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Department of Agronomy

Department of Agronomy
Kansas State University
2004 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506-0110

Ph: +1-785-532-6101
Fx: +1-785-532-6094

Dr. Davina Rhodes

Dr. Davina Rhodes

Assistant Professor

Email Dr. Rhodes

Kansas State University
3108 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506

Ph: +1-785-532-2166
Fx: +1-785-532-6094

Biography & Education


My research focuses on nutritional improvement of food crops. Work in my lab combines human nutrition, crop genetics, and cereal chemistry tools to determine how nutrient composition in food is controlled by genomic differences in food plants and how that impacts human nutrition.

I am originally from Florida, where I earned my bachelor's degree in Environmental Science at New College of Florida. I received my master's degree in Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois in Chicago, focusing on the genetics of inflammation and chronic disease. I went on to work for two years as a clinical dietitian in an endocrine clinic in Chicago. My doctoral work at University of South Carolina focused on the genetic variation of sorghum grain nutrients and the anti-inflammatory effects of sorghum grain flavonoids. After finishing my PhD, I worked as a National Institute of Food and Agriculture postdoctoral fellow to develop molecular breeding resources for increased grain carotenoids in sorghum, which was conducted at the USDA-ARS Grain Quality and Structure Research Unit. I've been an Assistant Professor of Nutritional Genomics at K-State since 2017.

  • Ph.D. Integrative Biology, University of South Carolina, 2014
  • M.S. Human Nutrition, Registered Dietitian, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2007
  • B.A. Environmental Science, New College of Florida, 1999


Development of molecular breeding tools to increase sorghum grain carotenoids

Staff & Students

  • Elfadil Bashir (Postdoc)
  • Clara Cruet Burgos (PhD student)
  • Tory Bach (REEU undergraduate student)



  • Rhodes DH. (2019) Nutritional Genomics: Connecting Crop Improvement to Human Health. Cereal Foods World.
  • Smolensky D, Rhodes DH, McVey DS, Fawver Z, Perumal R, Herald TJ, Noronha L. (2018) High-Polyphenol Sorghum Bran Extract Inhibits Cancer Cell Growth Through ROS Induction, Cell Cycle Arrest, and Apoptosis. Journal of Medicinal Food.
  • Rhodes DH, Hoffmann L, Rooney WL, Herald TJ, Bean S, Boyles R, Brenton ZW, Kresovich S. (2017) Genetic architecture of kernel composition in global sorghum germplasm. BMC Genomics.
  • Rhodes DH, Gadgil P, Perumal R, Tesso T, Herald TJ. (2016) Natural variation and genome-wide association study of antioxidants in a diverse sorghum collection. Cereal Chemistry.
  • Pang J, Nguyen VT, Rhodes DH, Sullivan ME, Braunschweig C, Fantuzzi G. (2016) Relationship of galectin-3 with obesity, IL-6, and CRP in women. Journal of Endocrinological Investigation.
  • Rhodes DH, Kresovich S. (2016) Sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] genotypes with contrasting polyphenol compositions differentially modulate inflammatory cytokines in mouse macrophages. Journal of Chemistry.
  • Rhodes DH, Hoffmann L, Rooney WL, Morris GP, Kresovich S. (2014) Genome-wide association study of grain polyphenol concentrations in global sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] germplasm. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
  • Morris GP, Rhodes DH, Brenton Z, Ramu P, Thayil VM, Deshpande S, Hash CT, Acharya C, Mitchell SE, Buckler ES, Yu J, Kresovich S. (2013). Dissecting genome-wide association signals for loss-of-function phenotypes in sorghum flavonoid pigmentation traits. G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics.
  • Rhodes DH, Pini M, Castellanos KJ, Montero-Melendez T, Cooper D, Perretti M, and Fantuzzi G. (2013). Adipose tissue-specific modulation of galectin expression in lean and obese mice: evidence for regulatory function. Obesity.
  • Pini M, Rhodes DH, Castellanos KJ, Hall AR, Cabay RJ, Chennuri R, Grady EF, and Fantuzzi G. (2012). Role of IL-6 in the resolution of pancreatitis in obese mice. Journal of Leukocyte Biology.
  • Pini M, Rhodes DH, and Fantuzzi G. (2011) Hematological and acute-phase responses to diet-induced obesity in IL-6 KO mice. Cytokine.
  • Gove ME, Rhodes DH, Pini M, Van Baal JW, Sennello JA, Fayad R, Cabay RJ, Myers MG, and Fantuzzi G. (2009). Role of leptin receptor-induced STAT3 signaling in modulation of intestinal and hepatic inflammation in mice. Journal of Leukocyte Biology.