Danielle Lemay Ph.D.
Head of Bioinformatics Initiatives, Foods for Health Institute
In 1995, I earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from MIT. My undergraduate research was the development of signal processing for the profoundly hearing impaired under the direction of Prof. Louis D. Braida. I began my career as an engineer, designing circuits in Silicon Valley. After paying off school loans, I returned to graduate school in 2003 to apply bioinformatics to nutrition research. In 2005, I earned an M.S. in Nutritional Biology from UC Davis in the lab of Prof. Daniel Hwang. My master's thesis was the computational identification of binding sites for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) because dietary components mediate genetic expression through these proteins. In 2008, I earned a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biology from UC Davis in the lab of Prof. J. Bruce German with a doctoral dissertation on the systems biology of lactation. As a post-doctoral researcher, I was part of the Bovine Genome Sequencing and Analysis Consortium and led a team of 19 scientists, with Monique Rijnkels, to produce a companion paper devoted to the evolution of milk and lactation.
Over the past century, nutrition scientists have identified nutrients that are essential to our survival through a type of fault model analysis. Using various animal models, each nutrient in question was systematically removed and/or replenished in effort to determine whether or not the nutrient is essential and what dose is required to minimize morbidity. This type of analysis works well for those nutrients that are absolutely essential but will not help us identify the vast sea of dietary components that may enhance our health in more subtle ways.
My primary aim is to study evolution as a guide to nutritional needs. As such, I have focused my dissertation and postdoctoral work on milk and milk production because milk is the sole source of nutrients for mammalian young and its recipe has been honed by millions of years of evolution.
- Lemay DG, Rijnkels M, German JB. Lessons from the bovine genome: implications for human nutrition and research. J Nutr. 2009;139(7):1271-2. PMCID: 2698669.
- Lemay DG, Lynn DJ, Martin WF, Neville MC, Casey TM, Rincon G, Kriventseva EV, Barris WC, Hinrichs AS, Molenaar AJ, Pollard KS, Maqbool NJ, Singh K, Murney R, Zdobnov EM, Tellam RL, Medrano JF, German JB, and Rijnkels M. The bovine lactation genome: insights into the evolution of mammalian milk. Genome Biology 2009;10(4):R43. PMCID: 2688934.
- Tellam RL, Lemay DG, Van Tassell CP, Lewin HA, Worley KC, Elsik CG. Unlocking the bovine genome. BMC Genomics. 2009;10:193. PMCID: 2680899.
- The Bovine Genome Sequencing and Analysis Consortium. The genome sequence of taurine cattle: a window to ruminant biology and evolution. Science. 2009;324(5926):522-8.
- Argov N, Lemay DG and German JB Milk fat globule structure and function: nanoscience comes to milk production Trends in Food Science & Technology 2008, 19(12): 617-623
- Lemay DG, Neville MC, Rudolph MC, Pollard KS, German JB: Gene regulatory networks in lactation: identification of global principles using bioinformatics. BMC Syst Biol 2007, 1:56.
- Lemay DG, Zivkovic AM, German JB: Building the bridges to bioinformatics in nutrition research. Am J Clin Nutr2007, 86:1261-1269.
- Lange MC, Lemay DG, German JB: A multi-ontology framework to guide agriculture and food towards diet and health Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 2007, 87(8):1427-1434.
- Lemay D.G., Dillard C.J. and German J.B. (2007) Food structure for nutrition. In: Food Colloids: Self Assembly and Material Science. Dickinson E. and Leser M. (eds.) Royal Society of Chemistry, London, England, Chapter 1, pp. 1–15
- Lemay DG, Lange MC, Grigorov M, German JB - The FASEB Journal, 2006 – FASEB. Molecular Evolution of Milk: Computational Genomics as a Discovery Tool
- Lemay DG, Hwang DH: Genome-wide identification of peroxisome proliferator response elements using integrated computational genomics. J Lipid Res 2006, 47:1583-1587. (Cover article)
- Lee JY, Lowell CA, Lemay DG, Youn HS, Rhee SH, Sohn KH, Jang B, Ye J, Chung JH, Hwang DH: The regulation of the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase by Src-family tyrosine kinases mediated through MyD88-independent signaling pathways of Toll-like receptor 4. Biochem Pharmacol 2005, 70:1231-1240.
- Weatherill AR, Lee JY, Zhao L, Lemay DG, Youn HS, Hwang DH: Saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids reciprocally modulate dendritic cell functions mediated through TLR4. J Immunol 2005, 174:5390-5397.