Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Amy Lin

Amy Lin

Associate Professor


Phone: (208) 885-4661
Office: AgSci 118, UI

*Now accepting doctoral students with food chemistry training background

Research Interests

My research is in the area of starch chemistry and its health & wellness aspects. Starch is the major glycemic carbohydrate source for humans, and the final digestion product– dietary glucose, is the major fuel of our brains. My research goal in this area is to manipulate the dietary glucose delivery from food to our bodies at the proper locations and rates, which influence many physiological responses and affects our health. I focus on how the starch molecules interact with human digestive enzymes, especially a group of alpha-glucosidase in the small intestine. In this regard, I have a number of collaborative groups in different disciplines including nutrition, gastroenterology, protein crystallography, enzymology, physiology, and psychology. Together we try to provide a solution for a major problem – obesity & diabetes. On the other hand, we also want to help eradicate malnutrition in children who have digestive enzyme deficiency/insufficiency such as Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency (CSID) or Maltase-Isomaltase Deficiency.

Along with starch chemistry, I am also interested in its interaction with other food components such as protein and polyphenol, especially its influence in starch digestion and glucose absorption. Processing and engineering is another key area that will change starch structure before we consume it. Working with tribologists/rheologists, we will be able to investigate how starch affects mouth feel and product texture. Another strong interest I have is the interaction between starch and microbiology either in the mouth or in the large intestine, which greatly impact our health in different ways.

My General Research Areas

  • Carbohydrate chemistry and its health aspects
  • Starch molecular properties
  • Starch digestive enzymes

Specific Research Interests

  • Manipulation of starch digestion rate for low glycemic response and other physiologic benefit
  • Developing special foods for children with digestive enzyme deficiency/insufficiency
  • Interactions between starch and other food components
  • Interactions between indigestible/or partially digested starch molecules and gut microbiota
  • Interactions between starch function and processing/engineering
  • Relationship between starch structure and technical function such as tribological property
  • Relationship between starch oral digestion and tooth biofilm formation

 Professional Experience

Academic Employment

2014-present | Associate Professor, Bi-state School of Food Science, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID

2011-2014 | Managing Director of Strategic Planning and Research Communication, Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research, Purdue University, West Lafayette, INResearch Assistant Professor, Department of Food Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

2008-2011| Post-doctoral Research Associate, Department of Food Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

2006-2007 | Post-doctoral Research Associate, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Selected Publications 

PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL ARTICLES (* means corresponding author)

  1. Amy Hui-Mei Lin, B. Lee, W. Chang. 2015. Small intestine mucosal alpha-glucosidase: a missing feature of in vitro starch digestibility. Food Hydrocolloids. doi: 10.1016/j.foodhyd.2015.03.002
  2. Amy Hui-Mei Lin*, Zihua Ao, Roberto Quezada-Calvillo, Buford L. Nichols, Chi-Tien Lin, Bruce R. Hamaker. 2014. Branch pattern of starch internal structure influences the glucogenesis by mucosal Nt-maltase-glucoamylase. Carbohydrate Polymers. 111:33-40
  3. B.-H. Lee, Amy Hui-Mei Lin, B. Nichols, K. Jone, D.R. Rose, R. Quezada-Calvillo and B. Hamaker. 2014. Mucosal C-terminal maltase-glucoamylase hydrolyzes large size starch digestion products that may contribute to rapid postprandial glucose generation. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. 58(5) 1111-1121
  4. B. Lee, L. Bello-Perez, Amy Hui-Mei Lin, C. Y. Kim, B. Hamaker. 2013. Importance of location of digestion and colonic fermentation of starch related to its quality. Cereal Chemistry, 90(4)335-3423
  5. M. Diaz-Sotomayor, R. Quezada-Calvillo, S. Avery, S. K. Chacko, L. Yan, Amy Hui-Mei Lin, Z. Ao, B. Hamaker, B. L. Nichols. 2013. Maltase-glucoamylase modulates gluconeogenesis; Sucrase-isomaltase dominates starch digestion glucogenesis. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 57(6) 704-12
    Note: The diagram was selected as the cover of the Journal.
  6. Sushil Dhital, Amy Hui-Mei Lin*, Bruce R. Hamaker, Michael J. Gidley, and Anbuhkani Muniandy. 2013. Mammalian mucosal alpha-glucosidases coordinate with alpha-amylase in the initial starch hydrolysis stage to have a role in starch digestion beyond glucogenesis. PLoS One 8(4), e62546
    Note: The article was adjudged as the best paper published in a peer review journal in 2013 by the Australian Institute of Food Science, and S. Dhital received the Jack Kefford Award for 2014
  7. Amy Hui-Mei Lin*, Byung-Hoo Lee, Buford L. Nichols. Roberto Quezada-Calvillo, David R. Rose, D. R. Naim, Bruce R. Hamaker. 2012. Starch source influences dietary glucose generation at the mucosal a-glucosidase level. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 284(44):36917-36921
  8. M Gilger, B Hamaker, B. L. Nichols Jr, S. Auricchio, W.R. Treem, H. Y. Naim, M. H., Klaus, P. Zimmer, K. Jones, R. Eskandari, B. M. Pinto, D.R. Rose, B.-H. Lee, R. Quezada-Calvillo, B. Adams, C. M. Roach, C.-X. Ma, S. S. Baker, M. H. Slawson, C. C. Robayo-Torres, B.P. Chumpitazi, A. R. Opekun, S. Uhrich, Z. Wu, J.-Y. Huang, C. R. Scott, B. P. Chumpitazi, A.R. McMeans, D. Scholz, R. J. Shulman, Z. Ao, E. E. Sterchi, and A. H.-M. Lin. 2012, Research progress reported at the 50th anniversary of the discovery of congenital sucrase-isomaltase deficiency workshop. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 55 Suppl. 2.
  9. Amy Hui-Mei Lin, Bruce R. Hamaker, Buford L. Nichols. 2012. Direct starch digestion by sucrase-isomaltase and maltase-glucoamylase. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 55 Suppl. 2, S43-45.
  10. Amy Hui-Mei Lin*, Buford L. Nichols, Zihua Ao, Roberto Quezada-Calvillo, Stephen E. Avery, Lyann Sim, David R. Rose, Hassan Y. Naim, Bruce Hamaker. 2012. Unexpected high digestion of cooked starch by the Ct-maltase-glucoamylase small intestine mucosal alpha-glucosidase subunit. PLoS One, 7(5):e35473
  11. Amy Hui-Mei Lin, Yung-Ho Chang, Wen-Bin Chou, Ting-Jang Lu. 2011. Interference Prevention in size –exclusion chromatographic analysis of debranched starch glucans by aqueous system. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 59(11)5890-5898
  12. M. I. Klein, L. DeBaz, S. Agidi, H. Lee, G. Xie, Amy Hui-Mei Lin, B.R. Hamaker, J. A. Lemos, H. Koo. 2010. Dynamics of transcriptome response of Streptococcus mutans in biofilms to starch and sucrose. PLoS One 5(10): e13478.
  13. Hui-Mei Lin, Yung-Ho Chang, Jheng-Hua Lin, Jay-lin Jane, Ming-Jen Sheu and Ting-jang Lu. 2006. Heterogeneity of lotus rhizome starch granules revealing by ?-amylase degradation. Carbohydrate Polymers 66:528-536.
  14. Hui-Mei Lin and Tzu-Tar Fang 1993. Studies on the preparation of mei juice VI. Distribution pattern of volatile compounds of mei fruit juice. Memoirs of the College of Agriculture. NTU. 33(3):163-179


  1. Amy Hui-Mei Lin, A. Muniandy, M. Diaz-Sotomayor, S. Avery, S. Chacko, L.-K. Yan R. Quezada-Calvillo, B. Hamaker, B. Nichols. 2014. Slower in vivo glucogenesis from starch oligomers by mucosal sucrase-isomaltase. FASEB Journal, 28:1039.8
  2. Amy Hui-Mei Lin, M. Diaz-Sotomayor, R. Quezada-Calvillo, S. E. Avery, S. K. C. Chacko, L. Yan, Z. Ao, B. Hamaker, B. Nichols. 2013. Reduced glycemic response to starch feeding of Mgam null mice is buffered by increased endogenous gluconeogenesis. FASEB Journal, 27:1074.6
  3. Amy Hui-Mei Lin, Buford L. Nichols, Bruce R. Hamaker. 2012. Concept of slowly released dietary glucose: a focus on starch digestion at the mucosal ?-glucosidase level. FASEB Journal, 26: 638.611
  4. BL Nichols, M Diaz-Sotomayor, S Avery, S Chacko, D Hadsell, S Baker, LK Yan, A. H.-M. Lin, ZH Ao, R. Quezade-calvillo, B. Hamaker. 2012. Novel secreted maltase activity enables suckling mouse pup starch digestion. FASEB Journal, 26:638.2
  5. Amy Hui-Mei Lin, Buford L Nichols, Roberto Quezada-Calvillo, David R Rose, and Bruce R Hamaker. 2011. A potential control point of glucose delivery from starchy foods: intestinal mucosal ?-glucosidase digestion. FASEB Journal 25: 93.2
  6. Amy Hui-Mei Lin, Buford L Nichols, Roberto Quezada-Calvillo, David R Rose, Lyann Sim, and Bruce R Hamaker. 2010. Specific starch digestion of maize ?-limit dextrins by recombinant mucosal glucosidase enzymes. FASEB Journal 24: 231.6

Physical Mail

School of Food Science
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Dr
Moscow, Idaho 83844-2312