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CNRC - Davis Lab

Houston, Texas

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CNRC - Teresa Davis Lab
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Postdoctoral Associates

Maria Carolina Gazzaneo, M.D.

Maria Carolina Gazzaneo, M.D.

Pediatric Intensive Care Fellow, Texas Children’s Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine

M.D., Medicine and Surgery, Universidad de Oriente, Nucleo Anzoategui, Venezuela, 1997
Internship, General Physician, Hospital Dr. Nicolas Giannini, Monagas, Venezuela, 1998
Pediatric Residency, Hospital Dr. Domingo Guzman Lander, Anzoategui, Venezuela, 2000
Pediatric Residency, Hospital Dr. Luis Razzetti, Universidad de Oriente, Anzoategui, Venezuela 2003

Dr. Gazzaneo's interest in science and research dates back to her residency in pediatrics, when she did her first research project related to albumin levels and sepsis in pediatric patients. She joined the Davis Laboratory in 2007 as a research associate and participated in different projects related to protein metabolism, performing measurement of protein synthesis rates, determination of hormones and substrates concentrations, assay of signaling proteins, surgical catheterization of arteries and veins, performance of pancreatic- substrates clamps, and analysis of signaling proteins. After a few months as a research associate with Dr. Teresa Davis, she matched in a Pediatric Intensive Care Fellowship at Texas Children’s Hospital in January 2008, but continued as a postdoctoral research fellow and started a T32 research training in September 2009. Dr. Gazzaneo's main area of research is to determine the impact of bolus and continuous feeding on protein synthesis and the signaling pathways that regulate translation in neonatal pigs.


Samer W. El-Kadi, Ph.D.

Samer W. El-Kadi, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate, USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine

B.S., Agriculture, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, 1998
M.S., Poultry Science, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon, 2000
Ph.D., Animal Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 2006
Postdoctoral Scholar, Animal and Food Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 2009

Dr. El-Kadi's research interest is primarily to determine the underlying factors that contribute to macronutrient partitioning to anabolic and catabolic pathways. His research has focused on understanding why amino acids are catabolized excessively by the portal-drained viscera, and whether factors such as dietary amino acid supplies or muscle growth could alter catabolism by these tissues. To achieve these goals we used the multi-catheterized animal model and primary cell culture in combination with stable isotope dilution and 13C-mass isotopomer distribution analysis (13C-MIDA) techniques.

Working in Davis laboratory allows Dr. El-Kadi the opportunity to investigate the regulatory mechanisms controlling protein synthesis and degradation. To get insight into these processes, we are employing proteomic and targeted metabolite analyses and using the neonatal pig as a model for the human neonate. The immediate objective is to improve our understanding of how protein synthesis and degradation are controlled in the neonatal pig. The overarching goal is to identify areas where novel dietary interventions could be used on to enhance infant growth.


Claire Boutry, Ph.D.

Claire Boutry, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate, USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine
Ph.D., Human Nutrition, AgroParisTech, Paris, France, 2010
Master degree, Nutrition and health, AgroParisTech, Paris, France, 2007
One-year university degree, Food and health, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Quimper, France, 2005
Two-year technical degree, Biological and food industry, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Bourg en Bresse, France, 2004

Dr. Boutry’s research interest is to determine the effects of protein, and more particularly amino acids, on metabolism. Her research has focused on the influence of monosodium glutamate supplementation on gastrointestinal physiology, protein digestion and metabolism in rats and humans. Monosodium glutamate is a worldwide flavour enhancer for it unique taste, called “umami.” As reported in the literature, L-glutamate could exert signal function and/or metabolic effects due to the presence of receptors in the digestive tract and/or the adjustment of enzymes related to glutamine metabolism.

Dr. Boutry is currently working in Dr. Davis’ lab on the effects of administration of a leucine pulse on skeletal muscle protein synthesis during continuous feeding in neonatal pigs as a model for human babies. It is known that amino acids have generous metabolic functions but their principal role is a precursor for the synthesis of body protein. Leucine also has a signaling function to activate the intracellular signaling pathway that regulates protein synthesis. A better understanding of the relationship between muscle protein synthesis and the mechanisms by which leucine actives mRNA translation in muscle may have implications for maintenance of infant growth during continuous feeding.


Scott M. Wheatley, M.D.

Scott M. Wheatley, M.D.

Postdoctoral Associate, USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine

M.D. Medicine and Surgery, University of Missouri Kansas City, 2007
Internship, Pediatrics, Childrens Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri, 2008
Pediatric Residency, Childrens Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri, 2009-2010
Fellowship, Pediatric Critical Care, Texas Childrens Hospital, 2010-Present

Dr. Wheatley became interested in research during his pediatric residency while doing chart reviews to identify the specific mutations associated with the Cystic Fibrosis population at Childrens Mercy in Kansas City. He joined the Davis Laboratory in 2010 as a postdoctoral research fellow and has participated in different projects related to protein metabolism. Dr. Wheatley's main area of research is to determine the impact of leucine metabolits on protein synthesis in neonatal pigs.

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