David A. Mills

David A. Mills

David A. Mills, Ph. D.

Position Title

Viticulture and Enology
Food Science and Technology

  • Awards
    Peter J. Shields Endowed Chair in Dairy Food Science, Department of Food Science and Technology
3142 Robert Mondavi Institute - North

B.S. University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.S. University of Minnesota
Ph.D. Microbiology, University of Minnesota


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 100 papers, including seminal work on lactic acid bacterial and bifidobacterial genomics. At UC Davis, Dr. Mills 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 and in 2012 he was named the Peter J. Shields Chair in Dairy Food Science. 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.

Selected Publications


  • NIH
  • USDA
  • Dairy Management Inc.
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Department of Energy
  • American Vineyard Foundation
  • California Competitive Grants Program for Research in Viticulture and Enology
  • California Dairy Research Foundation
  • UC Discovery Program