The work of faculty in nutritional biology at UC Davis bridges basic and applied nutrition research, and spans developmental nutrition, child nutrition, food intake regulation, and the role of diet in modulating an individual’s susceptibility to the development and progression of chronic disease.

Gerardo G. Mackenzie´s research focuses on the role of diet and other lifestyle factors in cancer development and prevention. Current research projects include: 1) Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the link between obesity, inflammation and cancer; 2) Evaluating the role of zinc in pancreatic carcinogenesis; and 3) Investigating the use of select nutraceuticals as potential chemopreventive agents.
Brian Bennett‘s research explores genetic components of chronic metabolic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and obesity, through integrative genetic studies. His research examines the relationship among genetic variants, gene expression levels, and metabolite levels, and how these interact to increase susceptibility to cardiovascular disease. His research also looks at the effects of specific dietary components on metabolic diseases, such as how diet affects gene expression.
Fawaz G. Hajs laboratory studies the molecular basis of metabolic diseases, mainly obesity and type 2 diabetes. The lab uses  genetic, biochemical, proteomic and pharmacological approaches in various experimental platforms that include cells, rodent models of disease, and humans.
The overarching goal of Peng Jis research is to evaluate the risks and opportunities of nutritional factors in enhancing neurodevelopment and host resilience to early-life adverse events (e.g. infection and stress). The lab research uses neonatal pigs as a translational model becasue of broad resemblance between pigs and humans in  digestive physiology, components of immune system, anatomic structure of brain and perinatal neurodevelopment. Specifically, a current project investigates how unbalanced iron status in early life affects systemic and CNS iron homeostasis, susceptibility to infections, brain energy metabolism, and social cognition using nursing pigs.
Mary Kable is interested in the mechanisms governing how diet impacts the bacterial composition of the human gut and how these diet-bacterial interactions can influence human health. In particular, she is interested in how dietary fiber can affect the composition of the gut microbiota in such a way as to increase or decrease colonization resistance and susceptibility to food borne pathogens.
Nancy Keim‘s research interests revolve around understanding the relationships between foods, metabolic health, and body weight.  Current areas of investigation include evaluating the benefits of consuming whole grains or dairy products on energy expenditure, substrate oxidation, satiety and chronic disease risk factors; determining optimal sources and amounts of different types of dietary carbohydrates that contribute to satiety, healthy eating behaviors, and reduce risk of chronic disease; and evaluating benefits of an active lifestyle in terms of preventing obesity and related chronic diseases.
Danielle G. Lemay‘s lab studies how dietary components, especially fermentable carbohydrates, affect host response and whether that response is modulated by the functional capabilities of resident microbiota. Her lab also applies big data techniques, such as sequencing technologies and machine learning, to understand the effects of diet on human health.
Patricia I. Oteiza‘s research has two foci. The first is centered on the characterization of the effects of trace mineral deficiencies and trace mineral toxicities on early developmental processes. Her second area of research is focused on the putative health benefits of flavonoids.
Research in the Jon Ramsey lab focuses on nutrition as it relates to obesity and aging. The goal of this research is to understand the biochemical mechanisms contributing to aging and obesity, and develop dietary interventions to promote weight loss and healthy aging.
Carolyn M. Slupsky‘s research includes understanding the impact of diet on human health from the perspective of nutrition, the gut microbiome, and host-microbial co-metabolism. She uses a multi-discplinary research approach that integrates metabolomics with clinical measures, global gene expression profiles, as well as microbial community analysis to understand the intimate link between our gut microbiome, metabolism, and health.
Francene Steinberg’s research program focuses on the physiologic effects of bioactive food components to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular and obesity-related chronic diseases. She uses human trials and complementary research approaches to study metabolic markers of lipid and lipoprotein metabolism, endothelial function, inflammation and metabolic homeostasis; with a goal to examine nutritional phenotypes of individuals responding to intakes of food phytochemicals and characterize metabolic responses that promote health and chronic disease risk reduction.
 Charles Stephenson’s research interests focus on the relation between nutritional status and immune function, focusing on vitamin A, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. The effect of diet on the gut microbiome as a mediator of the impact of diet on immunity is also a current focus.
Ameer Taha  Ameer Taha uses mass-spectrometry-based ‘omic’ methods to quantify oxidized lipids and lipid-like environmental toxins (such as pesticides and antibiotics) in the food supply, and to understand how they impact the brain. Ultimately, his research will provide information on the critical levels of exposure that could alter brain development or vulnerability to neurodegenerative processes.
Angela M. Zivkovic’s research is focused on the role of diet and nutrition in Precision Health. Precision Health emphasizes individually tailored approaches to optimize health and prevent disease. The Zivkovic Lab has four overall research themes: 1) Investigating the functional biology of HDL; 2) Assessing the effects of diets and dietary constituents on inflammation; 3) Integrating clinical, metabolomic, proteomic, glycomic, transcriptomic, and genomic approaches to characterize metabolic phenotypes and their responsiveness to different diets; and 4) Investigating the effects of diets and dietary constituents on the gut microbiota and how they in turn affect host health.