Dr. Jeevan Prasain
2017 Presentation Title: Cranberry Fruits in Bladder Cancer Prevention
Jeevan K. Prasain, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Alabama at Birmingham. His current research interest includes lipidomics/metabolomics, bioactive dietary natural products in the prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancers, their metabolisms, and bioavailability assessment using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).
Joseph Francis, BVSc, MVSc, PhD
2017 Presentation Title – Effects of Blueberries in a Preclinical Model of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Joseph Francis, B.V.Sc., M.V.Sc., Ph.D., is a veterinarian by profession. He received his Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine in animal husbandry in 1991 and Masters in Veterinary Virology & Immunology in 1994 from Madras Veterinary College, Chennai, India. He then came to the United States to pursue his doctoral studies in neuroendocrinology from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas in 1995. After completion of his doctoral research in 1999, he joined Dr. Robert Felder’s lab at the University of Iowa, for a postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular pathophysiology. He joined the faculty of Louisiana State University as an Assistant Professor in 2003. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2007. Currently he is a Professor in comparative biomedical sciences department at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His research interest is on understanding the role played by central nervous system cytokine in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular and renal diseases. More recently he has started working on understanding the role played by brain inflammation in post-traumatic stress disorder. He uses pharmacological and non-pharmacological intervention including blueberries in his research.
Janet Novotney, PhD
2017 Presentation Title – Evidence for Anti-Obesity and Beneficial Glucoregulatory Effects of Berries
Dr. Janet A. Novotny is a Research Physiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland. Holding degrees in mathematics, nutrition, and biophysics, Novotny combines her areas of expertise to conduct studies on bioavailability, metabolism, and health benefits of dietary components.
Novotny’s research involves several facets of the relationship between diet and health. One aspect of Novotny’s work is the bioavailability, pathways of metabolism, and rates of elimination of phytonutrients and micronutrients. Novotny conducts human intervention studies which combine technologies of staple isotopes, mass spectrometry, and mathematical modeling to assess nutrient absorption and pathways of metabolism. Novotny has published on the pharmacokinetics of anthocyanins, carotenoids, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin E, and molybdenum. Novotny also conducts clinical studies to assess mechanisms by which dietary bioactive components, especially polyphenols, reduce risk of chronic disease, including cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Novotny earned a B.S. in mathematics, an M.S. in Nutritional Sciences, and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Illinois, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of Maryland. She is active in the American Society for Nutrition, has served as an Associate Editor for Crop Science, is the Government Liaison for the International Life Sciences Institute Committee on Bioactives, and has edited two books on Mathematical Modeling.
Cristian Del Bò, PhD
2017 Presentation Title – Role of Berries and Bioactives in the Modulation of Vascular Function: Evidence from In Vitro and In Vivo Studies
Cristian Del Bò, PhD works at the Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences, at the University of Milan, Italy. He graduated in Food Science and Human Nutrition and pursued a PhD in Experimental and Clinical Nutrition at the University of Milan. Dr. Del Bo’ has been a research fellow at the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition of the University of Maine (Orono, ME). In addition, he conducted an internship at the Antioxidants Research Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (Boston, MA), and at the Department of Public Health of the University of Copenhagen, (Copenhagen, DK).
Del Bò’s research focuses on the evaluation of the role of berries, in particular, blueberry, in the modulation of markers related to cardiovascular risk. He performed clinical and animal research documenting the impact of blueberry in the modulation of vascular function and of oxidative stress. Moreover, Del Bò carried out several in vitro studies devoted to the understanding of the role of anthocyanins and metabolic products on inflammatory and atherogenic process. Del Bò is member of the Italian Society of Human Nutrition and of the Groupe Polyphénols. He is on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.
Luke Howard, PhD
2019 Presentation Title – Anti-proliferative Activity of Berry Volatiles
Dr. Howard received his B.S. degree in Horticulture from Purdue University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Food Science from the University of Arkansas. He worked as an Analytical Chemist at the Dole Packaged Foods Research and Development Center for two years, and was an Assistant Professor in the Horticultural Sciences Department at Texas A&M University for five years. He has served on the faculty in the Department of Food Science at the University of Arkansas since 1997 (Associate Research Professor 1997-2002, Professor 2002-present).
His research program is focused on extraction and characterization of bioactive compounds in fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, with emphasis on berries. Dr. Howard has published over 120 scientific articles and five book chapters and has delivered over 90 presentations at scientific meetings. He is a Professional Member of the American Chemical Society.
Ting Luo, PhD
2017 Presentation Title – Consumption of Red Raspberries, at Typical Levels of Intake Reduces Metabolic Syndrome Parameters in High-fat Fed Mice
Ting Luo, a PhD candidate in the Food Science and Technology Department at Oregon State University. Her major advisor is Dr. Neil F. Shay, and their collaborative research is focused on the consumption of whole foods and specific phytochemicals and the remediation of metabolic syndrome symptoms. In particular, the approach utilizes a mouse model in which animals are fed a high-saturated fat diet with added cholesterol and sugar to model the Western diet, contributing to the development of obesity, diabetes, and other symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Additionally, their research examines gene- phytochemical interactions and includes metabolomics approaches.
Ms. Luo received her master’s degree at the State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Nanchang University in China, one of China’s top programs in Food Science and Nutrition. Her previous research explored the effects of dietary lipids on the occurrence of atherosclerosis; more specifically, the impact of triolein and trilinolein on oxidized low-density lipoprotein-induced oxidative stress in endothelial cells. She is an active member of the American Society for Nutrition, and the American Chemical Society, and has received a graduate student research award from ASN and a teaching award from OSU. Her studies at OSU are being supported in part by a graduate fellowship awarded by the Chinese Scholarship Council. Ting’s current research includes investigations on the effect of consumption of phytochemical-rich red raspberries, omega-3- rich English walnuts, and soy isoflavones. In particular, the work investigates impacts on remediation of symptoms of metabolic disease, and on the gene expression regulation via the activation of hepatic transcription factors including the PPARs, LXR, and HNF-4α.
Patricia M. Guenther, PhD, RD
Patricia M. Guenther, PhD, RD, is a Research Professor in the Division of Nutrition at the University of Utah and Principle Consultant at Guenther Consulting. From 2003 to 2013, she was a nutritionist at the US Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, where conducted research related to dietary assessment and dietary guidelines and supported the development of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Earlier Dr. Guenther was employed by the USDA Agricultural Research Service, where her work focused on developing improved methods for collecting and analyzing dietary survey data. Dr. Guenther received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in nutrition from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and her Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Maryland, College Park. She completed an internship in clinical dietetics at the University of Michigan Medical Center. Dr. Guenther is a registered dietitian, member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society for Nutrition, and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Navindra Seeram, PhD
2019 Berry Special Topics, Food Technology and Chemistry Session Chair
Navindra P. Seeram, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Rhode Island, USA. Prior to this, he was the Assistant Director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition in the Department of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.
His research group, the Bioactive Botanical Research Laboratory, investigates medicinal plants and their derived natural products for preventive and therapeutic effects against chronic human diseases. Dr. Seeram has co-authored over 165 original peer-reviewed research articles, 10 review-type articles, 17 book chapters, and 6 international patents. He has co-edited 3 books and is the founding editor of the Clinical Pharmacognosy book series published by CRC Press/Taylor and Francis. He serves on the advisory board of the American Botanical Council and on the editorial advisory boards of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the Journal of Berry Research, and the International Journal of Applied Research in Natural Products.
He was the recipient of the 2009 Young Scientist Award from the Division of Agricultural and Food Chemistry of the American Chemical Society and the 2017 Chair of that Division. He is among the most highly cited scientists in Agricultural Sciences by Thomson Reuters in 2014-2018 (based on Web of Science indexed citations from 2002-2018) and is regularly quoted in the media and popular press about medicinal plant foods. Dr. Seeram did his doctoral and postdoctoral studies at the University of the West Indies (in Jamaica) and at Michigan State University (MI, USA), respectively.
Dr Shanil Juma
2017 Presentation Title – Berries and Bone Health: From In Vitro to Clinical Evidence
Shanil Juma’s main research interest is investigating the etiology of age-related conditions, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, as a basis for the development of effective nutritional strategies for the prevention and management of these disorders. These research projects employ analytical, biochemical, and molecular techniques using cell culture and animal models, as well as small-scale clinical trials. The focus of these investigations is to elucidate the anti-inflammatory, bone, and joint protective properties of naturally occurring bioactive compounds present in whole foods (functional foods, e.g. blueberries, raspberries, grape, tart cherries etc.).
Dr. Juma’s secondary research focus is on obesity and obesity-related metabolic conditions (diabetes, cardiovascular, etc.). Current studies are focused on food components such as resistant starch, spices (curcumin, cinnamon, etc), and berry polyphenols (blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, etc.) on weight management, glucose homeostasis, and gut health.
Dr Bahram Arjmandi
2017 Presentation Title – Cardioprotective Effects of Berries and the Probable Mechanism of Action
Bahram H. Arjmandi, PhD, RD is currently the Margaret A. Sitton Named Professor at Florida State University (FSU) and is the founder and Director of the Center for Advancing Exercise and Nutrition Research on Aging (CAENRA) at FSU. He has also served in numerous capacities at FSU, including being a member of the FSU Biomedical Advisory Committee, the Council on Diversity and Inclusion, and as the chair of the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences for eight years. Dr. Arjmandi is a Registered Dietitian who received his Ph.D. from the Department of Human Nutrition at Kansas State University where he studied the effect of soluble fiber on sterol synthesis and later completed his postdoctoral work in the area of estrogen and bone physiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center. His current research emphasis is women’s health including cardiovascular health, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis. In recognition of his accomplishments in women’s health, he received the Abbott Nutrition Award in Women’s Health in 2013. He was one of the first investigators to provide evidence for estrogen receptors in the gut to aid in calcium transport and to demonstrate the efficacy of dried plum in protecting bone in both animal models of osteoporosis and postmenopausal women. He has also conducted clinical studies examining the beneficial effects of berries, including blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries on cardiovascular health. He has received grants from USDA, NIH, NASA and state agencies to support his research and has also served as a panel member for NIH and panel member and panel manager for USDA/NRI. Dr. Arjmandi was one of the twelve invited US forum delegates to the Traditional Indian Systems of Medicine Symposium sponsored by the NIH and the Indian government. He has published more than 125 peer-reviewed journal articles and has received numerous recognitions for his scholarly research and graduate student advisement including the Margaret Scruggs Award for Meritorious Research, the Regents Distinguished Research Award at Oklahoma State University (OSU), and Distinguished Research Award at Kansas State University.
In addition to his research endeavors, Dr. Arjmandi was awarded the Outstanding Mentor Award three times at OSU and was recognized as an Outstanding Alumni from the College of Human Ecology at Kansas State University, and was the recipient of The Dr. Masoro Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Texas Health Science Center in 2012.
Dr. Arjmandi is serving as Editor-in- Chief for the Journal of Food & Nutrition Disorders and as editorial board member of several other journals including the Journal of Diabetes Mellitus and Preventative Nutrition and Food Science. He is also a member of several worldwide organizations including the International Bone and Mineral Society and the North American Menopause Society.