Jennifer T. Smilowitz

Dr. Jennifer Smilowitz

Jennifer T. Smilowitz, Ph.D.

Position Title
Assistant Professor of Cooperative Extension

Food Science and Technology
Foods for Health Institute



  1. Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California Davis, 2008-2012
  2. Ph.D., University of California Davis, 2008
  3. Business Development Program, University of California Davis, 2006
  4. Bachelor's Degree, University of California Los Angeles, 2001


Dr. Smilowitz is an Assistant Professor of Cooperative Extension in the Department of Nutrition at UC Davis. She holds a doctoral degree in Nutritional Biology with an emphasis in Endocrinology and completed her postdoctoral fellowship in Food Science & Technology at UC Davis. She has a well-established research career in clinical nutrition and lactation research that targets health in the first 1000 days from pregnancy through early childhood. Diet, environment, and lifestyle during these life stages have long-term consequences on health across generations. As a lactation education counselor, Dr. Smilowitz built a multi-collaborative outreach program focused on infant feeding that educates families on lactation and breastfeeding.

Dr. Smilowitz's current research and outreach programs focus on critical issues that identify and address gaps in health equity across the lifespan, support community health and reduce chronic disease risk. The ORIANE Lab, led by Dr. Smilowitz, uses multi-disciplinary and multi-prong approaches to improve community health by 1) implementing and testing evidence-based nutrition interventions; 2) creating educational programs on nutrition and health using multimedia to empower families, especially from racially diverse, low-income communities; and 3) delivering professional training on nutrition-related topics to health care providers, community professionals, educators, and advocates.


Awards and Honors

2020: UC Davis Chancellor's Innovation Awards - Innovator of the Year