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Carl L. Keen, Ph.D.

keencarl.jpgProfessor in Nutrition and Internal Medicine
Chair, Department of Nutrition, University of California Davis

Carl Keen has been Chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the University of California, Davis since 1993 and a Professor of Nutrition since 1981. 

He has served on numerous government boards.  He has been a member of California’s Scientific Advisory Board for the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment since 1993.  He has been a member of EPA Environmental Health Grant Review Panels (1990-99), USDA Human Nutrient Requirements Study (1987-92), and several NIH panels (Nutrition Study Section 1997-99; ALTOX Study Section 2002-2004; XNDA Study Section 2004-present).  He is past president of the California Nutrition Council (1998).

He is a member of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences (ASNS), the American Society of Clinical Nutrition (ASCN), the Teratology Society, the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine (SEBM), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  He served on numerous editorial boards including Magnesium Research, Journal of Nutritional Immunology, Journal of Trace Elements in Experimental Medicine, Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, Nutritional Neuroscience, and Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

He has chaired and organized national and international scientific conferences, such as: New York Academy of Sciences Meeting “Maternal Nutrition and Pregnancy Outcome” (San Diego, 1992), Western Human Nutrition Centre/USDA, “New Approaches to Define Nutrient Requirements” (San Francisco, 1994) and the Sixth International Symposium on Trace Elements in Man and Animals (Pacific Grove, 1987).

Carl Keen was awarded the American Institute of Nutrition Graduate Student Research Award (1978), the American Institute of Nutrition Bio-Serv Award in Experimental Animal Nutrition (1985), Outstanding Undergraduate Advisor in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (1985), and the American Institute of Nutrition Research Award (Bordon Award, 1995). Keen was recently recognized by ILSI as a highly cited researcher in the Agricultural Sciences (2002), and he was the 2004 recipient of the Teratology Society’s Warkany Award for research accomplishments in developmental biology.  In 2006, Dr. Keen was appointed as the first holder of the Mars Family Endowed Chair in Developmental Nutrition.

Dr. Keen’s research group has four main areas of activities.  The first concerns the influence of diet on embryonic and fetal development.  A major theme in his laboratory is that a significant proportion of birth defects are the consequence of embryonic and/or fetal malnutrition.  Thus, the correction of nutritional deficiencies during early development should result in a marked reduction in pregnancy complications.  A second research theme in his group is the study of gene-nutrient interactions, with an emphasis on how subtle changes in cell mineral concentrations influence the expression of select genes.  The third major research theme in his laboratory is the study of how diet influences oxidant defense systems, and as a consequence the occurrence of cellular oxidative damage.  The fourth research area concerns the influence of dietary flavonoids on vascular health.

The above research themes are integrated, and approached through a combination of in vitro and in vivo models, including the study of human subjects.