As an assistant professor in the Texas A&M University Nutrition and Food Science Department, I have been involved in the acquisition of over $4.8 million in competitive grants and sponsored research agreements. My research has focused on the peripheral metabolism of dietary compounds by lactic acid bacteria (LAB). My laboratory independently developed high-throughput phenotyping techniques and used them to characterize the saccharolytic phenomes of LAB that are capable of metabolizing cyanogenic glycosides, which are phytotoxins that occur naturally in some crop plants. I have also studied the effects of dietary phytoestrogens and lipids on the intestinal microbiota and the metabolism of polyphenols and resistant starch by intestinal microorganisms. In addition, my group has developed bacteriocins as natural alternatives (enzymes) to chemical-based antimicrobial compounds that are currently used in food safety. I received an Excellence in Mentorship Award from the Texas A&M University Nutrition and Food Science Department (2013) and the Christian Hansen Incorporated Innovation Excellence Award (2004). Prior to my academic appointment, I developed novel bacterial probiotics and biocatalysts for the food, pharmaceutical, nutritional, and agricultural industries at Christian Hansen Incorporated.