David A. Mills

millsDavid Mills is a Professor in the Departments of Food Science & Technology and Viticulture & Enology at the University of California at Davis.

Dr. Mills studies the molecular biology and ecology of bacteria that play an active role in gut health or fermented foods and beverages. In the last 20 years Dr. Mills has mentored over 30 graduate students and postdocs and published more than 120 papers, including seminal work on lactic acid bacterial and bifidobacterial genomics.

In 2000, Dr. Mills founded the Lactic Acid Bacteria Genome Consortium, a multi-campus collaboration that led to the early genome sequencing of key lactic acid bacterial species, a critical advance for the probiotics and food fermentation fields. More recently he co-founded the Milk Bioactives Program, a successful multidisciplinary effort to define, investigate and translate the beneficial aspects of human milk and its role in human health. Dr. Mills has served as a Waksman Foundation Lecturer for the American Society for Microbiology and currently serves as an associate editor for the journal Microbiology.

In 2010 Dr. Mills was awarded the Cargill Flavor Systems Specialties Award from the American Dairy Science Association, in 2012 he was named the Peter J. Shields Chair in Dairy Food Science and in 2015 he was named a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology.

Dr. Mills also serves on the Science/Research Advisory Boards of several food and health-focused companies and his research has helped launch two start-up companies.


Academic Rank

Full Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology, UC Davis, 2012-present

Full Professor, Department of Viticulture and Enology, UC Davis, 2008-present

Associate Professor, Department of Viticulture and Enology, UC Davis, 2004-2008.

Assistant Professor, Department of Viticulture and Enology, UC Davis, 1998-2004


1985 Bachelor of Science - Biochemistry University of Wisconsin-Madison.

1992 Masters in Science - Biochemistry University of Minnesota

1995 Doctor of Philosophy - Microbiology University of Minnesota:

Academic Specialty

Intestinal Microbiology, Microbial Genomics, Probiotics and Prebiotics, Microbiology of Food and Beverage Fermentations, Food Microbiology, Gene Expression and Modification, Glycobiology.


Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology

Peter J. Shields Endowed Chair in Dairy Food Science 2012-present

Cargill Flavor Systems Award, American Dairy Science Association 2010

Lecturer, Waksman Foundation for Microbiology, American Society for Microbiology (2003-2005)





Meeting Presentations