Maria Marco, Ph.D.

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Maria Marco, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis, USA. The goal of Maria’s research is to guide food production to benefit human health. Her research focuses on probiotics in foods, specifically lactic acid bacteria in food systems and the mammalian digestive tract, as well as fermented foods and prebiotics.

Dr. Marco has led numerous projects investigating probiotic Lactobacillus, emphasizing the impact of diet and delivery matrix on probiotic function. This research also explores how health can be improved by using fiber to modulate the structure and function of the gut microbiome.

Marco received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. She worked as a postdoctoral candidate and subsequently as a scientist at NIZO food research, in the Netherlands. Dr. Marco initiated her laboratory at UC Davis in 2008, has over 80 publications in refereed journals and numerous patents, has received an American Society for Microbiology Distinguished Lecturer award and serves on numerous advisory and editorial boards.

“Microbiome research is expanding and developing to a point that will soon deliver new and improved, microbial-powered nutrition. Expansion of work on food microbiomes will lead to the development of tastier, healthier foods and beverages with expanded quality and safety characteristics as well as opportunities for precision nutrition to the human digestive tract”