Our mentors consist of subject matter experts and leading organizations passionate about advancing the field of infant feeding through objective, evidence-based, multidisciplinary research. This group advises Bobbie Labs and assists in the evaluation of proposals.
Alyssa K. Whitcraft, PhD, is the Deputy Director and Program Manager for NASA Harvest, a diverse Consortium of more than 50 institutions focused on advancing the use of satellite data by agricultural and food security decision makers. Dr. Whitcraft is also an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland. Since 2015, she has served as Program Scientist for G20’s Group on Earth Observations Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM).
Dr. Whitcraft understands well the challenges of high-quality agricultural production in the context of climate change, extreme weather events, and land mismanagement - having grown up working in her family winery. She aspires to make it easier for people and organizations to use satellite data to improve agriculture, from farm-to-global scales. Dr. Whitcraft leads a wonderful life as the mother to two darling children and as a wife, daughter, sister, friend, and colleague.
Courtney Jung, PhD is a political science faculty member at the University of Toronto and works on critical theory, identity and identity formation at the intersection of comparative politics and contemporary political theory. Her books engage normative debates about liberalism, multiculturalism, and democratic participation through research into political identity formation. She has received awards from the Jackman Humanities Institute (2017-18), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (2009-2015), Fulbright New Century Scholars Program (2003), the Mellon Foundation (2002-2004), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (2001-2002). She was a member at the Institute for Advanced Study in 2001-2002, and has held visiting positions at Yale University, Central European University, and University of Cape Town. Her publications include Lactivism: how feminists and fundamentalists, hippies and yuppies, and physicians and politicians made breastfeeding big business and bad policy. She’s a mom of two.
Cynthia Barber, PhD graduated from Virginia Tech in Biology and Chemistry, and continued graduate education in Biological and Physical Science at University of Virginia (MS) and Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at University of Virginia (PhD). After a 17 year academic research post at the University of Virginia, Dr. Barber took a position at PBM Nutritionals as Director of Medical and Clinical Affairs. After 2 years, Dr. Barber was promoted to Vice President of Regulatory, Medical and Clinical Affairs over infant formula, toddler and adult nutrition, medical foods and dietary supplements.
During her tenure at PBM Nutritionals, 7 large infant feeding studies were successfully completed and over 150 infant formulas were cleared for both the US and International markets. Dr. Barber’s activities include executive board service on US and International industry associations, advisory councils at Virginia Tech in Human Nutrition, publication of research and global political activities surrounding complete and safe pediatric and maternal nutrition.
Jaclyn Bowen, MPH, MS is the Executive Director and non-voting liaison of the Clean Label Project, the national non-profit focused on bringing truth and transparency to food and consumer product labeling. Before coming to Clean Label Project, Jackie held numerous technical, standards development, and leadership roles within the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre, NSF International.
Her expertise is in organic, gluten-free, non-gmo labeling, food safety, and label claim substantiation and compliance. Bowen and Clean Label Project have appeared on NBC, ABC, CNN, ‘The Doctors’, ‘Dr. Oz’, ‘Dr. Drew’ and 450+ print and online media outlets including USA Today and Huff Post.
Bowen holds a Bachelors of Science in environmental biology from Michigan State University, a Master of Science in quality engineering from Easterm Michigan University and a Master of Public Health in management and policy from University of Michigan.
Janine N’jie David, MPP specializes in cross-sector partnerships with a special interest in creating equality for women and girls globally. With more than a decade of experience as a nonprofit leader, Janine is co-founder and deputy director of the Global Lab, a UCLA research hub that pursues evidence-based solutions to critical issues faced by hard-to-reach populations around the world. She’s passionate about translating and amplifying research findings broadly to inform policy, improve programs and shift the public conversation. Janine has held senior leadership positions at Spark, a national youth mentoring organization, and Plan UK, a global children’s rights organization. Her work took her to Zambia, Malawi, Sierra Leone, and India.
Janine holds a Masters in Public Policy (MPP) from UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, is a member of their MPP Alumni Council and a Luskin Alumni Career Leader, which helps current students prepare for the job market. Janine is also a member of the Los Angeles Women’s Collective, a political action committee that empowers women in Los Angeles to influence political and legislative progress. Janine lives in the Santa Ynez Valley, California, and is a proud mother to an energetic toddler girl!
Dr. Jessica Steier is the Co-Founder and CEO of the Unbiased Science Institute and Vital Statistics Consulting. She is a public health data scientist with expertise in health policy and program evaluation. She is a thought leader and innovator in the field of science literacy and communication. The Unbiased Science Podcast helps to translate complex scientific concepts for the general public and has been downloaded over half a million times. The Unbiased Science social media page disseminates easy-to-digest infographics and has a global audience of over 300,000 across platforms.
Dr. Steier's expertise in the critical appraisal of scientific evidence allows her to translate and communicate the best available data across a variety of scientific topics in an accessible and compassionate manner. She has served as a content expert for dozens of major media outlets around the world.
Jessica has previously served as a Senior Health Policy Consultant at The Lewin Group, working on large state and federal grants. Prior to that, she served as the inaugural Research Coordinator of Hofstra University’s Department of Physician Assistant Studies, where she designed the Master’s degree curriculum, conducted research with clinicians and healthcare delivery organizations to inform evidence-based change and quality improvement, and performed numerous program evaluations and needs assessments for hospitals and departments of health.
Dr. Steier received her Master of Public Health (Evaluative Sciences) at SUNY-Stony Brook University and her Doctor of Public Health degree from the Graduate Center at the City University of New York (CUNY).
Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Jessica currently lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young children. She is an avid animal lover and supporter of local rescue organizations and has adopted three dogs and two cats of her own. She hopes to soon rescue a pig!
Joshua Anthony, PhD, MBA, is Founder and CEO at Nlumn, a consulting company that works with food, nutrition, and health-technology companies to help them compete in the personalized nutrition and health marketplace. Nlumn’s mission is to make personalized nutrition accessible to help every individual make better choices and live a healthier life. In a career that spans from test to table, Dr. Anthony has proven his capabilities as a successful scientist, innovator and entrepreneur. Driven by the challenge of translating science to help people live healthier lives, he has worked collaboratively to help launch more than 150 science-based nutrition products.
Before starting Nlumn, he was the founding Chief Science Officer at the personalized nutrition company, Habit. He was also Vice President, Global R&D, Nutrition and Health at the Campbell Soup Company. Prior to Habit and Campbell, Dr. Anthony held progressive technical and management roles at Mead Johnson Nutrition (Reckitt) and Unilever. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and has 3 daughters.
Leanne Redman, PhD, FTOS, is a professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center within the Louisiana State University System where she is the Chief Academic Officer and directs the Reproductive Endocrinology and Women’s Health Research Program and the Maternal and Infant Nutrition Core Laboratory. Dr. Redman directs a million-dollar research portfolio that is focused on how lifestyle, in particular nutrition and physical activity, influence body composition and energy metabolism.
For the past decade she has adapted state of-the-art nutrition assessments for pregnant women and infants to study how a mothers' health during the prenatal period impacts the intergenerational transmission of obesity. Her research is at the forefront of developing and testing novel nutrition and lifestyle interventions using smartphone apps to enhance the compliance of individuals to national dietary and exercise guidelines. Her work has produced more than 200 research articles.
Dr. Redman holds a Ph.D. in Physiology and OBGYN from the University of Adelaide in Australia and completed 4 years of post-doctoral training at Ohio University and Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Dr. Redman participated in The National Academies Nutrition During Pregnancy and Lactation: Exploring New Evidence Workshop in 2020 bringing her expertise in dietary carbohydrates and energy.
Manisha Shah, PhD is a development economist whose research interests lie at the intersection of applied microeconomics, health, and international development with a focus on women and youth. The goal of her research is to identify more effective policies and programs to positively impact health and education outcomes. Shah is the Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. Chair in Social Justice, Professor of Public Policy at UCLA, and co-founder of the Global Lab for Research in Action; a research hub that pursues evidence-based solutions to critical challenges faced by hard-to-reach individuals around the world.
Shah holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics, an M.S. in Agricultural and Resource Economics, and a B.A. in Economics and Development Studies from UC Berkeley, as well as an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics.
Molly Millwood, PhD is a clinical psychologist with an advanced specialization in women's mental health, intimate relationships, and marital therapy. She has conducted research on maternal and marital wellbeing after the birth of a child, and is the author of To Have and To Hold: Motherhood, Marriage, and the Modern Dilemma.
After 15 years balancing an academic career with a private practice, Molly now practices psychotherapy full time, specializing in couples and women navigating the challenges of motherhood. She lives in Vermont with her husband and two children.
Nicole Rakobitsch is the Director of Sustainability at Organic Valley, America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and one of the nation’s leading organic brands. She leads the Cooperative’s Climate Action plan both on-farm and throughout the cooperative, transitioning the Coop to carbon neutrality by 2050. Previously Nicole assisted farmers and other landowners in Suffolk County, New York with conservation practice design and installation. Nicole and her husband live in Southwest Wisconsin on an off-grid homestead powered 100% by the wind and sun.
Pedro Prieto, PhD, MA, MS is a nutrition scientist, infant formula industry veteran, and Bobbie Medical Advisor. He has been a member of the faculties of Monterrey Tech, and the University of Georgia and held an honorary chair at the Autonomous University of Queretaro in Mexico.
He holds PhD, and MS degrees in Biochemistry and Nutrition and a MA on Administration of Higher Education Institutions. Pedro’s career in industry has been focused on pediatric and clinical nutrition and the development of functional molecules. His teams have launched several infant formulas through the years and is credited with leading the first synthesis, product design and clinical trial of human milk oligosaccharides for pediatric nutrition.
Pedro’s 40th year marriage anniversary was in October of 2020; his wife and he have two children and a 6 year-old grandson. He says: “Feeding your kids or grandkids a formula that your team developed impacts you with a feeling of high responsibility and appreciation for the privilege of working in pediatric nutrition.”
Riccardo LoCascio, PhD oversees partnerships, collaborations and strategic manufacturing activities for the Advanced Proteins group at Novozymes. Prior to Novozymes, he was in the Strategy and M&A team at DuPont Industrial Biosciences, and has held various corporate positions in the biotech industry focused on the development, scale-up and commercialization of novel health and nutrition ingredients.
Dr. LoCascio holds a PhD in Microbiology from the University of California - Davis, where he investigated the role of Human Milk Oligosaccharides and Bifidobacteria in the development of the infant gut microbiome.
Urmeka T Jefferson, PhD, RN is an associate professor in the Department of Women, Children, and Family Nursing at Rush University. She received a PhD in nursing from Saint Louis University in 2012 with emphasis on maternal-child research. As a neonatal nurse, Dr. Jefferson witnessed first-hand the traumatic experience of infant mortality which drives her commitment to maternal-child research and interest in working to decrease racial disparities in infant mortality.
She has a special interest in increasing breastfeeding among African American mothers to decrease adverse infant outcomes and advance maternal health. Dr. Jefferson’s research has focused on infant feeding attitudes and exposure, determinants of breastfeeding behavior, and use of technology to improve access to breastfeeding support services.
We have partnered with organizations who share our passion of wanting to evolve the field of infant feeding through research. Organizational partners appoint a subject matter expert from their team to serve as a Bobbie Labs Scientific Research Expert.