Research

PICN Researchers

Current research interests of PICN faculty members are:

Maternal and child nutrition

  • Determinants of infant feeding practices
  • Impact of infant feeding practices on children's energy and nutrient intakes, morbidity from infections, and growth
  • Determinants of lactation performance and composition of human milk
  • Impact of lactation on maternal nutritional status
  • Development and promotion of enhanced complementary feeding of breastfed infants
  • Nutrition and behavioral development and school performance
  • Nutrition of women of reproductive age

Micronutrients

  • Micronutrient deficiencies
  • Novel techniques to assess micronutrient status
  • Bioavailability of vitamins and minerals from mixed diets
  • Metabolic interactions among nutrients
  • Interventions to improve micronutrient status
  • Effect of infection on micronutrient metabolism

Determinants of food intake

  • Socio-cultural, economic, geographic, historical, and other factors affecting food choices and dietary intake
  • Dietary and other biological factors influencing appetite and energy intake

Nutrition and Infection

  • Relationships among feeding practices, nutritional status, and risk of infection
  • Nutritional impact of infections
  • Dietary management of infections
  • Effect of intestinal parasites on nutrition and behavior

Nutritional Assessment

  • Development of novel techniques to assess body composition and status of specific micronutrients, such as vitamin A, iron, and zinc
  • Nutritional surveillance

Food and Nutrition Programs and Policy

  • Evaluation of nutrition intervention programs (e.g., promotion of exclusive breast feeding, promotion of improved complementary feeding, growth monitoring, school feeding, etc.)
  • Impact of community infrastructure and services on childhood malnutrition
  • Impact of agricultural and economic development on human nutrition
  • Comparative analyses of national nutrition policies

The PICN enjoys collaborative linkages with a number of research and training programs in developing countries, and facilitates inter-institutional exchange of faculty members and students. UC Davis professors currently participate in field projects in each of the major regions of the developing world -- Latin America, Asia, and Africa -- and provide technical assistance to international public health and welfare agencies such as the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, and the United States Agency for International Development.