Purrrfect pet nutrition? Illinois expert available for National Pet Day

We all want to do right by our furry friends, but it’s difficult to know what trends are on point to optimize their health and nutrition. Should our dogs go vegan? Will a new type of food help to slim Fluffy’s physique? Dr. Kelly Swanson (he/him), director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences and professor in the Department of Animal Sciences, both in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, can help clear up the confusion. A major segment of his research focuses on optimizing nutrition for cats and dogs, including service animals like search and rescue dogs

Please contact Lauren Quinn at [email protected] to arrange an interview with Dr. Swanson.



Dr. Kelly Swanson (he/him) studies the effects of nutritional intervention on health outcomes, identifying mechanisms by which nutrients impact gene expression and host physiology, with primary emphasis on gastrointestinal health and obesity. His lab’s research is contributing to the development of diets to help prevent obesity and other health-related issues in humans and animals.

More information:
Swanson uses genomic biology to study nutrition-related problems in the areas of obesity and intestinal health. Both comparative and applied nutrition research projects are performed in his laboratory, including those studying human subjects, companion animals, and rodent models. A primary aim of his research group is to study the effects of diet and age on gastrointestinal microbiota abundance and activity. DNA-based techniques [e.g., quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR); next-generation sequencing] are used in the lab. Current projects are designed to evaluate the effects of dietary fibers and prebiotics, dietary lipids, and protein: carbohydrate ratio on gastrointestinal microbial populations. Key associations between intestinal microbiota, host physiology, and disease are also being studied. Another primary area of research pertains to energy homeostasis and obesity. Molecular techniques (e.g., qRT-PCR; Fluidigm; RNAseq) are used to identify mechanisms and/or metabolic pathways affected in key metabolic tissues. Adipose tissue and skeletal muscle play important roles in energy homeostasis and glucose and lipid metabolism and are the focus of several ongoing projects.

Dr. Swanson is Professor of Animal Nutrition and Nutrigenomics in the Department of Animal Sciences in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He is also the director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences at ACES.

withyou android app