Mills Laboratory > Steve A. Frese

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Steve A. Frese

Postdoctoral Researcher

steve frese n pig

One Shields Ave.
Department of Viticulture and Enology
University of California
Davis, CA 95616-5270
sfrese {at} ucdavis dot edu

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Research Interests

Broadly, I am interested in three intersecting areas of research regarding the gut microbiota. I am interested in understanding the broad ecological interactions of the constituents which compose the gut microbial community.  The gut microbiotas of vertebrates are some of the densest microbial communities on the planet and recent evidence suggests that these communities have specifically evolved with their respective host organisms, each with unique niches and ecological pressures.

I am also curious how this association has shaped these constituents.  That is, how they have evolved to live in and with their vertebrate hosts. The increasing evidence of the importance of this community has brought attention to some key constituents, who show clear evolutionary associations with their host and confer specific benefits to the host organism.

Finally, and perhaps most practically, I am interested in finding ways to utilize these benefits and relationships so that they can be exploited for the host’s (that is, ‘our’) advantage from the perspective of health.

In the Mills Lab, these interests center around Bifidobacteria and their ability to utilize specific glycans, especially those found in human breast milk. These organisms show an evolutionary adaptation to the utilization of specific host glycans (human milk oligosaccharides), confer key benefits to the host (the nursing infant), and this relationship is certainly one which shows promise for improving health.

 

Education

  • Ph.D. University of Nebraska Lincoln, December 2012
 Food Science and Technology.  Thesis: The Evolution of Host Specificity in the Vertebrate Gut Symbiont, Lactobacillus reuteri.
  • B.S. Allegheny College, May 2008
 B.S., Biology

 

Academic Positions

  • Research Associate, University of Nebraska Lincoln Jan-Mar 2013
Graduate Research Assistant, University of Nebraska Lincoln 
 Dept. Food Science and Technology 2008-2012
  • Allegheny College Biology Department 2005-2008
  • Peer-Led Team Learning Group Leader Allegheny Coll. Chemistry Department 2007-2008
  • Summer Fellow, Plant Science Initiative, Univ. Nebraska Lincoln, 2007

Academic Fellowships and Honors

  • Claybaugh Fellowship, UNL Dept. Food Science and Technology 2009
  • Graduate Fellowship, UNL Dept. Food Science and Technology 2008-2010
  • Dean’s List, Allegheny College 2007-2008
  • Summer Fellow, Plant Science Initiative, UNL Summer Research Program 2007

Publications

  • Choy, Y. Y., P. Quifer-Rada, D. M. Holstege, S. A. Frese, C. C. Calvert, D. A. Mills, R. M. Lamuela-Raventos and A. L. Waterhouse. 2014. Phenolic metabolites and substantial microbiome changes in pig feces by ingesting grape seed proanthocyanidins.  Food & Function (In Press).
  • Ricotta, E. Frese, SA., Louis, TA., Shiff, CJ. 2014. Evaluating local vegetation cover as a risk factor for malaria transmission: A new analytical approach." Malaria Journal 13:94.
  • Frese, SA. MacKenzie, DA., Peterson, DA., Schmaltz, R., Fangman, T., Zhou, Y., Zhang, C., Benson, AK., Cody, L., Mulholland, F., Juge, N., Walter, J.  Molecular Characterization of Host-Specific Biofilm Formation in a Vertebrate Gut Symbiont.  PLoS Genetics. Epub 26 Dec 2013.
  • Frese, SA, Hutkins, RW. Walter, J. 2012.  "Comparison of the Colonization ability of Autochthonous and Allochthonous Strains of Lactobacilli in the Human Gastrointestinal Tract." Advances in Microbiology 2(3):399-409.
  • Frese SA, Benson AK, Tannock GW, Loach DM, Kim J, Zhang M, Oh PL, Heng NC, Patil PB, Juge N, Mackenzie DA, Pearson BM, Lapidus A, Dalin E, Tice H, Goltsman E, Land M, Hauser L, Ivanova N, Kyrpides NC, Walter J. "The Evolution of Host Specialization in the Vertebrate Gut Symbiont Lactobacillus reuteri".  PLoS Genetics 2011 Feb;7(2):e1001314. Epub 2011 Feb 17.
  • Sims, I., Frese, SA., Walter, J., Loach, D., Wilson, M., Appleyard, K., Eason, J., Livingston, M., Baird, M., Cook, G., Tannock, GW. Structure and Functions of Exopolysaccharide produced by gut commensal Lactobacillus reuteri 100-23.  The ISME Journal 20 Jan 2011.

Academic meetings and presentations

  • Oral Presentation.  October 2012. Frese, SA and Walter, J. "Host-specific adherence of Lactobacillus reuteri contributes to ecological fitness in vivo."  International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics - Annual Meeting. Cork, Ireland.
  • Poster Presentation.  October 2012.  Frese, SA and Walter, J. "Host-specific adherence of Lactobacillus reuteri contributes to ecological fitness in vivo.”  International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics - Annual Meeting. Cork, Ireland.
  • Poster presentation, October 18th, 2011.  Frese, SA, Hutkins, RW, Walter, J. " Comparison of the Colonization ability of Autochthonous and Allochthonous Strains of Lactobacilli in the Human Gastrointestinal Tract." University of Nebraska 'University-Industry Consortium'.  Lincoln, NE USA.

Poster Presentation, June 2-5, 2010. Frese, SA, Benson, AK, et al. "The evolution of host specialization in the vertebrate gut symbiont Lactobacillus reuteri" German-American Frontiers of Science. Potsdam, Germany.
  • Poster Presentation, Nov. 2, 2009, Frese, SA, Benson, AK, et al.  "Genomic changes underlying the evolution of host restriction in the vertebrate gut symbiont Lactobacillus reuteri," Arthur M. Sackler Colloquia, National Academy of Sciences.  Selected for Oral Presentation.
  • Poster Presentation. April 12, 2008. Frese, SA and Baros, B. "Screening the Gut Microflora of Rainbow Trout for Organisms with Inhibitory Activity against a Fish Pathogen, Aeromonas salmonicida." Washington and Jefferson College, Western Pennsylvania Undergraduate Biology Research Symposium.

Teaching Experience

University of Nebraska Lincoln, Dept. of Food Science and Technology
  • FDST855 Microbiology of Fermented Foods, Teaching Assistant Spring 2011
  • FDST806 Food Microbiology, Teaching Assistant Fall 2009
Allegheny College Biology Department
  • BIO310 Microbiology, Teaching Assistant Spring 2008
  • FSBio 201 Sophomore Seminar Microbiology, Teaching Assistant Fall 2007
  • Research Associate, University of Nebraska Lincoln Jan-Mar 2013
  • Graduate Research Assistant, University of Nebraska Lincoln 
 Dept. Food Science and Technology 2008-2012
  • Allegheny College Biology Department 2005-2008
  • Peer-Led Team Learning Group Leader Allegheny Coll. Chemistry Department 2007-2008
  • Summer Fellow, Plant Science Initiative, Univ. Nebraska Lincoln, 2007

 

Awards

  • Claybaugh Fellowship, UNL Dept. Food Science and Technology 2009
  • Graduate Fellowship, UNL Dept. Food Science and Technology 2008-2010
  • Dean’s List, Allegheny College 2007-2008
  • Summer Fellow, Plant Science Initiative, UNL Summer Research Program 2007

Document Actions

News
GeneFigure - A tool developed by Samir Akre to create more intuitive figures Jun 15, 2017
2017 UC Davis Undergraduate Research Conference May 19, 2017
Wine microbiome work profiled in Spirited magazine Mar 15, 2017
Dr. Mills interviewed by Sac Bee on microbiome article Mar 05, 2017
Zach Lewis starts new position at Clorox-Renew Life Feb 19, 2017
Dr. Mills interviewed by Gizmodo Feb 09, 2017
Dr. Mills interviewed by Winery and Vineyard Management Jan 01, 2017
Dr. Mills Interviewed by NorthBay Biz Oct 29, 2016
Dr. Mills interviewed by Reno News & Review Oct 15, 2016
UC Davis Milk Group Profiled in New Yorker Magazine Aug 18, 2016
mBio paper profiled Jul 13, 2016
Sercan Karav's AEM paper profiled Apr 17, 2016
Cell paper profiled Apr 17, 2016
Nina Kirmiz wins poster award Jan 10, 2016
Zach Lewis's Paper on Bifidobacterial Species QC profiled Nov 26, 2015
Frese & Mills interviewed by Proto Magazine on infant microbiome Nov 24, 2015
Wine microbiome work profiled by Nature Plants Nov 24, 2015
Liver Cancer-Gut Microbiome work profiled by Synthesis May 04, 2015
Bokulich interviewed on eLife brewery paper Apr 25, 2015
Zachery Lewis's paper in Microbiome Profiled by NPR and UC Davis Apr 11, 2015
Dr. Mills Elected Fellow in American Academy of Microbiology Feb 25, 2015
Milk Bioactives Group profiled by UC Davis Office of Research Dec 11, 2014
NIH Grant Success on Milk Bioactives!! Nov 26, 2014
UC Davis Milk Bioactives Group Profiled in Science Sep 26, 2014
Steve Frese honored by European Probiotics Association Sep 07, 2014
Nick Bokulich garners 2013-14 Kinsella Thesis award Sep 07, 2014
Bangladesh infant cohort paper profiled Jul 26, 2014
Milk Bioactives Program Profiled in Davis Enterprise Jul 26, 2014
Bokulich Sake Paper Profiled Jul 26, 2014
Gates project profiled Apr 03, 2014