John R. Whitaker

John R. Whitaker, picture courtesy of Davis Enterprise

John R. Whitaker, Ph.D.

Position Title
Professor Emeritus

Food Science and Technology


Food Science (1956-1992) 

John Whitaker came to Davis in the early 1950s as a biochemist and enzymologist. During his time at UC Davis, he compiled an outstanding record of scholarly service to foreign students, universities and other institutions through teaching, outreach and research. For instance, Whitaker established formal ties with universities in China, Thailand and Mexico while serving as the first director of UC Mexus Program. During his long career at UC Davis, Whitaker served as a chair of the Department of Biochemistry and as an associate dean of academic affairs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Whitaker was the 1985 recipient of the prestigious Award for Advancement of Application of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Watch a video of John interviewed as part of a project about the history of the department.

Awards and Honors

1980: Institute of Food Technologists - Fellow

1998: American Association for the Advancement of Science - Fellow