David J. Baer, Ph.D. is a Research Physiologist with the US Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland. The Center is part of the Agricultural Research Service, which is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s principal in-house science research agency. Dr. Baer has worked with the Department for 17 years and is currently the Chief Scientist of the Functional Foods and Health Promotion Group within the Center’s Diet and Human Performance Laboratory.
Dr. Baer conducts controlled dietary intervention studies to investigate the relationship between diet and the risk for chronic, degenerative diseases, especially cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes in people. He has also conducted studies on health impacts of weight gain and calorie content of foods. Some of the dietary interventions he has investigated include the effects of different types of fats and fatty acids, fiber, margarine, butter, plant sterols, salad dressings, tea, soy protein, and alcohol on overall nutrition and health. In addition to dietary intervention studies, Dr. Baer is involved in research studies to validate food survey methodologies and to develop new methods for dietary assessment. He is the author of numerous scientific articles and book chapters and has been invited to present his research findings nationally and internationally.
Dr. Baer earned his bachelors degree from the University of Illinois and his doctorate in nutrition from Michigan State University. Prior to joining the Department of Agriculture, he worked as a private consultant in nutrition. He is active in several professional societies and serves on the editorial board for several journals.
STEVEN J. BRITZ
Dr. Steven J. Britz, Ph.D., is a Research Plant Physiologist with the US Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland. The Center is part of the Agricultural Research Service, which is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s principal in-house science research agency. Dr. Britz has worked with the Department for 28 years and is currently the Lead Scientist for the Environment Effects on Phytochemicals in Food Crops Group within the Center’s Food Components and Health Laboratory.
Dr. Britz conducts both controlled environment and field studies to investigate the effects of temperature, drought, solar radiation, and atmospheric carbon dioxide on flavonoids, vitamin E, phytosterols, carotenoids and other compounds in seeds and/or leafy vegetables. His work has shown that relatively small changes in environment can have large impacts on phytochemical composition. Dr. Britz is also responsible for the intrinsic labeling of foodstuffs with 13C, a stable isotope assimilated photosynthetically via 13CO2, to track the uptake and metabolism of phytochemicals in human subjects.
After spending his formative years in Illinois, a sine qua non for his assignment to FCHL, Dr. Britz received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and A.M and Ph.D. degrees in biology from Harvard University, where he learned to say sine qua non. He was a fellow of the Dept. of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution of Washington and a postdoctoral fellow of the Biology Dept., Yale University. In addition, he has been a visiting scientist at the Botany Inst., University of Marburg, Germany and the Inst. for Radiobiology, Research Center Juelich, Germany.