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Darshan Kelley
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Ph.D., Biochemistry

Oklahoma University, OK


Office:  University of California, Davis

             430 West Health Sciences Drive

             Davis, CA 95616


Phone: (530) 752-5138


Fax:     (530) 752-5271



Kelley Lab





Dr. Kelley obtained an M. Sc. degree in Biochemistry from Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana, India and then received his Ph. D. degree in Biochemistry in1973 from the University of Oklahoma, under the mentorship of Dr. B Connor Johnson. Here, he compared the effects of high fat and high carbohydrate diets on the regulation of hepatic lipid synthesis and the mechanisms involved. Dr. Kelley worked as a research associate in the laboratory of Dr. Van R Potter at McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, at the University of Wisconsin (UW) 1975-1980. Research conducted by Dr. Kelley at UW contributed to an understanding of hormonal and nutritional regulation of amino acid transport in normal and malignant hepatocytes. Dr. Kelley then served on the faculty of West Virginia University for 3 years before starting his career with the USDA, ARS, Western Human Nutrition Research Center (WHNRC) as a research chemist in 1983. He served as the Research Leader for the Bioenergetics Research Unit of WHNRC from 1990-1996, and as the Lead Scientist for the project on Dietary Fat and Health from 1990-2008, and of Metabolism and Health Effects of Phospholipid and Triglyceride Forms of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids from 2015-2019. Within the ARS, Dr. Kelley’s research initially focused on the effects of the amount and type of dietary fats on immune status, but he also examined the effects of energy intake, vitamins and minerals on immune response. His research showed that a reduction in fat intake enhanced several indices of immune response in human subjects. Increased consumption of omega-6 and trans fatty acids increased inflammatory response, while increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids decreased the production of inflammatory cytokines and eicosanoids. Subsequent studies of Dr. Kelley dealt with the effects of individual dietary fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acid, arachidonic acid, and conjugated linoleic acid) on risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and insulin resistance, and an understanding of the mechanisms involved. His current project will compare the bioavailability of the PL- and TG-forms of DHA and their effects on inflammatory diseases of liver (nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases) and brain (Experimental autoimmune encephalitis). DHA supplementation of the diets decreased several risk factors for CVD in human subjects and prevented NAFLD and insulin resistance induced by CLA in the mouse model. Dr. Kelley’s laboratory demonstrated the CLA induced NAFLD progresses to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and shares many characteristics of human NASH.  Dr. Kelley has also investigated the health effects of phytonutrients (polyphenols and limonoids) in human subjects. Results from his study with Bing sweet cherries demonstrated that cherry consumption decreased the circulating biomarkers for several inflammatory diseases. His study with purified citrus limonin glucoside (LG) indicated LG supplementation improved several biomarkers for liver health in over weight human subjects. One US patent for the use of LG to treat NAFLD, Liver Cancer and CKD has been approved and another one for treatment of inflammation is pending. In addition to his employment with ARS, Dr. Kelley has also been an adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of California Davis since 1999.



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