My primary research interest is related to trace mineral nutrition in the human, defining dietary requirements and evaluating the metabolic regulation and adaptation to different physiologic states. Populations of interest include normal infants, (especially breastfed), pregnant & lactating women, and premature infants. A major research tool uses stable isotope of trace minerals, including Zn and Fe, which we have applied in numerous low resource settings.
Current research support addresses investigations in normal infants in the U.S. and in several developing countries. Most recently I have been investigating the impact of dietary changes in infants on the intestinal microbiome and the infant immune system.
My secondary research interest is in childhood obesity. Active investigations include effects of insulin resistance during pregnancy on maternal and infant outcomes; and a community-based prevention and treatment of childhood obesity in a predominantly Hispanic population in Colorado.
I have mentored approximately 30 postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty, and over 30 predoctoral trainees. As a K-24 Career Development awardee, I am strongly committed to rigorous academic training for young investigators.