Teresa A. Davis, Ph.D.
Professor, Baylor College of Medicine
Department of Pediatrics
U.S. Department of Agriculture / Agricultural Research Service
Children’s Nutrition Research Center at
Baylor College of Medicine
1100 Bates Street, Suite 9066
Mail Stop: BCM-320
Houston, Texas, USA 77030-2600
(713) 798-7169-office / (713) 798-7171-fax
Adjunct Professor, Department of Animal Science and Intercollegiate Faculty of Nutrition, Texas A&M University http://animalscience.tamu.edu/ / http://nutr.tamu.edu/
Adjunct Professor, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences http://www.uthouston.edu/gsbs/
President, American Society for Nutrition
Associate Editor, Journal of Nutrition
Member College of Center for Scientific Review, NIH
B.S., Nutrition Education, University of Tennessee
M.S., Nutrition Science and Food Science, University of Tennessee
Ph.D., Nutrition Science, University of Tennessee,
Postdoctoral Fellow, Preventive Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine
Regulation of Protein Metabolism by Nutrients and Hormones During Early Life
The long-term objective of my research is to identify the mechanisms by which nutrients, hormones, and growth factors regulate protein deposition, particularly in skeletal muscle, during growth and development.
Early studies demonstrated that the high rate of protein deposition in the neonate is due to the elevated response of protein synthesis to nutrient intake, which is particularly profound in skeletal muscle. Using novel hormone-substrate clamps, the feeding-induced stimulation of protein synthesis was shown to involve independent regulation by both insulin and amino acids in skeletal muscle, and to be mediated by either amino acids or insulin alone in other tissues. Recent studies are demonstrating that the high rate of muscle protein synthesis in the neonate is regulated by the expression and activity of components of the intracellular insulin and nutrient signaling pathways that control translation initiation. The role of individual amino acids, particularly the branched-chain amino acid, leucine, as nutrient signals to regulate translation initiation is also being explored. Future research will examine the efficacy of a novel functional amino acid supplement to improve protein anabolism. Another focus of Dr. Davis’ research is to determine the impact of different feeding modalities on protein synthesis and deposition in skeletal muscle of the neonate. Other research areas being investigated include the regulation of protein synthesis during catabolic illness such as sepsis and the role of nutrient intake in the anabolic response to growth hormone.
The work is contributing valuable information to improve strategies for the nutritional management of infants and children and to improve animal production.
Honors & Awards:
2011 Roger E. Koeppe Endowed Lecturer, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Oklahoma State University
2010 Research Mentor Award, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine
2007 Animal Growth and Development Award, American Society of Animal Science
2007 Avanelle Kirksey Lecturer, Purdue University
2001 Fulbright United States Distinguished American Scholar, Fulbright New Zealand-United States Educational Foundation
1998 E.L.R. Stokstad Award, Awarded for Outstanding Fundamental Research in Nutrition, American Society for Nutritional Sciences
1997 Centennial Leader Award, College of Human Ecology, University of Tennessee
Suryawan A, Orellana RA, Fiorotto ML, and Davis TA. Leucine acts as a nutrient signal to stimulate protein synthesis in neonatal pigs. J Anim Sci 89:2004-2016, 2011.
Orellana RA, Wilson FA, Gazzaneo MC, Suryawan A, Davis TA, and Nguyen HV. Sepsis and development impede muscle protein synthesis in neonatal pigs by different ribosomal mechanisms. Pediatr Res 69(6):473-478, 2011.
Gazzaneo MC, Orellana RA, Suryawan A, Kimball SR, Wilson FA, Nguyen HV, Torrazza RM, Fiorotto ML, and Davis TA. Differential regulation of protein synthesis and mTOR signaling in skeletal muscle and visceral tissues of neonatal pigs after a meal. Pediatr Res 70(3):253-60, 2011.
Gazzaneo MC, Suryawan A, Orellana RA, Torraza RM, El-Kadi SW, Wilson FA, Kimball SR, Srivastava N, Nguyen HV, Fiorotto ML, and Davis TA. Intermittent bolus feeding has a greater stimulatory effect on protein synthesis in skeletal muscle than continuous feeding in neonatal pig. J Nutr 141:2152-8, 2011.
Suryawan A and Davis TA. (2011). Regulation of protein synthesis by amino acids in muscle of neonates. Front Biosci, Jan 1; 16:1445-60, 2011.
Escobar J, Frank JW, Suryawan A, Nguyen HV, Van Horn CG, Hutson SM, and Davis TA. (2010). Leucine and α-ketoisocaproic acid, but not norleucine, stimulate skeletal muscle protein synthesis in neonatal pigs. J Nutr 140(8):1418-24.
Murgas Torrazza R, Suryawan A, Gazzaneo MC, Orellana RA, Frank JW, Nguyen HV, Fiorotto ML, El-Kadi S, and Davis TA. (2010). Leucine supplementation of a low protein meal increases skeletal muscle and visceral tissue protein synthesis in neonatal pigs by stimulating mTOR-dependent translation initiation. J Nutr 140(12):2145-52.
Suryawan A and Davis TA. (2010). Abundance and activation of mTORC1 regulators in skeletal muscle of neonatal pigs are modulated by insulin, amino acids, and age. J Applied Physiol 109(5):1448-54.
Wilson FA, Suryawan A, Gazzaneo MC, Orellana RA, Nguyen HV, and Davis TA. (2010). Stimulation of muscle protein synthesis by prolonged parenteral infusion of leucine is dependent on amino acid availability in neonatal pigs. J Nutr 140(2): 264-70.
Davis TA and Fiorotto, ML. (2009). Regulation of muscle growth in neonates. Curr Opin in Clin Nutr Metab Care 12(1): 78-85.
Wilson FA, Suryawan A, Orellana RA, Kimball SR, Gazzaneo MC, Nguyen HV, Fiorotto ML, and Davis. TA. (2009). Feeding rapidly stimulates protein synthesis in skeletal muscle of the neonatal pig by enhancing translation initiation. J Nutr 139(10): 1873-80.
Davis TA. (2008). Insulin and amino acids are critical regulators of neonatal muscle growth. Nutrition Today 43(4): 143-149
Suryawan A, Jeyapalan AS, Orellana RA, Wilson FA, Nguyen HV, and Davis TA. (2008). Leucine stimulates protein synthesis in skeletal muscle of neonatal pigs by enhancing mTORC1 activation. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 295(4): E868-75.
Wilson FA, Suryawan A, Orellana RA, Nguyen HV, Jeyapalan AS, Gazzaneo MC, and Davis TA. (2008). Fed levels of amino acids are required for the somatotropin-induced increase in muscle protein synthesis. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 295(4): E876-83.
Escobar J, Frank JW, Suryawan A, Nguyen HV, and Davis TA. (2007). Amino acid availability and age affect the leucine stimulation of protein synthesis and eIF4F formation in muscle. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 293(6): E1615-21.
Jeyapalan AS, Orellana RA, Suryawan A, Nguyen HV, Escobar J, Frank J, and Davis TA. (2007). Stimulation of muscle protein synthesis by glucose in neonates is AMP kinase and mTOR independent. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 293(2): E595-E603.
Orellana RA, Jeyapalan A, Escobar J, Frank JW, Nguyen HV, Suryawan A, and Davis TA. (2007). Amino acids augment muscle protein synthesis in neonatal pigs during acute endotoxemia by stimulating mTOR- dependent translation initiation. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 293(5): E1416-25.
Orellana RA, Kimball SR, Suryawan A, Escobar J, Nguyen HV, Jefferson LS, and Davis TA. (2007). Insulin stimulates muscle protein synthesis in neonates during endotoxemia despite suppression of translation initiation. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 292(2): E629-36.
Suryawan A, Orellana RA, Nguyen HV, Jeyapalan AS, Fleming JR, and Davis TA. (2007). Activation by insulin and amino acids of signaling components leading to translation initiation in skeletal muscle of neonatal pigs is developmentally regulated. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 293(6): E1597-E1605