Back to Directory

Diana N Obanda

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor

Nutrition & Food Science 0112 Skinner Building 4300 Chapel Lane College Park, Maryland 20742-7521


  • Nutritional biochemistry: function of nutrients at the cellular/molecular level and physiological mechanisms of action of various nutrition-related processes
  • Influence of food and medicinal plant compounds with bioactivities targeting obesity mechanisms, gut microbiota composition and gut immune function. 
  • Elucidation of the mechanisms responsible for the altered gene expression in skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, intestinal tissue and overall impact on obesity and insulin resistance.   
  • Functional foods as interventions for obesity related gut microbiota dysbiosis, insulin resistance and inflammation.


BSc. Moi University, Kenya

MS.  Louisiana State University (LSU) (Environmental Science).

PhD (2008). Louisiana State University (Environmental Science, Natural Products Chemistry)

PhD (2017). Louisiana State University   (Nutrition & Food Science; Molecular Nutrition).


2009-2013: Post-doctoral Fellow: Pennington Biomedical Research Center, LSU

                   (Focus: Role of plant compounds in prevention of metabolic syndrome)

2013-2016:  Instructor: Pennington Biomedical Research Center

                   (Focus: Role of plant compounds in prevention of metabolic syndrome)


50% Research and 50% Teaching


Courses Taught

2019-Present. NFSC 450. Food and Nutrient analysis

2020-Present. NFSC 423. Food Chemistry laboratory.

2020-Present. NFSC 678K. The Gut Microbiota, Obesity and Obesity Comorbidities


  1. USDA -National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).  GRANT 13066033.   Role Principal Investigator
  2. Maryland State Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) GRANT MD-NFSC-211757.   Role Principal Investigator


  1. Fan S, Raychaundhuri S, Page R, Shahinozzaman M, Obanda DN. Metagenomic Insights into the Effects of Urtica dioica vegetable on the Gut Microbiota of C57BL/6J obese Mice, particularly the composition of Clostridia. J Nutr. Biochem. 2021. 91.108594. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2021.108594. PMID: 33545322.
  2. Shahinozzaman M, Raychaudhuri S, Fan S, Obanda DN. Kale Attenuates Inflammation and Modulates Gut Microbial Composition and Function in C57BL/6J Mice with Diet-Induced Obesity. Microorganisms. 2021. 24;9(2):238. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms9020238. PMID: 33498853.
  3. Fan S, Raychaundhuri S, Kraus O, Shahinozzaman M, Lofti L, Obanda DN. Urtica dioica whole vegetable as a functional food targeting fat accumulation and insulin resistance-a preliminary study in a mouse pre-diabetic model. Nutrients. 2020, 12(4):1059.  doi: 0.3390/nu12041059.
  4. Obanda DN, Husseneder C, Raggio AM, Page R, Brian M, Stout R, Guice J, Coulon D, Keenan M.  Abundance of the species Clostridium butyricum in the gut microbiota contributes to differences in obesity phenotype in outbred Sprague-Dawley CD rats. Nutrition. 2020. 78:110893.
  5. Obanda DN, Page R, Guice J, Raggio AM, Husseneder C, Marx B, Stout RW, Welsh DA, Taylor CM, Luo M, Blanchard EE, Bendiks Z, Coulon D, Keenan MJ. CD Obesity prone Rats but not Obesity-resistant Rats robustly ferment resistant starch without increased weight gain or fat accretion and fat accretion.  Obesity. 2018. 26(3) 570-77.
  6. Broskey NT, Obanda DN, Burton JH, Cefalu WT, Ravussin E. Skeletal muscle ceramides and daily fat oxidation in obesity and Diabetes. Metabolism. 2018. 82:118-123.
  7. Covington JD, Johannsen DL, Coen PM, Burk DH, Obanda DN, Ebenezer PJ, Tam CS, Goodpaster BH, Ravussin E, Bajpeyi S. Intramyocellular lipid droplet size rather than total lipid content is related to Insulin sensitivity 2 after 8-Weeks of overfeeding. Obesity. 2017. 5(12):2079-87.
  8. Obanda DN, Ribnicky D, Yu Yongmei, Stephens J and Cefalu WT.  An extract of Urtica dioica L. mitigates obesity induced insulin resistance in mice skeletal muscle cells via protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). Scientific Reports. 2016. 6:22222. DOI: 10.1038/srep22222.
  9. Obanda DN, Zhao P, Richard AJ, Ribnicky D, Cefalu WT and Stephens J.  Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L.) attenuates free fatty acid induced ceramide accumulation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes in an adiponectin dependent manner. PLOS One.  2016.11(3): e0150252.