Zivkovic, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition, specializes in the development of tools and strategies to personalize health. Zivkovic completed her Ph.D. in nutritional biology at UC Davis before becoming a UC Davis faculty member in 2013. Prior to joining the faculty, Zivkovic was a postdoctoral scholar in the UC Davis Department of Entomology, a research scientist at Lipomics Technologies, Inc., and associate director of scientific development and translation at the UC Davis Foods for Health Institute.
Diet, nutrition, human health and disease, lipid metabolism, lipoprotein composition and function, inflammation, and gut microbiota
There is no “one perfect diet” that is right for everyone. Our changing health is determined by our unique genetic background, combined with environmental influences, our health history, and our cultural/personal preferences. In addition, our personal gut microbiota has recently been found to be critically important to shaping health. Only integrative, systems-based approaches can solve this kind of complexity in determining the healthiest diet for an individual.
I am interested in developing ways of measuring phenotype (the observable characteristics of an individual, as determined by both genetics and environment) in order to personalize diet, improve health, and prevent disease. My group is integrating clinical measures with the various “omic technologies” —metabolomics, glycomics, proteomics, transcriptomics, and genomics — to understand how individuals respond to different diets and foods. Using this systems biology approach will lead to diets that are better personalized to each individual’s desires and needs.
- Effects of dietary constituents on lipoprotein function, particularly HDL (high-density lipoprotein)
- Controlling inflammation through diet
- Developing tools to characterize different health phenotypes, for example, omega-3 metabolic phenotype
- Dietary approaches for maintaining and establishing a healthy gut microbiota, and for reversing dysbiosis