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Ondulla Toomer

USDA-ARS Research Chemist and Assistant Professor

Scott Hall 150

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Ondulla T. Toomer is a North Carolina native and graduated from North Carolina State University with a Ph.D. in nutrition with a minor in biotechnology in 2005. In July 2005, Toomer began a postdoctoral fellowship in the Mucosal Immunology Laboratory of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School under the supervision of Dr. Allan Walker and Dr. Hai Ning Shi studying the immunological health benefits of probiotics in neonatal development using a murine model. Toomer completed a second postdoctoral training program at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Beltsville, MD, with a research emphasis on differential gene expression in the reproductive tissues of turkey hens. Subsequently, Toomer worked over seven years with the United States Food and Drug Administration-Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition as a research biologist with a research emphasis on the development and prevention of pediatric food allergy and the identifying immunological biomarkers of food allergy using in vitro and in vivo models, and studying the effects of commensal microorganisms and/or probiotics on early (pre-weaning) immunological development.

Currently, Toomer works with the USDA-ARS as a research chemist in the Market Quality and Handling Research unit and as an adjunct professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at NC State University.


Ph.D. Nutrition North Carolina State University 2005

M.S. Physiology North Carolina State University 2000

B.S. Biochemistry North Carolina State University 1994

Area(s) of Expertise

My research program is focused on identifying the chemical constituents of raw and processed peanuts and/or tree nuts that are of nutritional benefit to the consumer, and on investigating the usefulness of peanuts and/or peanut-by-products as an alternative feed ingredient within the animal feed industry. Additionally, I am interested in examining the nutritional and health benefits of dietary supplementation with plant proteins and phenolic compounds.