Teaching Faculty

Gregory W. Aponte
The dietary nutrient "sensing" system is an important component of the gut-brain axis that establishes the role of organic nutrients as signal molecules. It has significant implications to human health because of its involvement in the development of diseases related to diabetes, obesity, immune function, and food intake behavior
Danica Chen
One of the most fundamental questions in biology is how we age. The past decade has witnessed a significant revision of a traditional view that aging is simply a random and passive process that is solely driven by entropy. In fact, the aging process is regulated genetically and lifespan can be extended by single gene mutations. Our research aims to understand signal transduction that regulates the aging process and explore therapeutic targets to slow down aging.
Marc Hellerstein
Who studies metabolic regulation these days - the flow of metabolites through competing pathways in complex biological networks, the anabolic and catabolic processes that determine tissue composition, adaptations to environmental stresses and how their failure leads to disease? Not most Biochemistry or Molecular Biology departments. It is our belief that the study of physiologic chemistry (metabolic regulation) using modern tracer techniques and metabolic control concepts can be seized by nutrition researchers interested in making fundamental contributions to biochemistry and medicine (and in being funded).
Isao Kubo
Our group has been searching for ecologically sound pest control agents based on natural products (including biopolymers such as enzymes) that fundamentally regulate nature. Our studies have focused on developing alternative insect control agents, but the scope has now extended to microorganisms and weeds.
Joseph L. Napoli
Retinoids are autacoids that regulate energy balance, weight, glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, stem cell differentiation, and nervous system function. This lab studies the mechanisms of retinoid action in the nervous system, in modulating energy balance, and regulating pancreas function, thereby affecting memory, appetite, insulin resistance, glucose tolerance and adiposity.
Daniel Nomura
Research in our group focuses on discovering and functionally characterizing dysregulated metabolic networks in disease using functional proteomic and metabolomic platforms, in order to identify enzymes that represent nodal points of control for pharmacological intervention and therapy.
James Olzmann
Cells store energy as triacylglycerol (ie. fat) in lipid droplets, an endoplasmic reticulum-derived organelle composed of a neutral lipid core encircled by a phospholipid monolayer. Our research group integrates a combination of systems-level (proteomics and functional genomics) strategies and cell biology approaches to understand the dynamic regulation of the lipid droplet proteome in response to fluctuating environmental conditions.
Barry Shane
The major research efforts of my laboratory are in the area of biochemical nutrition and, in particular, the control of one carbon metabolism. We investigate experimental nutrition problems at a basic molecular or cellular level to obtain a better understanding of factors that influence nutritional requirements and how this varies among the population.
Andreas Stahl
The main focus of the Stahl laboratory is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying obesity-related disorders, such as diabetes, hepatobiliary diseases, as well as certain cancer, and to explore novel routes for the treatment of these debilitating chronic diseases.
Hei Sook Sul
Adipocytes are highly specialized cells that play a crucial role in the energy balance most vertebrates by providing ability to synthesize and deposit fat during times of positive energy balance in preparation for periods of food deprivation. In modern society, however, excess adipose tissue leading to obesity is a major health problem. There is an increase in lipogenesis and storage of fat in adipose tissue causing hypertrophy.
Chris Vulpe
My group is currently working in three areas of nutrition and toxicology: 1. Eukaryotic copper and iron metabolism including a) Hephaestin and Zyklopen, related mammalian ferroxidases, which are involved in cellular iron export; b) Genetic modifiers of iron homeostasis in mice and humans. 2. Genomic approaches to identify conserved toxicity pathways in eukaryotes using S. cerevisiae with a focus on a) Metals and metalloids b) Benzene and metabolites. 3. Ecotoxicogenomics using the water flea, Daphnia magna and the Fathead minnow, Pimephales promelas as model organisms to develop new sensitive tools for a) Toxicant identification in freshwater ecosystems; b) Screening for chemical toxicity; c) Determining mode of action of environmental contaminants.
Jen-Chywan (Wally) Wang
Glucocorticoids are steroid hormones that affect many aspects of mammalian physiology. Because of their potent anti-inflammatory activity glucocorticoids are also frequently used to treat various inflammatory diseases. The long-term goal of our research is to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the effects of glucocorticoids on energy homeostasis and inflammatory response.

Adjunct Faculty

Dale Johnson
Dr. Johnson is CEO of Emiliem, Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel molecular targeted therapeutics, and CEO of Elara Bioscience, a software company focused on enterprise applications for chemical information.
Ron Krauss
Genetic factors influencing plasma lipoprotein profiles and dietary responsiveness in humans. Metabolic behavior, physicochemical characteristics, and functional properties of low density lipoprotein (LDL) subclasses. Role of lipolytic enzymes and cell-surface receptors in lipoprotein metabolism. Gene-environment interactions underlying the cluster of coronary disease risk factors associated with small, dense LDL and insulin resistance.
Dale Leitman
With the increasing longevity of the population approximately one-third of a woman’s life occurs during menopause. During menopause the levels of estrogens in body drop to very low levels. This can lead to a variety of conditions that occur shortly after menopause, such as hot flashes, mood swings and genital atrophy. Long-term loss of estrogens can be associated with chronic conditions, such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease.
Robert O. Ryan
Heart disease is a major cause of mortality in North America. While it is clear that development of cardiovascular disease is a multi-factorial process, it is evident that aberrations in lipid metabolism represent a significant risk factor. It is widely accepted that exchangeable apolipoproteins function in regulation of plasma lipid levels, yet the molecular basis for this role is not fully understood.


Mary Henderson
Nutrition is and has been my major field of study for the past twelve years. The field has allowed me to pursue my passion for research, education, as well as practicing in the clinical setting. In addition to my position here at Berkeley, I am a Postdoctoral Researcher and Pediatric Dietitian at Children's Hospital and Research Center, Oakland. My research interests include Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, specifically investigating dietary patterns of women during pregnancy to observe (if any) persistent developmental effects of the fetus that may increase or decrease chronic disease risk later in life. I am particularly interested in investigating maternal-fetal nutrient interactions on a genetic/genomic level.
Mikelle McCoin
As a registered dietitian and lecturer I have an interest in providing students with the foundation they will need to succeed in their dietetic internships and future practices. I have a special interest in applying lifestyle therapies as a means to prevent and manage chronic disease, especially cardiovascular disease. I continue to pursue this interest by being a workgroup member of the American Dietetic Association Evidence-based Practice Guideline for Disorders of Lipid Metabolism.
Kristen Rasmussen
My interest in nutrition began with a passion for food and cooking and I believe that the answers to many of today's health problems start in the kitchen. I sincerely enjoy fostering enthusiasm for gastronomy and health through the courses I teach at UC Berkeley including food science, food service, and human food practices and enjoy cultivating my interests off-campus through consulting, research, and volunteer positions in addition to culinary experimentation.

Emeriti Faculty

Kenneth J. Carpenter
Mary Ann Williams
George W. Chang
Associate Professor
Joanne Ikeda
CE Specialist
Mary Mead
Nancy Amy
Associate Professor
Angela Little
Elizabeth C. Theil
Adjunct Professor
Janet C. King
Susan Oace
Associate Professor
Leonard F. Bjeldanes
Benito de Lumen
Fernando Viteri
Sharon E. Fleming