Holiday Durham, PhD, RD, LDN

Instructor Adjunct

Diabetes and Nutrition

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PhD, Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
RD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center Internship


I am a junior faculty and Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LA CaTS) Roadmap Scholar at Pennington Biomedical Center. My research focuses on maternal and infant health and nutrition by paring out the complex physiological mechanisms between mother and child. These mechanisms ultimately translate to improving maternal and infant clinical outcomes as well as the overall health and well-being of mothers and their babies.

Our team and others have elucidated a growing body of evidence that demonstrates the pivotal roles of perinatal nutrition in creating an intrauterine environment which may foster long-term nutritional programming for the child, as well as ensuring proper fetal development and metabolism. Our exciting research is at the forefront of life-long health and well-being!

Research Areas of Focus and Interest:
* fatty acid metabolism through the life span [maternal,
fetal, infant, child];
* placental fatty acid transfer in normal and complicated
pregnancies (ex. Gestational Diabetes Mellitus);
* regulation of the endocannabinoid (fatty acid analogs)
metabolome during pregnancy and the postpartum period;
* nutrient regulation in breast milk;
* gut microbiome in normal and complicated pregnancies;
* health literacy

Aside from research, I am committed to the following ventures: educating women and their families about nutrition and health, mentoring, teaching, learning from the next generation of scientists and students, and advocacy.


Human milk secretory immunoglobulin a and lactoferrin N-glycans are altered in women with gestational diabetes mellitus. Smilowitz JT, Totten SM, Huang J, Grapov D, Durham HA, Lammi-Keefe CJ, Lebrilla C, German JB. J Nutr. 2013 Dec;143(12):1906-12. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.180695. Epub 2013 Sep 18. PMID: 24047700

Postpartum physical activity in overweight and obese women.
Durham HA, Morey MC, Lovelady CA, Namenek Brouwer RJ, Krause KM, Østbye T. J Phys Act Health. 2011 Sep;8(7):988-93. PMID: 21885890

Comparison of dietary intake of overweight postpartum mothers practicing breastfeeding or formula feeding. Durham HA, Lovelady CA, Brouwer RJ, Krause KM, Ostbye T. J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Jan;111(1):67-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2010.10.001. PMID: 21185967

Body image and body satisfaction differ by race in overweight postpartum mothers.Carter-Edwards L, Bastian LA, Revels J, Durham H, Lokhnygina Y, Amamoo MA, Ostbye T. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2010 Feb;19(2):305-11. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2008.1238. PMID: 20113143 ^ top