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Dr. Bruce German, 2017 Spencer Award Winner!

Click on the Spencer Award 2017 for current details!


J. Bruce German, PhD

Dr. German’s nominator is Dr. Wally Yokoyama.

Professor in Food Science and Technology, Director, Foods for Health Institute, University of California Davis (http://ffhi.ucdavis.edu/)

Bruce German received his PhD from Cornell University, joined the faculty at the University of California, Davis in 1988, in 1997 was named the first John E. Kinsella Endowed Chair in Food, Nutrition and Health is currently Director of the Foods for Health Institute and professor, at University of California, Davis. His research interests include the structure and function of dietary lipids, the role of milk components in food and health and the application of metabolic assessment to personalizing diet and health.

 The goal of his research is to build the knowledge necessary to improve human health through personalized health measurements and foods. Research projects directed to this goal are studying how individual human lipid metabolism responds to the chemical composition and structural organization of foods. Each person has slightly different responses to diet based on their genetics, their lifestage and lifestyle, their metabolism and their nutrition status. It is thus necessary to understand the molecular basis of these differences, how to measure them and design food strategies to complement them. We are working on analytical strategies to enable individuals to monitor how their body reacts to various foods and to modify their consumption to maintain good health. With health targets established it is the equally important task of the research to understand how to provide superior choices in foods that integrate the compositional, structural and nutritional functionalities of biomaterials. The model being used of how to proceed is milk, the product of millennia of constant Darwinian selective pressure to produce a food to nourish, sustain and promote healthy infant mammals to be healthier http://www.imgconsortium.org/ . Milk is the only bio-material that has evolved for the purpose of nourishing growing mammals. Survival of offspring exerted a strong selective pressure on the biochemical evolution of lactation as a bioguided process. Just as evolution of any biological organism, the strong survive, which leads to the appearance of new traits that promote health, strength and ultimately survival. This evolutionary logic is the basis of the research program to discover physical, functional and nutritional properties of milk components and to apply these properties as principles to foods.

Bruce and colleagues have published more than 400 papers on lipids and food, metabolism and metabolite measurements and food functions and patented various technologies and applications of bioactive agents. The research articles from the lab are available at http://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=0Zkd2dwAAAAJ

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