Nutritional Biochemistry

    Nutritional Biochemistry Personnel



    Scott M. Smith, PhD is the scientific lead for NASA's Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory. Dr. Smith received a B.S. in Biology from Penn State in 1985, and a Ph.D. in Nutrition, also from Penn State, in 1990. His postdoctoral research work was conducted at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota, studying the interaction of nutrition and physiology. Dr. Smith joined the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory in 1992, and has been director of the lab since 1994. As Project Scientist for the Phase 1 Human Life Sciences discipline, Dr. Smith was also responsible for integration and implementation of 19 intramural, extramural, and international experiments on board the Mir Space Station.

    Diane DeKerlegand, MT (ASCP) is a Nutritionist in the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory. She received her B.S. in Medical Technology from Trinity Christian College. She has been responsible for the laboratory analyses of numerous bone and antioxidant status markers in specimens from ground-based and flight studies since 1997, and has also participated in the implementation of a LCEC liquid chromatography electrochemical method for detection of a marker of hydroxyl radical damage to DNA. During the past eleven years at JSC, she has been involved with Clinical Laboratory support of astronaut physicals at Shuttle launch and landing sites. In the Pharmacology Laboratory, she participated in Shuttle and Mir investigations of both DSO 622 (GI Function During Extended Duration Space Flight) and DSO 484 (Assessment of Circadian Shifting in Astronauts by Bright Light).

    YaVonne Bourbeau is a Nutritional Biochemist with the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory. She received her A.A.S. in Medical Technology at Alvin Community College. She has worked as a laboratory technologist with Drummond Reference Labs, UTMB, and St John's for the last 13 years. She joined the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory in 2006 and currently performs many of the analyzer based methods including amino acids, anti-oxidants and general urine chemistries.

    Tiffany Chew is the lab coordinator for the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory. She received her B.S. in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M University in 2006. Tiffany joined the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory in April 2007, and she assists in several areas including travel and providing nutritional provisions to research participating crewmembers as well as compiling data from previous and recent ground-based and space flight nutritional assessment studies.

    Holly Endris MS, RD, LD, CNSC is a research dietitian for the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory. She joined the Nutritional Biochemistry team in October, 2008. Holly Completed a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Houston in 2001. In 2005, she earned her Master's Degree in Nutrition from Texas Woman's University. For the past 5 years she worked as a clinical dietitian at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital. She was awarded certification as a Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC) by the National Board of Nutrition Support Certification. Prior to being a clinical dietitian, Holly worked at Baylor College of Medicine at the Children's Nutrition Research Center. For 5 years, she worked with studies involving calcium, zinc and iron absorption.

    Eden Fields, MT (ACSP) is a Nutritional Biochemist in the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory. Eden received her MT degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas in 1985. She joined the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory in 2008 and is currently responsible for the laboratory analysis of several bone marker assays from ground-based and space flight nutritional studies. In previous years at the Johnson Space Center Eden has been involved with the Endocrinology Laboratory supporting ground- based and space flight studies.

    Patricia L. Gillman, MS, (ASCP) is a Nutritionist in the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory. She received a B.S. in Animal Science from Texas A&M University in 1988, and a M.S. in Nutrition, also from Texas A&M University in 1995. She received certification in chemistry from the American Society of Clinical Pathologist in 1997. She has been responsible for method development and research protocols to support nutritional status assessment during space flight since 1998. She has also been involved in the planning of investigations of bone and calcium metabolism for the International Space Station.

    Geeta Kala, PhD is a Senior Scientist in the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory. She received an M.S. in Biochemistry from University of Hyderabad, India in 1986 and a Ph.D. in Toxicology from University of Saskatchewan, Canada in 1991. She has participated in several research projects and has conducted studies on Arsenic metabolism using rodent mutant models and cell cultures during her postdoctoral research at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. She joined the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory in 2005 and is currently responsible for the method development of vitamins using HPLC-electrochemical detection methods in support of ground-based and space flight nutritional assessment studies.

    Grace Mathew is a Research Scientist in the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory. She received an M.S. in Microbiology from University of Bombay, India in 1989. She worked for a Biotech company in Webster, Texas for ten years developing diagnostic immunoassays for various steroids and peptides. She has been at JSC since 2000 working with a multi-disciplinary project team in tissue engineering, sensor and control technologies, characterizing the newly discovered calcifying nanoparticles and developing methods to identify new life forms on Mars. In 2008 she joined the Nutritional Biochemistry lab and currently supports ground-based and space flight nutritional assessment studies, particularly in the field of bone metabolism.

    Amanda Messick is the Science Coordinator for the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory. She received her B.S. in Bioenvironmental Science from Texas A&M University. She joined the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory in July 2006 and is responsible for the processing and the organization of ground based research and space flight samples.

    Barbara L. Rice, MS, RD, LD is the Research Dietitian for the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory. She received a B.S. in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Kentucky and a Master's degree in Nutrition from California State University in Los Angeles. She has been responsible for the nutritional status assessment, including dietary intake monitoring for ground-based and flight studies, since 1990, and provides nutritional counseling to the astronaut corps. Prior to working in the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory, she maintained a private practice as a Nutrition Consultant and held several university faculty positions.

    Ann Rogers, MT, (ASCP) is a Nutritional Biochemist in the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory. She received her B.S. in Medical Technology from Wichita State University in Wichita, KS. She joined the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory in 2005 and is currently responsible for the laboratory analysis of several antioxidant markers in specimens from ground-based and space flight nutritional assessment studies.

    Zuwei Wang, PhD is a Senior Scientist in the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory. He received a B.S. in Chemistry from Peking University, Beijing, China in 1982 and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Mississippi State University in 2000. He had been a Scientist of Analytical Chemistry in Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences from 1982 to 1989 and in University of Illinois at Urbana from 1989 to 1992. He joined Pharmacotherapeutics Laboratory in 2000 and developed a dozen of HPLC and LC/MS methods using solid phase extraction for quantitation of drugs and metabolites in biological samples in support of several ground-based and space flight projects for treating space motion sickness. He joined Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory in 2008 and is currently responsible for method development and validation of some amino acids and vitamins using HPLC-fluorescent detection methods in support of ground-based and space flight nutritional assessment studies.

    Sara Rathman Zwart, PhD is a National Research Council Postdoctoral Associate in the Nutritional Biochemisty Laboratory. She received a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Notre Dame in 1999 and a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Florida in 2003. Her doctoral work involved studying the effects of anti-epileptic drugs on vitamin metabolism. She joined the Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory in 2003 and will be involved with the development of nutritional countermeasures for astronauts.