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Scientific Advisory Board

Scientific Advisory Board


Dr. Liz Applegate

Dr. Liz Applegate, a nationally renowned expert on nutrition and fitness, is a faculty member of the Nutrition Department and the Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of California, Davis.  She has received the Excellence in Education Award, the Excellence in Teaching Award, Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award, the Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award from the University of California, and the 2016 United States Department of Agriculture Food and Agriculture Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award.

Dr. Applegate is the author of several books including: Nutrition Basics for Better Health and Performance (3rd Ed. Kendall Hunt 2011), Bounce Your Body Beautiful (Three Rivers Press, 2003), Encyclopedia of Sports and Fitness Nutrition (Three Rivers Press, 2002), and Eat Smart Play Hard (Rodale Press, June 2001). She has written over 400 articles for national magazines and is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. She is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and a member of the Sports and Cardiovascular Nutritionists, a practice group of the American Dietetics Association. She provides nutrition consultation for collegiate and professional athletes as well as food companies and frequently serves as a keynote speaker at industry, athletic and scientific meetings.

In addition to her university duties, Dr. Applegate writes the popular “Fridge Wisdom” nutrition column for Runner’s World Magazine (and has for the past 30 years.)

She has appeared on international, national and local radio and television shows including: The CBS Early Show, Good Morning America, Discovery Channel, CNN and ESPN.

She is often quoted in national print media outlets, such as: Better Homes and Gardens, Bicycling, Fitness, Glamour, The Los Angeles Times, Men’s Health, Real Simple, Shape, Teen Vogue, Vogue, USA Today and The Washington Post.

View Dr. Applegate’s full Curriculum Vitae: http://nutrition.ucdavis.edu/content/faculty/applegate-cv-june2016.pdf


Jeffrey B. Blumberg PhD, FASN, FACN, CNS-S

Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg is a Professor in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and also serves as the Senior Scientist in the Antioxidants Research Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. His research is focused on the biochemical basis for the role of antioxidant nutrients and their dietary requirements in promoting health and preventing disease during the aging process via changes in status of oxidative stress, glucoregulation, and inflammation. He has published more than 350 scientific articles and serves on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. Dr. Blumberg was included in 2015 Thomson Reuters’ List of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds (top 1% of cited researchers in his field, 2002-2014). In 2016, he was the recipient of the ASN Mary Swartz Rose Senior Investigator Award for outstanding research on the safety and efficacy of bioactive compounds for human health.

Dr. Blumberg also participates in activities relevant to the incorporation of sound nutrition science into public health policy and has served as a member of the Workshop on Health Promotion and Aging in the office of the U.S. Surgeon General, Sports Medicine Committee of the U.S. Olympic Committee, Consultation on Preparation and Use of Food-Based Dietary Guidelines for the WHO/FAO, Food Advisory Committee of the FDA, and other committees.

Dr. Blumberg received Bachelor of Science degrees in Pharmacy and Psychology from Washington State University and a PhD in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He also received postdoctoral training in cyclic nucleotide metabolism at the Tennessee Neuropsychiatric Institute and the University of Calgary


Dr. Appendino Giovanni

Born in Carmagnola (TO), September 1, 1955 and graduated at the University of Torino in 1979. University Lecturer in 1983 (University of Torino); Associated Professor in 1998 (University of Torino); Full Professor from 2000 to present at the Università del Piemonte Orientale, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Visiting scientist at the University of Gent (Belgium) in 1985 (Laboratory of Organic Synthesis, Prof. Pierre De Clercq).

  • Editor in Chief of the Journal Fitoterapia and member of the Advisory Board of Natural Products Reports, Progress in the Chemistry of Organic Natural Products, Phytochemistry Letters,Natural Products Communications and PharmaNutrition.
  • Member of the Accademia di Agricoltura di Torino (Italy).

The research activity of Prof. Appendino takes inspiration from natural products to solve problems in organic chemistry (new synthetic methodologies), cell biology (novel mechanisms of activity), and medicine (new drug leads).
The following lines of research are currently pursued:

Secondary metabolites from edible plants and spices: identification of neutraceutical agents from local food plants.

Brain lipidomics: identification, synthesis and chemical modification of bioactive endolipids (endocannabinoids, endovanilloids, endogenous eicosanoids) and their natural products mimics (cannabinoids, capsaicinoids)
Sensory chemoreception: Synthesis of molecular probes to explore various classes of TRP-(TRPV1, TRPM8, TRPA1, TRPV4) and bitter (hTAS2R family) receptors, and their pharmacological exploitation.

Anticancer and antiviral chemotherapy: Synthesis of molecules aimed at various oncological end-points (tubulin, PgP, NF-B, PKC) and at achieving HIV de-latentization (phorboids).

Non-steroid hormonal agents: Identification of non-steroid natural products interacting with estrogen- and progesterone receptors, and exploitation of their biomedical potential.

Synthetic methodologies: chemoselective modification of polyfunctional compounds (polyphenolics, phenolic alcohols, phenolic amines). Development of new protocols of functional group modification.

Bioprospecting: secondary metabolites from niche area (Sardinia, Mediterranean Alps) and from medicinal plants.

Prof. Appendino has elucidated the structure of over 300 new natural products, and has published over 350 peer-reviewed articles and 13 book chapters on the chemistry and bioactivity of natural products. His distinctions include the Rhône-Poulenc Rorer Award of the Phytochemical Society of Europe for his studies on terpenoids (1991), the Quilico Medal of the Italian Chemical Society for his studies on bioactive natural products (2009), and the Bruker Prize of the Phytochemical Society of Europe in 2014. Prof. Appendino has acted as local coordinator of five EU research project cantered on natural products, and several national programs on bioactive natural products.

Bibliometric data (as of March 22, 2017, data from SciFinder):
H-Index: 43
Peer-reviewed articles published: 383
Patents: 15
Number of citations: 5616


Susan K. Silva, M.D.


Dr. Silva graduated with Honors in Chemistry from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and earned a Doctorate in Medicine from the University of California, Davis where she served as president of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Society. She has been awarded for outstanding clinical expertise, surgical skill and research including excellence in Plastic Surgery. She serves on the National Educational Faculty for Botox® Cosmetic and is a National Advisor for Sculptra®. Specialties include skin cancer surgery and cosmetic enhancement using Botox® and dermal fillers such as Restylane® and Radiesse®. She is an expert in laser treatment of wrinkles, acne scars, vessels and brown spots. Her expertise in laser skin resurfacing (both ablative and non-ablative) completes her comprehensive approach to skin rejuvenation.


Dr. Venket Rao

Dr. Rao completed his M. Sc. and Ph. D. degrees in Food Science from Oregon State University, USA. After being a Full Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, he currently holds the position of Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Rao served as the Co-director, Program in Food Safety and Regulatory Affairs, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, till his appointment as Professor Emeritus. He worked closely with representatives of the food industry and government regulatory agencies and coordinated issues relating to national and international food safety and establishing regulatory guidelines and standards of identity for food safety. Another major issue was to develop regulatory frame work for making health claims for foods.

His entire academic career was devoted to the areas of food safety, nutrition and health with a major focus on the role of dietary phytochemicals and intestinal microflora. His research has focused on the role of oxidative stress and antioxidants in the causation and prevention of chronic diseases, with particular emphasis on the role of carotenoids and polyphenols. He is one of the pioneering researchers to study the bioavailability, metabolism, mechanisms of action and biological role of lycopene, a carotenoid antioxidant present in tomatoes, other fruits and vegetables and nutritional supplements. The main focus of his research is to study the role of lycopene in the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis. He is credited for bringing international awareness to the role of lycopene in human health. In addition to the carotenoids, Dr. Rao has also conducted research on the role of polyphenols in human health. He has published several peer reviewed articles in scientific journals and presented papers at domestic and international conferences on this topic.

Another important area of his research activity includes the role of probiotics and prebiotics in human health with the aim of investigating the relationship between intestinal microflora, immune function and endocrinology, as they relate to human health disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome and psychological disorders. Microencapsulation and surface coating of nutraceuticals such as lycopene, their particle sizes, stability, bioavailability and biological activity is another area of research interest.

He is also interested in the applications of biotechnology in the agri-food-health industries. He has published extensively in scientific journals and participated in many national and international scientific conferences. He has authored and co-authored several books and book chapters directed towards human health. In addition to editing two books on ‘Lycopene and Human Health’ in the past, he has edited and published four other books recently: Phytochemicals: A global perspective of their role in nutrition and health, Phytochemicals as nutraceuticals: Global Approaches to Their Role in Nutrition and Human Health, Phytochemicals: Isolation, Characterisation and Role in Human Health, and Probiotics and Prebiotics in Human Nutrition and Health. He is currently editing another book: Lycopene: Global Perspective of its role in Human nutrition and health, that is to be published in 2017.

Dr. Rao served as a member of the Provincial and National Expert Committees in Canada in the areas of nutrition, health, food safety and agriculture. He has a distinguished academic career spanning over 50 years as an educator and researcher. He served as a Senior Scientific Consultant to provincial and federal government agencies and food and pharmaceutical industries globally. He is popularly sought by the international media to express his opinions on the subjects of food safety and phytochemicals, including lycopene, nutrition and health.


Sandy Bigelow, Ph.D.

Sandy Bigelow is a research and development professional with more than 20 years of experience in leading global technology responsibilities in the food and nutrition industries. He has a proven track record of envisioning, designing, and implementing strategies to meet global research and development, regulatory, and marketing challenges. Sandy is a Board Certified Toxicologist with proven ability to craft product opportunities based on the safety and efficacy of novel proprietary, bioactive ingredients.

Sandy Bigelow is a Principal for Vanguard Global Associates, a firm that provides consulting services in the areas of product development and issues management, as well as optimizing innovation environments, and managing safety and regulatory affairs to the food, dietary supplement, and cosmetic industries. Sandy has worked for large companies including Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Laboratories, Pfizer, and Neways International, as well as for several small and early-stage companies including Natural Alternatives International and Larex. Sandy has both extensive industry and government experience in global food and nutritional issues including new product development, claims substantiation, bioactive and product safety, and clinical affairs. He has been active in International Life Sciences Institute, International Food Information Council, Institute of Food Technologists, Council for Responsible Nutrition, American Herbal Products Association, Society of Toxicology, Roundtable of Toxicology Consultants, and Codex Alimentarius Commission.