Consortium Management

The IMGC is managed through the California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF), a nonprofit organization based in Davis, CA. The consortium’s focus and direction are designed and implemented by the Director of Scientific and Strategic Development, Dr. Jennifer Smilowitz, together with the Steering and Scientific Advisory Committees

Director of Scientific and Strategic Development
Jennifer Smilowitz, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Foods for Health Institute
Faculty Affiliate, Department of Food Science & Technology
University of California Davis, Davis, CA
Phone: (310) 403-4483

Dr. Smilowitz became the IMGC’s Director of Scientific and Strategic Development in April 2019. She attended the first IMGC Symposium in Napa California as a graduate student and attended several IMGC Symposia. She has engaged in active collaborations with IMGC scientists and demonstrated clinical safety and efficacy for several new products either in or on their way to the marketplace.  Dr. Smilowitz is a faculty affiliate in the Department of Food Science and Technology and Associate Director of the Human Studies Research Program for the Foods for Health Institute at the University of California Davis. She holds a doctoral degree in Nutritional Biology with an emphasis in Endocrinology and completed her postdoctoral fellowship in Food Science from the University of California Davis. She has a well-established career in lactation and milk science, particularly human milk and clinical nutrition.  Dr. Smilowitz has spent much of her career solving complex problems with the use of cross-disciplinary and multi-collaborative methods. She has published more than 60 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals on lactation, milk and microbiome across all life stages. She was instrumental in the clinical and regulatory dossier development of B. infantis bacterium in breastfed infants. She is a fellow of the University of California Davis School of Management which was instrumental in shifting her research toward translation to make a greater impact on human health. As a Certified Lactation Counselor, Dr. Smilowitz supports breastfeeding and researches dietary solutions that support the health of the mother-infant dyad. She regularly gives lectures on the benefits of breastfeeding and its impact on the infant gut microbiome to health-care practitioners across northern Californian hospitals, clinics and Women Infants and Children (WIC) staff and an invited guest lecturer for various undergraduate and graduate-level courses in lactation, microbiology, infant-maternal nutrition, nutrition and food science at University of California Davis. Her bibliography is publicly available here.

Symposium Coordinator
Annie Meier

Annie Meier joined the IMGC in 2021. She has a B.S. in clinical nutrition from the University of California, Davis. After graduation, she worked as a nutrition counselor for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Sacramento County. From 2016 to 2020, she worked as a research study coordinator for the Foods for Health Institute (FFHI) at UC Davis where she coordinated research studies involving lactation, microbiology, and infant-maternal nutrition. She will receive her master’s in public policy and administration from California State University, Sacramento in Spring 2021.

Executive Director
Denise Mullinax
Phone: (530) 753-0681

Mullinax is executive director of the California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF), an independent non-profit foundation with a mission to lead and deliver the best research and science-based programs in support of the California dairy industry. She is a graduate of the University of California, Davis with an undergraduate degree in animal science and a Master’s in agriculture and management. She has mover 20 years of experience working with the California dairy sector, holding key education, research, and sustainability management positions within UC Cooperative Extension and Hilmar Cheese Company. Concurrent with her duties at CDRF, she also serves as the assistant director of the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP), a position she has held for the past 13 years.

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