Nutrition and Metabolism Trainers Grouped by Research Area

The Nutrition and Metabolism Graduate Program has faculty trainers from over 19 departments on the UW-Madison campus. These faculty use state-of-the-art approaches and cutting-edge technologies to expand our knowledge of nutrition in four broad areas of research. All of our trainers are doing exciting nutrition-related research and most fall into one or more of the following thematic areas.

Energy metabolism, obesity, diabetes, and related diseasesexpand_more

Includes how metabolism of energy-yielding nutrients occurs and is regulated to affect how our bodies grow, develop, and function, and how dysregulation of those processes impacts human health conditions (e.g. obesity) and diseases such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Rozalyn Anderson, Professor of Medicine, Ph.D. 2000. Nutrient sensitive regulatory pathways in aging and age-associated disease.

Sebastian I Arriola Apelo, Assistant Professor of Dairy Science, Ph.D. 2013. Mechanistic mathematical models of nutrient metabolism and cellular signaling, with the major goal of maximizing nutrient efficiency for a sustainable dairy industry.

Alan D. Attie, Professor of Biochemistry, Ph.D. 1980. Genetics of obesity, diabetes, and metabolic diseases. Genetics of diet responsiveness.

Barak Blum, Associate Professor of Cell and Regenerative Biology, Ph.D. 2009. Organogenesis and functional maturation of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas.

Bradley Bolling, Associate Professor of Food Sciences, Ph.D. 2007. Food chemistry, sustainability, food bioactives, intestinal inflammation, dietary prevention of chronic disease.

Snehal Nitin Chaudhari, Assistant Professor of  Biochemistry, PhD. Study of small molecules abundantly present in the gut that are substantially synthesized and modulated by gut bacteria, and how they influence health and disease.

Ricki J. Colman, Associate Professor of Cell & Regenerative Biology, Ph.D. 1998. Using nonhuman primate models to explore the impact of nutrition and metabolism on health across the aging continuum.

Dawn B. Davis, Associate Professor of Medicine, MD, Ph.D. 2003. Changes in pancreatic beta cell gene expression in response to obesity and in the setting of beta cell proliferation.

John M. Denu, Professor of Biomolecular Chemistry, Ph.D. 1993. Investigation of the proposed “Histone Code”; understanding the mechanisms of enzymes that reversibly modify proteins and the effects of these modifications on protein function.

Daniela Drummond-Barbosa, Professor of Genetics, Ph.D. 1995. We investigate how stem cell lineages are regulated by diet, metabolism, and physiology in Drosophila melanogaster.

Feyza Engin, Associate Professor of Biomolecular Chemistry, Ph.D. 2007. Investigating the molecular mechanisms of organelle dysfunction and cellular stress responses in the pathogenesis of diabetes.

Jing Fan, Associate Professor of Nutritional Sciences and Morgridge Institute for Research, Ph.D. 2014. Cancer metabolism; metabolic regulation in dynamic mammalian systems.

Andrea Galmozzi, Assistant Professor, Ph.D. 2010. Metabolic regulation of adipose tissue.

Guy E. Groblewski, Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Ph.D. 1991. Intracellular signal transduction in gastrointestinal epithelial cells.

David A. Harris, Assistant Professor of Surgery, MD. 2013. Our lab studies the mechanistic intersection between bariatric surgery, metabolism, and aging. Using complex surgical models in mice, his current lab efforts focus on how bariatric surgery effects the process of cellular senescence and by doing so, mitigates metabolic diseases and extends healthspan.

Laura L. Hernandez, Professor of Dairy Science, Ph.D. 2008. Regulation of lactation and milk synthesis in relation to the autocrine, paracrine, endocrine and serotonin systems.  Regulation of mammary gland calcium transport and maternal calcium homeostasis during lactation.

Michelle E. Kimple, Associate Professor of Medicine, Ph.D. 2003. Pancreatic beta-cell response to nutrient and hormonal stimulation.

Adam R. Konopka, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Ph.D. 2012. Investigating the interaction of exercise and rapamycin on mTOR signaling, proteostasis, and metabolism.

Adam Kuchnia, Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Ph.D. 2017. Muscle and Protein Metabolism; Understanding how disease affects muscle and protein metabolism and muscle assessment techniques.

Dudley Lamming, Associate Professor of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Ph.D. 2008. The regulation of healthy aging by what, when, and how much we eat.

Matthew J. Merrins, Associate Professor of Medicine, Ph.D. 2008. Ability of pancreatic islet beta cells to trigger cell proliferation and release of insulin during periods of increased insulin demands.

James M. Ntambi, Steenbock Professor of Nutritional Sciences (also Biochemistry), Ph.D. 1985. Mechanisms of fat cell differentiation; regulation of gene expression by dietary and hormonal factors.

Brian W. Parks, Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Ph.D. 2008. Systems genetics, Gene-diet interactions, and molecular mechanisms of obesity and diabetes.

Joseph F. Pierre, Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Ph.D. 2012. Research on the gut microbiome, nutrition, and intestinal physiology and disease.

Tomas Prolla, Professor of Genetics and Medical Genetics, Ph.D. 1994.  Molecular mechanisms of aging and its retardation through caloric restriction.

Tim Rhoads, Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Ph.D. 2012. Caloric restriction, metabolism, biology of aging, systems biology, gene expression regulation.

Judith Simcox, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, Ph.D. 2014. Transcriptional regulation of nutrient responsive pathways in thermogenesis.

Philipp W. Simon, Professor of Horticulture, Ph.D. 1977. Biochemical genetics and breeding of carrots, alliums, and cucumber; genetic improvement of vegetable culinary and nutritional value.

Shaneda Warren Andersen, Assistant Professor of Population Health Sciences, Ph.D. 2013. Social determinants, modifiable risk factors, and genetic variants work in concert to influence cancer risk.

Cara Westmark, Associate Professor of Neurology, Ph.D. 1995. Preclinical research on dietary effects on mouse models of neurological disease with a focus on fragile X syndrome, autism and Alzheimer’s disease.

Heather White, Associate Professor of Dairy Science, Ph.D. 2010. Nutritional Physiology – Focus on hepatic carbon flux specifically during the coordinated responses to the transition to lactation, nutrition, and stress in dairy cattle and during onset and progression of NAFLD and NASH in humans.

Eric Yen, Associate Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Ph.D. 2000. Intestine, assimilation of dietary fat, and energy balance.

Micronutrient metabolism, function, and regulationexpand_more

Includes how vitamins and minerals participate in biochemical processes and hormonal signaling and how alterations in their availability, metabolism, storage, and excretion impacts health and disease.

Neil C. Binkley, Professor of Medicine, MD. 1979. Vitamin K insufficiency and osteoporosis.

Snehal Nitin Chaudhari, Assistant Professor of  Biochemistry, PhD. Study of small molecules abundantly present in the gut that are substantially synthesized and modulated by gut bacteria, and how they influence health and disease.

Thomas D. Crenshaw, Professor of Animal Science, Ph.D. 1980. Skeletal tissue growth and assessment; statistical approaches to establishment of mineral and amino acid requirements; swine nutrition.

John M. Denu, Professor of Biomolecular Chemistry, Ph.D. 1993. Investigation of the proposed “Histone Code”; understanding the mechanisms of enzymes that reversibly modify proteins and the effects of these modifications on protein function.

David J. Eide, Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Ph.D. 1987. Nutritional genomics and molecular responses to changes in nutrient status.

Richard S. Eisenstein, Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Ph.D. 1985. Iron metabolism; posttranscriptional control of proteins required for the uptake, storage, and use of iron.

Laura L. Hernandez, Professor of Dairy Science, Ph.D. 2008. Regulation of lactation and milk synthesis in relation to the autocrine, paracrine, endocrine and serotonin systems.  Regulation of mammary gland calcium transport and maternal calcium homeostasis during lactation.

Mark B. Meyer, Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Ph.D. 2007. Investigating the genomic mechanisms of transcription, metabolism, and disease progression.

Brian W. Parks, Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Ph.D. 2008. Systems genetics, Gene-diet interactions, and molecular mechanisms of obesity and diabetes.

Philipp W. Simon, Professor of Horticulture, Ph.D. 1977. Biochemical genetics and breeding of carrots, alliums, and cucumber; genetic improvement of vegetable culinary and nutritional value.

Nathan V. Welham, Professor of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology, PhD. 2006. Vocal fold mucosal biology; head and neck disorders; regenerative medicine; retinoid biology; proteomics with a particular focus on extracellular matrix, protein turnover, & tissue remodeling.

Heather White, Associate Professor of Dairy Science, Ph.D. 2010. Nutritional Physiology – Focus on hepatic carbon flux specifically during the coordinated responses to the transition to lactation, nutrition, and stress in dairy cattle and during onset and progression of NAFLD and NASH in humans.

Digestive biology, gut microbiome, and related diseasesexpand_more

Includes factors that influence gastrointestinal function and digestion, surgical interventions to control metabolic disease, and how assimilation of the diet impacts cellular and systemic metabolism and the onset and progression of chronic disease.

Margaret Alexander, Assistant Professor Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Ph.D. 2017. Exploring the mechanisms of how our diet, microbiota, and immune responses interact during immune-related diseases such as autoimmunity.

Bradley Bolling, Associate Professor of Food Sciences, Ph.D. 2007. Food chemistry, sustainability, food bioactives, intestinal inflammation, dietary prevention of chronic disease.

Snehal Nitin Chaudhari, Assistant Professor of  Biochemistry, PhD. Study of small molecules abundantly present in the gut that are substantially synthesized and modulated by gut bacteria, and how they influence health and disease.

Dawn B. Davis, Associate Professor of Medicine, MD, Ph.D. 2003. Changes in pancreatic beta cell gene expression in response to obesity and in the setting of beta cell proliferation.

Luke Funk, Associate Professor of Surgery, MD, Ph.D. 2005. Our research group uses mixed-methods approaches and clinical trials to identify barriers to obesity care and test interventions designed to increase use of obesity treatments.

Guy E. Groblewski, Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Ph.D. 1991. Intracellular signal transduction in gastrointestinal epithelial cells.

David A. Harris, Assistant Professor of Surgery, MD. 2013. Our lab studies the mechanistic intersection between bariatric surgery, metabolism, and aging. Using complex surgical models in mice, his current lab efforts focus on how bariatric surgery effects the process of cellular senescence and by doing so, mitigates metabolic diseases and extends healthspan.

Laura L. Hernandez, Professor of Dairy Science, Ph.D. 2008. Regulation of lactation and milk synthesis in relation to the autocrine, paracrine, endocrine and serotonin systems.  Regulation of mammary gland calcium transport and maternal calcium homeostasis during lactation.

Andrew Hryckowian, Assistant Professor of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Ph.D. 2014. Building novel concepts and approaches (e.g., dietary intervention, bacteriophage therapy) for coping
with bacterial pathogens.

Tu-Anh Huynh, Assistant Professor of Food Science, Ph.D. 2012. Understanding the pathogenesis of gut bacterial pathogens and their interactions with the resident microbiota.

William H. Karasov, Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Ph.D. 1981. Molecular mechanisms of intestinal enzyme adaptation, intestinal absorption, nutritional ecology of wild vertebrates.

Laura J. Knoll, Professor of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, Ph.D. 1994. Using -omics technology to study host/ pathogen interactions and metabolism of the intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

Vanessa Leone, Assistant Professor of Animal Biologics and Metabolism, Ph.D. 2009. Intersection of diet, gut microbes, circadian rhythms, and metabolism using preclinical models.

Joseph F. Pierre, Assistant Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Ph.D. 2012. Research on the gut microbiome, nutrition, and intestinal physiology and disease.

Scott Reeder, Professor, MD,  Ph.D. Abdominal adiposity, liver fat, liver iron overload and other features of diffuse liver disease, quantification of perfusion in liver tumors, hemodynamics of portal hypertension, and the use of new contrast agents in liver and biliary diseases.

Federico E. Rey, Associate Professor of Bacteriology, Ph.D. 2006. Understand how variations in the gut microbiome modulate the effects of diet and host’s susceptibility to cardiometabolic disease.

Lautaro Rostoll-Cangiano, Assistant Professor of Animal and Dairy Science, Ph.D. 2022.  On-farm management factors (such as colostrum feeding, probiotics, and antibiotics), and their impact on intestinal microbiota and immune development.

Jan Peter van Pijkeren, Associate Professor of Food Science, Ph.D. Diet-Microbe-Phage interactions in the gut ecosystem and development of microbial therapeutics.

Corrine Voils, Professor of Surgery, Ph.D. Research focus on identifying behavioral strategies to increase long-term weight loss.

Cara Westmark, Associate Professor of Neurology, Ph.D. 1995. Preclinical research on dietary effects on mouse models of neurological disease with a focus on fragile X syndrome, autism and Alzheimer’s disease.

Eric Yen, Associate Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Ph.D. 2000. Intestine, assimilation of dietary fat, and energy balance.

Epidemiology, population health, and community nutritionexpand_more

Includes studying the incidence, distribution, and control of nutrition-related diseases and the science behind efforts to improve nutrition and health in populations across the state and around the world.

Corinne Engelman, Professor of Population Health Sciences, Ph.D. 2006. Study design and data analysis of genetic, metabolomic, demographic, socioeconomic, behavioral, physiological and environmental factors of biomarkers and preclincal traits related to Alzheimer’s disease.

Marty S. Kanarek, Professor of Population Health Sciences and Environmental Studies, Ph.D. 1978. Environmental epidemiology; potential population health effects from consumption of fish contaminated with mercury, PCBs, and other chemicals.

Huichuan J. Lai, Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Ph.D., RD. 1995. Epidemiological studies linking nutrition and disease outcomes in pediatric populations.

Beth Olson, Associate Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Ph.D. Breastfeeding support and improving infant feeding practices.

Sherry Tanumihardjo, Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Ph.D. 1993. Vitamin A assessment methodology; carotenoid bioavailability; and international nutrition.

Amy Trentham Dietz, Professor of Population Health Sciences, Ph.D. Breast cancer prevention, early detection and outcomes.

Shaneda Warren Andersen, Assistant Professor of Population Health Sciences, Ph.D. 2013. Social determinants, modifiable risk factors, and genetic variants work in concert to influence cancer risk.

Cara Westmark, Associate Professor of Neurology, Ph.D. 1995. Preclinical research on dietary effects on mouse models of neurological disease with a focus on fragile X syndrome, autism and Alzheimer’s disease.