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knowledge bankTeam

At knowledge bank, we are a food consulting company and technical knowledge brokers to the food & health industries. Call us when you need a solution to a food or nutrition science question. Click here to reach an expert.



knowledge bank answers food and nutrition information dilemmas with enterprising solutions.Debra K.W. Topham, MS, CNS, CFS


Debra K.W. Topham specializes in reviewing food, meat, poultry, and supplement labels for compliance to FDA and USDA regulations.  This includes recommending to domestic and international clients any appropriate nutrient, health and product claims based on supported science.

Most recently, Ms. Topham helped launch the labeling and nutrition program of 2,000 products in three years for the Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market grocery chain, the USA division of Tesco PLC.  She was also responsible for the adaptation and training of the Tesco Technical Library to monitor all generations of private-label formulas for due diligence and aided in product monitoring for retail store recalls and artwork generation.

Ms. Topham served as project manager for human clinical research studies, scientific symposia, and nutrition conferences, especially on botanicals, plant concentrates, and human nutrition. Ms. Topham participated in more than 20 human clinical trials at multiple sites in 5 countries of the world. The Botanical Education Workshops, the Photochemical Conference: Today’s Knowledge–Tomorrow’s Products, and the Nagano (Japan) Scientific Symposium on Sports Science are representative of the technical conferences Ms. Topham coordinated. Ms. Topham presented to the White House Subcommittee’s Commission on Dietary Supplement Labeling and to the Food and Nutrition Board’s Panel on Dietary Antioxidants.  Among her many publications, she edited two internationally known books, Phytochemicals: A New Health Paradigm and Phytochemicals as Bioactive Agents by Technomic Publishing Inc. (now CRC Press).

As an adjunct lecturer at Chapman University (Orange, CA), she covers food and nutrition topics along with regulatory-labeling for undergraduates and graduates in the Food Science & Nutrition Program. Ms. Topham is an invited lecturer at California Polytechnic University-Pomona, CSU-Northridge, CSU-LA, the University of Southern California Regulatory Affairs Program (Los Angeles), and the Southern California Section of IFT.

knowledge bank’s director is a classically trained food and nutrition professional with the solid experience of a corporate research scientist and home economist. Ms. Topham is recognized as both a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) and Certified Food Scientist (CFS) for her advanced educational degrees and significant contributions to the fields of food and nutrition. She is a professional member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Phi Upsilon Omicron Honor Society, and the Food Industry Business Roundtable.  She is an alum of North Dakota State University (Fargo, ND).

Certified Food Scientist



Mary Jacob, PhD, RD (emeritus)

Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Mary M. Jacob, R.D., contributes 40 years of research wisdom and experience to knowledge bank. Her work on the effects of race and climate on basal metabolism, mineral metabolism, and body composition changes in health and disease spans several continents. Her professional development and education crosses India, England, Australia and the United States.

Dr. Jacob has focused technical investigations into protein/amino acid metabolism and nutritional status assessment in pregnancy and malnourished children. Intensive research and education allows knowledge bank’s Dr. Jacob to translate and adapt medical jargon for successful audience comprehension. She interprets the benefits and limitations of dietary supplements and their components into rational explanations for industry customers and consumer groups.

As a frequent presenter at the International Congress of Nutrition, the American Pediatric Society and the Annual Experimental Biology meetings, Dr. Jacob discusses her research findings on body composition changes in aging and disease as well as the implications of trace mineral alterations in animal tissues for human nutrition. These are published as peer reviewed articles in professional journals. She is a professional member of American Society of Nutritional Science, American College of Nutrition, American Dietetic Association, Gerontological Society of America, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and The New York Academy of Sciences. Dr. Jacob is a mentor to health researchers and dietitians alike and contributes to the local American Heart Association chapter as a professional advisor.


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Philip S. Topham, MBA, PMP

Philip S. Topham is Chief Product Officer with over 20 years of experience building teams and delivering business results. No matter the issue, with people or technology, Philip is a hands-on technologist, focused on getting the problem solved. He has worked in Pharmaceutical & Life sciences Market Research, Managed Healthcare and the Nutraceutical Vitamin Manufacturing/R&D industries.

A pragmatist at heart, Mr. Topham is a patented inventor and published author on Social Networks, Big Data, Knowledge Discovery, Innovation and Influence Analytics.   His article in the Journal of Biomedical Semantics has achieved the coveted PubMed “Highly Accessed” permanent designation.

Driven to see technology used well, and an ability to see the implications technology brings, he looks to ease resistance to change, with simple easy steps.

Mr. Topham has a Master in Business Administration from Pepperdine University (Malibu CA) and a BS in Biological Sciences from University of California Irvine.  His is a certified project management professional.

Katy Mantik, BA

Katy Mantik – Passionate about science, Katherine has greatly enjoyed working at Knowledge Bank for 5+ years. In addition to her expanding knowledge about the intricacies of food and supplement labeling for FDA and USDA compliance, she thrives in Knowledge Bank’s high integrity environment. Her background includes a B.A. from Occidental College majoring in Biology and minoring in Mathematics. During that time, her course work included many classes focusing on cell and molecular biology, and theoretical mathematics; both of which honed her analytical skills.

Additionally, Katherine has enjoyed over 600 hours volunteering at Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific for their husbandry and education departments. She has also won the Western United States Pipe Band Association Champion Grade 4 in the past for Bagpiping. Her accolades also include having earned the Gold and Silver Girl Scouts of America Awards. Most recently, Katherine moved to Pittsburgh, expanding Knowledge Bank from coast to coast.