Virginia Tech® home

Dennis Cladis

Assistant Professor
Dennis Cladis
Integrated Life Sciences Building (0913)
1981 Kraft Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24060


  • Ph.D., Food Science, Purdue University, 2020
  • M.S., Food Science, Purdue University, 2014
  • M.S., Inorganic Chemistry, Purdue University, 2012
  • B.A., Mathematics and Chemistry, DePauw University, 2009

Professional Appointments

2023 – Present: Assistant Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

2024 - Present: Affiliate Faculty, Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

2020 – 2022: Postdoctoral Associate, Nutrition Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN


  • Polyphenols
  • Flavonoids
  • Bioavailability and Metabolism
  • Food and Nutritional Toxicology

Research: Polyphenol Bioavailability from Farm to Table to Health

Polyphenols are ubiquitously present in edible plants and may be beneficial to human health. However, polyphenols have low bioavailability, limiting their health promoting effects. Thus, the aim of the Cladis lab is to evaluate how factors at every step of our food system impact polyphenol bioavailability. We are currently working on three research projects:

  • Nutrient phenotyping — Partnering with plant breeders, we are systematically characterizing polyphenol content and bioavailability of key agricultural crops across established germplasms. These data will help identify genotypes that are beneficial to human health and inform future breeding priorities.
  • Polyphenol toxicity — Botanical dietary supplements are extremely popular, though they deliver far higher doses of polyphenols than are available from whole foods. In this project, we are working to understand both the safety and dose-dependent changes in metabolism of this burgeoning consumption modality.
  • Polyphenols in chronic kidney disease (CKD) — Emerging research suggests that polyphenols may slow CKD progression and prevent related cardiovascular complications. Working with animal models of CKD, we are characterizing polyphenol metabolism and their effects on CKD progression.

Core Techniques

  • Targeted metabolomics
  • Rodent models
  • In vitro intestinal digestions