- PhD in Nutritional Biology, UC Davis.
- B.A. Kinesiology: Health Sciences from Rice University, 2008.
Dave graduated from Rice University in Houston, Texas, with a B.A. in Health Sciences in Spring 2008. In his junior year, he interned in a pediatric HIV clinic in Mbabane, Swaziland, where he initiated several projects,including a World Food Programme distribution of corn-soy blend to the families of patients and instructional videos in the local language, Siswati, on hand-washing, water purification, and sterilization of bottles used to feed HIV-infected infants. Dave then volunteered with the Rice Humanitarian Medical Outreach in a rural hospital in Kpando, Ghana, where he created a nutritional lecture series for local nurses to give on a routine basis to town residents. In his senior year, Dave worked for the Baylor-USDA ARS Children’s Nutritional Research Center testing computer games designed to help prevent type 2 diabetes and increase fruit and vegetable consumption among youth. The summer after graduation, Dave was the nutritional policy intern at the Houston Department of Health and Human Services where he engineered several proposed law-change bills for the city council: one banning trans fats and another requiring nutritional fact labeling in chain restaurants.
Dave’s doctoral research focused on the characterization of the N-linked glycans of human milk proteins. He has already profiled the N-glycans of the human milk of term mothers. His next papers will be a comparative methods paper for N-glycan extraction techniques and a paper comparing N-glycan compositional differences between term and premature milk. Future work will include characterization of changes in N-glycans over gastric and intestinal digestion in term and premature infants. The overall aim of Dave’s work is to improve the health of premature infants as they have been shown to have greatly reduced health outcomes (including early mortality, developmental disorders, high risk of infection, etc.) in comparison with term-delivered, breast milk-fed infants. The greatly reduced digestive capability of premature infants means that these infants are not breaking down milk proteins in the same way as term infants, and may therefore be missing many bioactive peptides and glycopeptides encrypted in human milk proteins. This difference in digestive capacity may mean that premature infants are not receiving the full health benefits of milk. Dave collaborates with researchers at Nestle to determine the peptide profile of the gastric digests of human milk in term and premature infants.
Dave has been funded by the Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology with the NIH Training Program in Bio-molecular Technology. Currently, Dave was funded for three years by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Dave recently completed his PhD in Nutritional Biology at UC Davis.