About Korf Lab


dglemay AT ucdavis DOT edu

Danielle G. Lemay, PhD

Assistant Professional Research Scientist


In 1995, I earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from MIT. My undergraduate research was the development of signal processing for the profoundly hearing impaired under the direction of Prof. Louis D. Braida. I began my career as an engineer, designing circuits in Silicon Valley. After paying off school loans, I returned to graduate school in 2003 to apply bioinformatics to nutrition research. In 2005, I earned an M.S. in Nutritional Biology from UC Davis in the lab of Prof. Daniel Hwang. My master's thesis was the computational identification of binding sites for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) because dietary components mediate genetic expression through these proteins. In 2008, I earned a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biology from UC Davis in the lab of Prof. J. Bruce German with a doctoral dissertation on the systems biology of lactation. As a post-doctoral researcher, I was part of the Bovine Genome Sequencing and Analysis Consortium and led a team of 19 scientists, with Monique Rijnkels, to produce a companion paper devoted to the evolution of milk and lactation.

Research Interests

Imagine if you only had to drink and eat one thing--a magic potion--and that this magic potion contained all of your necessary calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients including special molecules that feed good gut bacteria, an arsenal of both passive and active immune protectors, and stem cells. The potion also makes you smarter. It makes you happier. And best of all, the potion is formulated just for you, based on your environment and the genetics of your mother. That potion is mother's milk.

In my research program, the major questions are 1) what is milk, and 2) how do you make it? To that end, I study the genes that are responsible for making milk--those that are expressed in the mammary gland during pregnancy and lactation--and how these gene products work together to produce this marvelous fluid.


  • Lemay DG, Rijnkels M, German JB. Lessons from the bovine genome: implications for human nutrition and research. J Nutr. 2009;139(7):1271-2. PMCID: 2698669.
  • Lemay DG, Lynn DJ, Martin WF, Neville MC, Casey TM, Rincon G, Kriventseva EV, Barris WC, Hinrichs AS, Molenaar AJ, Pollard KS, Maqbool NJ, Singh K, Murney R, Zdobnov EM, Tellam RL, Medrano JF, German JB, and Rijnkels M. The bovine lactation genome: insights into the evolution of mammalian milk. Genome Biology 2009;10(4):R43. PMCID: 2688934.
  • Tellam RL, Lemay DG, Van Tassell CP, Lewin HA, Worley KC, Elsik CG. Unlocking the bovine genome. BMC Genomics. 2009;10:193. PMCID: 2680899.
  • The Bovine Genome Sequencing and Analysis Consortium. The genome sequence of taurine cattle: a window to ruminant biology and evolution. Science. 2009;324(5926):522-8.
  • Argov N, Lemay DG and German JB Milk fat globule structure and function: nanoscience comes to milk production Trends in Food Science & Technology 2008, 19(12): 617-623
  • Lemay DG, Neville MC, Rudolph MC, Pollard KS, German JB: Gene regulatory networks in lactation: identification of global principles using bioinformatics. BMC Syst Biol 2007, 1:56.
  • Lemay DG, Zivkovic AM, German JB: Building the bridges to bioinformatics in nutrition research. Am J Clin Nutr 2007, 86:1261-1269.
  • Lange MC, Lemay DG, German JB: A multi-ontology framework to guide agriculture and food towards diet and health Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 2007, 87(8):1427-1434.
  • Lemay D.G., Dillard C.J. and German J.B. (2007) Food structure for nutrition. In: Food Colloids: Self Assembly and Material Science. Dickinson E. and Leser M. (eds.) Royal Society of Chemistry, London, England, Chapter 1, pp. 1–15
  • Lemay DG, Lange MC, Grigorov M, German JB - The FASEB Journal, 2006 – FASEB. Molecular Evolution of Milk: Computational Genomics as a Discovery Tool
  • Lemay DG, Hwang DH: Genome-wide identification of peroxisome proliferator response elements using integrated computational genomics. J Lipid Res 2006, 47:1583-1587. (Cover article)
  • Lee JY, Lowell CA, Lemay DG, Youn HS, Rhee SH, Sohn KH, Jang B, Ye J, Chung JH, Hwang DH: The regulation of the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase by Src-family tyrosine kinases mediated through MyD88-independent signaling pathways of Toll-like receptor 4. Biochem Pharmacol 2005, 70:1231-1240.
  • Weatherill AR, Lee JY, Zhao L, Lemay DG, Youn HS, Hwang DH: Saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids reciprocally modulate dendritic cell functions mediated through TLR4. J Immunol 2005, 174:5390-5397.


Milk Genomics Consortium

About Korf Lab

Korf Lab in the news

Jun 26, 2015: Keith Bradnam is interviewed by Frontline Genomics Magazine about his life in Bioinformatics.

Apr 8, 2015: Ian Korf is quoted in a Nature commentary article about Bioinformatics Service cores and the need for beter career paths for bioinformaticians.

Mar 16, 2015: Danielle Lemay is interviewed by the UC Davis News team about the new publication by herself, Kristen Beck (lead author), Ian Korf and others that describes new milk proteomes for human and macaque.

Apr 22, 2013: The Assemblathon 2 paper has won the 2013 BioMed Central Open Data award

Dec 10, 2013: A short piece in the UC Davis Alumni Magazine that discusses the new Genomics undergraduate major that Ian Korf co-developed.

Nov 26, 2013: Ian Korf writes a News & Views piece for Nature Methods about two new comparisons of programs that work with RNA-seq data

Nov 1, 2013: Keith B. and Kristen are both featured in a piece on Inquiring Minds as part of the new One UC Davis campaign.

More news

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Contact information for specific members of our lab can be found on their personal pages.