunct Faculty for the Public Health Nutrition Course of James P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Charlotte Huang


Graduation Date: 2013
Major Professor: Ken Brown
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation: "Post-Absorptive Zinc Metabolism in Weanling Rats Consuming Additional Zinc in the Form of a Supplement or Zinc-Fortified Rice Slurry:

Prior to coming to UC Davis Charlotte Huang was awarded a B.A. degree from Pomona College. Her research interests include zinc metabolism, child nutrition, food labeling, and food policies.

Md. Munirul Islam

Graduation Date: 2007
Major Professor: Kenneth H. Brown
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Effects of energy density and feeding frequency of complementary foods on food and breast milk consumption, total energy intake, and time expended during individual meals by healthy, breastfed Bangladeshi children" (supported by the Government of Bangladesh through IHP-HNPRP and by the Fogarty International Center and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development).

Dr. Islam received his MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery) from Dhaka Medical College, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1995. He is currently an Associate Scientist in the Clinical Sciences Division of the ICDDR,B in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Dr. Islam has published papers on the development of practical, complementary feeding recommendations for healthy breastfed children. His research interests include infant and young child feeding (complementary feeding and breast feeding); management and prevention of childhood malnutrition in low-income countries; micronutrients and infectious disease. Currently, he is conducting research on bioavailability of zinc from zinc biofortified rice in young children, developing dietary regimen for infants aged less than 6 months of age suffering from severe acute malnutrition and dietary assessment of both healthy and malnourished young children undergoing different interventions.

Katharine M. Jones

Graduation Date: 2005
Major Professor: Lindsay H. Allen
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Vitamin B-12 deficiency in Guatemalan mothers and infants: Prevalence, predictors and associations with maternal depression and infant development." (Supported by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association)

Dr. Jones received her B.S. Degree from the University of California, Davis, in Community Nutrition. Her current research interest is micronutrient deficiency.

Josh Jorgensen

Graduation Date: 2014
Major Professor: Kathryn Dewey
Graduate Group:  Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: Predictors of Iron Status and Oxidative Stress in Lactating Women: Effects of Iron Supplementation, Inflammation, and High BMI

Dr. Jorgensen received his B.S. in Nutritional Science from UC Davis in 2001 and his M.P.H. from the same institution in 2006.  He received his Ph.D. in 2014 in Nutritional Biology with an emphasis in International and Community Nutrition. His research focuses on improving the nutritional status, while decreasing morbidity and mortality in children of developing countries.>

Rumana Khan

Graduation Date: 2013
Major Professor: Bruce N. Leistikow
Graduate Group: Epidemiology
Dissertation title: "Cardiovascular Diseases in Bangladesh and in the United States: The knowledge level of risk factors and association with smoking and obesity." (Supported by Fogarty International Center and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.)

Joel E. Kimmons

Graduation Date: 2000
Major Professor: Kathryn G. Dewey
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Assessment of appropriate and feasible strategies to improve infant complementary feeding practices in Ghana and Bangladesh." (Supported by Nestlé Foundation; World Bank, ICDDR, B).

Dr. Kimmons received his B.S. in Food Science and Technology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Kimmons is a Nutrition Epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where he is the lead scientist for the National Fruit and Vegetable Program (CDC’s center for disease control and prevention’s division of nutrition and physical activity). His research interests include macronutrient and micronutrient intake, micronutrient status, fruit and vegetable intake and chronic disease, obesity, national dietary surveillance, diabetes, functional foods and dietary supplements.

Moses Klevor

Graduation Date: 2014
Major Professor: Kathryn Dewey
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation: "Breast Milk Retinol Concentrations of Ghanaian Women: Effect of Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplements Taken During Pregnancy and the First 6 Months Postpartum, and Associations with Maternal Dietary Patterns and Sociodemographic Factors"

Dr. Klevor received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Nutrition from the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana, in 2000 and 2007 respectively.  Prior to coming to UC Davis his previous employment and international experience included:  Field Supervisor, International Lipid-based Nutrient Supplement (ILiNS) Study acceptability trial (Ghana Site), 2009; National Health Coordinator, Ghana Red Cross Society, 2008-2009;  Project Manager, Dietary Assessment Tools Validation Study, University of North Carolina School of Public Health/University of Ghana, 2007-2008; Field Supervisor, Enhancing Child Nutrition Through Animal Source Food Management (ENAM) Project in Africa (Ghana Site), 2006;  Field Research Assistant, Plan International (Southern Ghana Child Survival Baseline Survey), 2005;  Field Research Assistant, WHO (Multicenter Growth Reference Study (Ghana Site), 2001-2003.  His research interests include maternal and child nutrition, community nutrition, nutrition intervention programs, assessment methodologies.

Anna Lartey

Graduation Date: 1998
Major Professor: Kathryn G. Dewey
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "A randomized community-based trial of the effects of improved, centrally processed complementary foods on growth and micronutrient status of Ghanaian infants at 6-12 mo." (Supported by the Nestlé Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.)

Dr. Lartey attended UCD as a Fulbright student from Ghana, West Africa. Prior to studying at UC Davis, she received her B.S. from the University of Ottawa (Canada) in Biochemistry - Nutrition, and after serving a dietetic internship at Kingston General Hospital in Kingston, Canada, she received her M.S. from the University of Guelph (Canada) in Nutritional Sciences. Dr Lartey is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Ghana in Accra. She is also a Council Member for the International Union of Nutritional Sciences. She is the current Chairperson of the Africa Nutritional Epidemiology Conference, President of the Ghana Nutrition Association, and Africa’s representative on the Council of International Union of Nutritional Sciences, and was recently named IDRC Research Chair in Nutrition for Health and Socio-Economic Development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her current research areas are breastfeeding, complementary feeding, factors affecting the growth of Ghanaian children. Nutrition and HIV/AIDS. She was a Principal Investigator on the WHO Multicenter Growth Reference Study in Ghana.

Daniel López de Romaña

Graduation Date: 2004
Major Professor: Kenneth H. Brown
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Development of iron- and zinc- (doubly-) fortified wheat products to improve the diets, nutrition, and health of Peruvian children." (Supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Fogarty International Center and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the United States.)

Dr. López de Romaña received his bachelor's degree in Biology and master's degree in Nutrition from University of California, Davis. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the Instituto de Nutrición y Tecnología de los Alimentos (INTA), Universidad de Chile (Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology, University of Chile), and is the Coordinator of the Human Nutrition Track for the Master’s Program in Nutrition and Food and the Director of the Office of International Affairs. His current research interests include micronutrient deficiencies in developing countries, micronutrient intervention programs and the relationship between micronutrients, obesity and obesity-related chronic diseases.

Zeina Maalouf-Manasseh

Graduation Date: 2011
Major Professor: Kathryn G. Dewey
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Infant Feeding and Obesity: Relationships in the Mother-Infant Dyad." (supported by ERS-RIDGE).

Dr. Maalouf-Manasseh received her B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, and her M.S. in Food Policy & Applied Nutrition from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts.  She currently serves as the FANTA III lead advisor on technical issues related to specialized foods, food safety and food hygiene; her duties also include data analysis for various research activities.  Her research interests include maternal nutrition during pregnancy and lactation, infant feeding, and childhood obesity.

Susana L. Matias

Graduation Date: 2008
Major Professor: Kathryn G. Dewey
Graduate Group: Epidemiology
Dissertation title: "The Early Breastfeeding Experience and its Association with Optimal Breastfeeding among Peruvian Mothers." (Supported by the Fogarty International Center and the Gifford Center for Population Issues.)

Dr. Susana Matias received her B.S. in Psychology from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, Lima, Peru. She completed one year of post-doctoral training at the University of California (Davis) Department of Public Health Sciences with a focus on minority and immigrant health. She is currently an Assistant Project Scientist at the Department of Nutrition at UC Davis, collaborating in the implementation of an effectiveness trial of a lipid-based nutrition (LNS) supplement for pregnant women and young children in Bangladesh. Her research interests are focused on maternal and infant health and nutrition, and on immigrant health.

Erin Reid McLean

Graduation Date: 2006
Major Professor: Lindsay H. Allen
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Effectiveness of weekly multiple micronutrients vs. two levels of iron supplements to improve anemia, micronutrient status and cognitive performance in Senegalese school children" (Supported by The Micronutrient Initiative)

Dr. McLean received her B.Sc. Degree from the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada) and her M.S. Degree from the University of California, Davis. She worked as a Technical Officer in Micronutrients at the World Health Organization, and then as a Senior Program Specialist at the Micronutrient Initiative in Ottawa, Canada. Currently she is a Manager for Nutrition and Immunization programs in the Multilateral and Global Programs Branch at the Canadian International Development Agency in Ottawa, Canada. Her areas of work include working with global vitamin and mineral deficiency (VMD) data to identify knowledge gaps.

Concepción Mendoza

Graduation Date: 1997
Major Professor: Kenneth H. Brown
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Effects of phytate and calcium levels on iron and zinc absorption from genetically modified maize and a novel food supplement." (Supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and the International Atomic Energy Agency.)

Dr. Mendoza received her bachelor's degree from Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, and her master's degree from the Institute of Nutrition for Central America and Panama (INCAP). She is currently the Nutrition Family and Consumer science Advisor of the University of California Cooperative Extension, UCCE for Shasta and Trinity counties in California, where the main goal of the program is to improve consumers and families' life and decision-making abilities in nutrition and health. She is also the manager of the Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program (FSNEP) for Shasta, Trinity and Tehama counties in California.

Malay K. Mridha

Graduation Date: 2013
Major Professor: Kathryn G. Dewey
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: Prevalence and Factors Associated with Depressive Symptoms, Anemia, and Low and High Body Mass Index in Early Pregnancy among Rural Women in North-West Bangladesh

Dr. Mridha received his MBBS in Medicine, Surgery from Chittagong University, Bangladesh, in 1997, MSc in Nutrition from Chittagong University, Bangladesh in 2001,  MSc in Health Economics from Dhaka University, Bangladesh in 2002,  and MPH in Public Health from State University, Bangladesh in 2007.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in Nutritional Biology with a Designated Emphasis in International and Community Nutrition in 2013.  Dr. Mridha is currently a Project Coordinator at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B).  His research interests include the role of polyunsaturated fatty acids in pregnancy and lactation, weaning practices and complementary feeding practices and their association with growth and illness of children, evaluation of existing nutrition intervention programs on health and illness of mothers and children, equity in community settings, nutrition and non-communicable diseases.

Brietta Oaks

Graduation Date: 2014
Major Professor: Kathryn G. Dewey
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Nutritional and physiological factors in relation to birth outcomes and the role of a lipid-based nutrient supplement (LNS) in pregnant Ghanaian women." (Supported by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.)

Dr. Oaks received her B.S. in Biology and her B.A. in Sociology from The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA. She received her M.P.H. from George Washington University, Washington, DC. She is currently working as a postdoctoral scholar examining the effects of a lipid-based nutrient supplement (LNS) on maternal and child fatty acids, as well as the association between fatty acids and birth outcomes/child cognition in low-income countries. She is also interested in epigenetics, prenatal nutrition, and reducing health disparities on an international level.

Deanna Olney

Graduation Date: 2006
Major Professor: Lindsay H. Allen, Ernesto E. Pollitt
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Modeling the effects of anemia, malaria, growth and micronutrient supplementation on development of young Zanzibari children." (Supported by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID.)

Dr. Olney received her bachelor's degree in Political Science from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. She is currently working as a consultant for the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C. Her research interests include the relationships between and among poverty, stress, micronutrient deficiencies, malaria, anemia, growth and obesity, child development and school achievement.

Peggy Callaghan Papathakis

Graduation Date: 2005
Major Professor: Kenneth H. Brown
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Changes in body composition and micronutrient status during lactation in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected South African women." (Supported by Fulbright Scholarship, Wellcome Trust)

Dr. Papathakis received her B.S. in dietetics from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and her M.S. in nutrition from UC Davis. She is a registered dietitian, having completed her dietetic internship at Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, LA. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and teaches courses in clinical nutrition, maternal and child nutrition and international nutrition. Her research interests include infectious diseases (TB and HIV), body composition and dietary and micronutrient requirements; nutritional status of HIV-infected women and their infants; and early childhood obesity in the California Hispanic population.  She serves on the World Health Organization Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group for Nutrition and HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis. 

Ana Perez-Exposito

Graduation Date: 2009
Major Professor: Kenneth H. Brown
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Community intervention to assess the effects of orange-flesh sweet potatoes and vitamin A supplements on mineral absorption from rice-based meals and intestinal mucosal permeability in vitamin A-depleted Bangladeshi women." (Supported by Harvest Plus.)

Dr. Perez-Exposito received her B.S. in Nutrition and Food Science from Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, Mexico, and her Master in International Health from Instituto de Salud Carlos III. Madrid, Spain. She is currently a Senior Technical Officer for the Inter-American Development Bank, working on technical support for the design, implementation, and evaluation of Salud Mesoamerica 2015, an innovative public and private partnership to reduce health inequities in the Mesoamerican region. Her research interests include effectiveness, implementation, and process evaluation of nutrition and health interventions in developing countries.

Lisa Marie Rogers

Graduation Date: 2000
Major Professor: Lindsay H. Allen
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Vitamin B12 status of Guatemalan school children: indicators and predictors of deficiency." (Supported by the Thrasher Research Foundation.)

Dr. Rogers received her B.S. from the University of Arizona in Nutrition and Dietetics, and her M.S. from the University of Florida in Human Nutrition. She is also a Registered Dietitian (internship at St. Luke's Hospital/Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL ´94). Her master's thesis work involved studying the bioavailability of folic acid in 13C5-folic acid fortified cereal products. This work was completed under Dr. Jesse Gregory, III. Dr. Rogers is currently working at the World Health Organization as a Technical Officer in the Micronutrient Unit of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development. She is updating the vitamin A portion of the Micronutrient Deficiency Information System (MIS) and will then use this information to update WHO's global estimates of vitamin A deficiency.

Sara Schaefer

Graduation Date: 2005
Major Professor: Marta Van Loan
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Association of Acculturation and Socioeconomic Status with Health Behavior and Health Status in Adolescent Females." (supported by the United States Department of Agriculture, IFAFS Grant # 00-52102-9696)

Dr. Schaefer received a B.S. in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise from Virginia Tech in 2000. Since completing her doctorate at UC Davis, she spent several years overseas in Honduras working to design and implement programs in infant/child growth monitoring and feeding, and obstetric care. She held the position of a Program Nutrition Specialist for the non-profit SUSTAIN in Washington, DC, and worked as a postdoctoral researcher under Dr. Sangita Sharma at UNC Chapel Hill, studying dietary patterns of Aboriginal populations in the Arctic regions of North America. She currently is the Associate Director of Educational Programs at the UC Davis Foods for Health Institute.

Daniel Sellen

Graduation Date: 1995
Major Professor: Monique Borgerhoff-Mulder
Graduate Group: Ecology
Dissertation title: "The socio-ecology of young child growth among the Datoga pastoralists of Northern Tanzania." (Supported by Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Leverhulme Trust, the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain, and the LSB Leakey Foundation.)

Dr. Sellen received a B.A. and an M.A. in Zoology and Biological Anthropology from the University of Oxford in 1987, an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan in 1989, and completed post-doctoral research in anthropological demography at University College London in 1997. He is currently Canada Research Chair in Human Ecology and Public Health Nutrition, and a Professor of Anthropology, Nutritional Sciences and Public Health at The University of Toronto.

Setareh (Setti) Shahab-Ferdows

Graduation Date: 2008
Major Professor: Lindsay Allen
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Randomized Placebo-Controlled Vitamin B12 Supplementation Trial in Deficient Rural Mexican Women: Baseline Assessment, Transcobalamin Genotype and Response of Biochemical and Functional Markers to Supplementation." (supported by ARS, USDA, WHNRC).

Dr. Shahab-Ferdows received her B.S. in Clinical Nutrition from University of California, Davis. She is currently a post- doctoral researcher at the Western Human Nutrition Research Center, where she works on projects in West Bank, Honduras and Guatemala. Her research interests include micronutrient deficiencies and sustainable local interventions to eradicate them in less developed countries.

Towfida Siddiqua

Graduation Date: 2013
Major Professor: Lindsay H. Allen
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: Vitamin B12 Supplementation during Pregnancy and Lactation in Bangladesh:  Effects on Maternal and Infant B12 status, Breast Milk and Immune function

Dr. Siddiqua received her B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2005 and later her M.S. in 2007.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis Graduate in Nutritional Biology with a Designated Emphasis in International and Community Nutrition  in 2013.  Her research focusses on causes, consequences and prevention of vitamin B12 deficiency, effect of maternal supplementation on embryonic and fetal development and infant immune function.
 

Amna Rehana Siddiqui

Graduation Date: 2006
Major Professor: Ellen B. Gold
Graduate Group: Epidemiology
Dissertation title: "Prenatal Exposure to Wood Fuel and Adverse Infant Birth Outcomes" (supported by the National Institutes of Health).

Dr. Siddiqui received her M.B.B.S. in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Karachi Pakistan and her M.S.P.H. in Infectious Diseases Epidemiology from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan. She is teaching and directing courses in epidemiology and nutritional epidemiology for M.B.B.S., M.S. epidemiology and biostatistics, regional short courses, hospital epidemiology, and field-based research work related to indoor air pollution. Her research interests are environmental and nutritional epidemiology.

Jonathan Siekmann

Graduation Date: 2001
Major Professor: Lindsay H. Allen
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Micronutrient deficiencies in Kenyan school children: Impact of food-based interventions, and associations with malaria and antibody titers." (Supported by USAID Global Livestock CRSP.)

Dr. Siekmann is a Technical Adviser to the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), working in the area of maternal, infant and young child nutrition. Before coming to GAIN Jonathan was a Technical Officer in the World Health Organization Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, managing the WHO Database on Body Mass Index and working on developing national, regional, and global estimates of overweight and obesity. Prior to WHO, Jonathan was an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  He was also an associate researcher in the Department of Applied Nutrition at Tokushima University School of Medicine in Tokushima, Japan. His interests are in infant and young child nutrition, micronutrients, food-based strategies to address micronutrient deficiencies, and nutrition education.

Jérôme Winbetourefa Somé

Graduation: 2015
Major Professor: Kenneth H. Brown
Graduate Group: Nutrition

Before coming to UC Davis Dr. Somé received an M.D. degree from Unité de Formation et de Recherche en  Sciences de la Santé, University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. He also worked as a research assistant in the iLiNS-Zinc project at the Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé/Direction régionale de l’Ouest, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.; Physician at the hôpital du jour pédiatrique of the Teaching Hospital of Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.;  Clinical monitor assistant in the Burkiname ANRS 12103 clinical trial (NCT00122538) headed by the Prof. Boubacar Nacro, head of the Paediatrics Department of the Teaching Hospital of Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, an open phase II trial evaluating the pharmacokinetics, immunologic and virologic efficacy and toxicity of Didanosine-Lamivudine-Efavirenz once-a-day combination in HIV-1 infected children during a 12-month period.; Volunteer physician in two local associations helping individuals with HIV/AIDS (Association Espoir et Vie and Association Guérir au Burkina) in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.; Online (telephone) HIV counsellor at the ligne verte (Info Sida), a call centre established by the Association des Femmes Africaines Face au SIDA (AFAFSI) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

His research interests include nutrition and infectious diseases, micronutrient deficiencies (particularly zinc, iron and vitamin A) and nutrition education.


Beth Carlton Tohill

Graduation Date: 2000
Major Professor: Kathryn G. Dewey
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Predictors of postpartum body composition changes and physical activity level in women from three different ethnic groups: Asian, Hispanic and non-Hispanic White." (Supported by NIH.)

Dr. Tohill received her B.A. from Texas A&M in Speech Communication and Health, and her M.S.P.H. from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. As part of her master's degree, she spent over 2 years with the Peace Corps in Guatemala, working in health and nutrition education. She is currently working in the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia as a Lead of the Obesity Guideline Development and Recommendations Team. Her main areas of research include the causes of the obesity epidemic and using that evidence-based research to reverse the current epidemic, and issues related to nutrition and breastfeeding among HIV infected women and their children.

Tami Turner

Graduation Date: 2012
Major Professor: Betti Burri
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: Pro-vitamin A Carotenoids: Aspects of the Biology, Chemical Analysis, and Utilization of Foods for Improving Public Health

Luz Elvia Vera Becerra

Graduation Date: 2012
Major Professor: Lucia L. Kaiser
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Childhood Obesity in Mexican-Origin Populations." (Supported by UC MEXUS and Conacyt.)

Dr. Vera Becerra received her B.S. in Nutrition and Food Science and her M.S. in Educational Analysis and Development from The Iberoamerican University in Guanajuato, Mexico. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Medicine & Nutrition at the University of Guanajuato, Leon. Her research interests include childhood obesity prevention and nutrition education.

Bineti Vitta

Graduation Date: 2010
Major Professor: Kathryn G. Dewey
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Causal directions in the relationship between perinatal depressive symptoms and breastfeeding." (Supported by Department of Health and Human Services, Maternal Child Health Branch.)

Dr. Vitta received her B.S. in Biology from Brandeis University, and her M.S. in Nutrition from the University of California, Davis. She is currently a postdoctoral scholar at UCD, assisting with Small Grants Program of the Alive & Thrive Initiative sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Her research interests include infant and young child nutrition, maternal and child health.

William E. Watkins

Graduation Date: 1995
Major Professor: Ernesto Pollitt
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Effect of intestinal helminths on the nutritional status and cognitive performance of Guatemalan schoolchildren." (Supported by the USAID University Development and Linkage Program)

Dr. Watkins graduated from Yale University in 1978 with a B.A. in Chinese studies, taught agriculture in Ghana for the Peace Corps 1978-80, and then English in China for the Yale-China Association 1981-84. He received a M.S. in microbiology from North Dakota State University in 1989. He is currently teaching at St. Timothy's School in Stevenson, Maryland.

Anne Williams

Graduation Date: 2014
Major Professor: Caroline Chantry
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology

Prior to coming to UC Davis, Anne Williams received a B.S. degree in Aquatic and Fishery Science from the University of Washington, Seattle. She later received a Masters in Public Health degree from the University of California, Davis.  Previous relevant employment and international experience included  Intern to the Chief, California Department of Public Health, Center for Infectious Disease, Office of AIDS; Clinic Manager and Health Educator, Planned Parenthood of Alaska.  Her research interests include mother-to-child transmission of HIV through breast milk, infant nutrition, and health disparities.

Ryan Wessells

Graduation Date: 2011
Major Professor: Kenneth H. Brown
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "The effects of short-term zinc supplementation on changes in plasma zinc concentration: two randomized-controlled trials investigating the magnitude and velocity of response, the efficacy of different physical forms of zinc supplements, and relationships with altered intestinal permeability." (Supported by the International Zinc Association, Nutriset S.A.S, the Bristol Myers Squibb Freedom to Discover program, and the Henry A. Jastro Graduate Research Scholarship Award.)

Dr. Wessells received her B.S. in Microbiology and her B.A. in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is currently working as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of CA, Davis with Dr. Kenneth Brown. Her research interests are focused on zinc deficiency among infants and young children in low-income countries, and the evaluation of therapeutic and preventive interventions designed to improve nutritional status in these populations. She is also interested in the dietary and biochemical assessment of nutritional status, and relationships between nutritional status, intestinal mucosal function and infection.

Sara E. Wuehler

Graduation Date: 2007
Major Professor: Kenneth H. Brown
Graduate Group: Nutrition
Dissertation title: "Estimation of the global risk of zinc deficiency and assessment of the impact of three doses of zinc supplementation, with or without copper, on markers of zinc and copper status, morbidity and growth among young Ecuadorian children." (Supported by USDA, UNICEF, USAID, and FARMA.)

Dr. Wuehler received her B.S. in Food Science and her M.S. in Food Science and Nutrition from Brigham Young University. She is currently working as a project director at Helen Keller International, Dakar, Senegal. Her current project includes analysis of the state of infant and young child nutrition policies, programs and research in the Sahel region of Sub-Sahara Africa. Her interests include nutrition research and program implementation in developing countries on issues critical to maternal and child health and training of professionals from developing countries to conduct research and implement nutrition programs specific to their country needs.

Elizabeth Yakes

Graduation Date: 2010
Major Professor: Kenneth H. Brown
Graduate Group: Epidemiology
Dissertation title: "Polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and status of breast fed and non-breast fed Bangladeshi children 24-47 months of age." (Supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Inc. and the HarvestPlus Challenge Program [coordinated by the Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)].)

Dr. Yakes received her B.S. in Nutrition and her M.S. in Public Health Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Individual, Family, and Community Education: Nutrition/Dietetics Program at the University of New Mexico. Her research interests include pediatric and perinatal epidemiology.

Zhenyu Yang

Graduation Date: 2008
Major Professor: Kathryn G. Dewey
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Assessment and prediction of iron status and effects of iron supplementation with vs without a meal on iron, zinc and copper status and markers of oxidative stress." (Supported by Jastro-Shields and USDA/ARS.)

Dr. Yang received an M.B. in Medicine from Baotou Medical College, an M.S. in Nutrition and Food Hygiene from the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, and an M.S. in Epidemiology from the University of California, Davis. He is currently a Nutrition Consultant for GAIN, supporting the maternal, infant and young child nutrition program. His research interests include micronutrient nutrition and complementary feeding.

Tara Young

Graduation Date: 2008
Major Professor: Francene Steinberg
Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology
Dissertation title: "Gestational diabetes, type 2 diabetes risk and ethnicity: a qualitative and quantitative analysis." (Supported by The Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Research Foundation and The California Dietetic Association.)

Dr. Young received her B.S. in Nutrition and Foods and her M.S. in Human Nutrition from Washington State University, Pullman, Washington. Her research interests are nutrition and chronic disease prevention.

 


M.S. Recipients

Stuart Bresnick

Major Professor: Kathryn G. Dewey
Before receiving his M.S. in Nutrition from UC Davis, Mr. Bresnick received a Bachelor of Engineering from Cornell University, a Master of Science in Materials Science from Northwestern University, and a Master of Business Administration from Iona College.

Gina Ermis

Major Professor: Kathryn G. Dewey

Olga Garcia

Major Professor: Lindsay H. Allen

Keiko Goto

Major Professor: Kenneth H. Brown

Thesis title: "Epidemiology of Impaired Intestinal Function of Guatemalan infants and Its Risks Factors, as Assessed by Permeability to Test Sugars." (Supported by the USAID University Development and Linkage Program.)

Fouad Hassaan

Major Professor: Kenneth H. Brown

Natalia León

Major Professor: Ernesto Pollitt

Barbara MkNelly

Major Professor: Louis E. Grivetti

Mayra Munoz-Gomez

Major Professor: Lucia Kaiser

William Wheeler

Major Professor: Kenneth H. Brown

Thesis title: "Solubility and bioavailability of metallic iron placed in drinking water". (Supported by UNICEF.)

Emily York

Major Professor: Lindsay H. Allen

In memoriam

Alhassan Abdullah Manu

(1960-1995)

A native of Ghana, Mr. Manu came to Davis in 1992 to enroll in the Program. He had previously received his B.Sc. from the University of Ghana in Nutrition and Food Science, and his M.S. from the University of Oslo, Norway, in Nutrition. His goal was to be a university instructor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Ghana, and to continue research on issues related to malnutrition and household food security in Ghana.

After completing his coursework and passing his orals, he returned to Ghana in 1994 to carry out his dissertation research on improved complementary foods in relation to the growth and morbidity of Ghanaian infants.

Unfortunately, he fell ill while in Ghana, and passed away in November, 1995. His untimely death was a great loss not only to his family and friends, who loved him, but also to the international nutrition research community, which lost a man of great intelligence and compassion.

Alhassan: May peace be upon you -- may God's blessings be upon you.