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Allison M. Yates, PhD, RD, Passes the Baton to Linda Meyers, PhD, at the Food and Nutrition Board

After a remarkably productive decade leading a distinguished group of committees and staff at the Food and Nutrition Board, Allison M. Yates, PhD, RD, Executive Director, has stepped down to pursue other policy interests. Dr Yates was largely responsible for the production of the Dietary Reference Intakes and related publications, which now number nearly a dozen. Under her tenure, the Food and Nutrition Board also developed reports on topics ranging from food programs and military nutrition to environmental contaminants in foods. Congratulations on a job well done, Allison, and we look forward to your continuing involvement in nutrition policy! Linda Meyers, PhD, who came to the Institute of Medicine after a distinguished career in nutrition policy at the US Department of Health and Human Services, assumed the role of executive director of the board in late fall 2003.


Christine L. Taylor Takes Position at WHO


FIGURE. Christine L.... - Click to enlarge in new windowFIGURE. Christine L. Taylor

Christine L. Taylor, PhD, RD, Director, Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling and Dietary Supplements at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has accepted a 2-year special nutrition project assignment with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland. Congratulations, Christine!


During her time with WHO, Dr Taylor will develop approaches that will help the United Nations organization assess food-related health risks more effectively. She will work with leading international food science experts and organizations to develop nutrition "risk analysis" models. Her work will also involve coordinating all the various food initiatives within WHO, including nutrition and disease surveillance. This coordination is critical to strengthening WHO's overall health risk assessment activities.


Dr Ricardo Bressani Wins 2003 Danone International Prize for Nutrition

Dr Richardo Bressani was awarded the 4th edition of the Danone International Prize for Nutrition in Acapulco, Mexico, at the Latin American Society of Nutrition Congress. Dr Bressani was praised for using local food resources to solve the issue of undernutrition in his native country of Guatemala where, according to a recent report of the Inter American Development Bank, 48% of infants and young children are malnourished.


Currently, Dr Bressani heads the Food Science and Technology Research Department of the Universidad del Valle in Guatemala, where he conducts research activities on nutrients and phytochemicals, as well as on the effects of processing factors on cereal and food legumes.


Before this current position, Dr Bressani managed the Division of Food and Agricultural Science at the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP) in Guatemala City.


Dr Bressani received his PhD in biochemistry from Purdue University in 1956. Congratulations, Dr Bressani!


Dr Michael Marmot to Head International Nutrition and Cancer Panel

Dr Michael Marmot has been appointed to chair this international panel of cancer and nutrition experts. Dr Marmot is the principal investigator of the internationally renowned Whitehall studies of British civil servants and co-principal investigator of the Health Surveys for England and Scotland. He is professor of epidemiology and public health at the Royal Free and University College Medical School, London, and director of the International Centre for Health and Society at University College, London. Dr Marmot earned a degree in medicine with honors from the University of Sydney, Australia, a master's degree in public health, and a doctorate in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley.


The panel comprises 21 internationally renowned scientists representing 12 different countries and has begun a comprehensive investigation into the role of diet and physical activity in cancer risk. It is charged with producing a second account to replace the 1997 Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective report. The panel is expected to conclude its work in 2006.


Robert Mondavi Appoints Hasler to Head Institute for Wine and Food Science

Clare Hasler, PhD, has been named the founding executive director of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science at the University of California at Davis. She will be responsible for programming and vision development at the institute, as well as leading fundraising activities. Dr Hasler received her 2 doctorates in environmental toxicology and human nutrition from Michigan State University and holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before assuming the executive director position, Hasler directed the Functional Foods for Health Program and was assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr Hasler has worked extensively in the field of functional foods and is currently focusing on the role of soy in preventing chronic disease.


Top Lawyer Joseph Levitt, Esq, of FDA Retires

Joseph A. Levitt, Esq, who has directed the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), retired in December. According to FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan, PhD, MD: "Joe has clearly had a unique and lasting effect on the health of Americans. With a career-long commitment to improving America's health and strengthening the FDA, Joe leaves our food and nutrition center as a world-class organization, ready to meet the challenges ahead." Under his leadership, the FDA turned its attention to food safety threats owing to bioterrorism. He enhanced the FDA's applied nutrition program, which has recently required "trans fat" information on the food label. He also strengthened new and better surveillance programs to prevent and control food-borne illness.


Robert Brackett, PhD, Takes the Helm at FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

The new director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) is Dr Robert E. Brackett, a microbiologist and former professor at the University of Georgia. He is an expert on food-borne pathogens and received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin. Dr Brackett's work has been published widely.


In Memoriam: George Guthrie, PhD

Dr George Guthrie, longtime professor at Pennsylvania State University and beloved spouse of Dr Helen Guthrie, Editor Emeritus of Nutrition Today, died in Florida in late 2003 after a long illness. After he received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota, he joined the faculty of Penn State as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology in 1949, where he had an active career in research and teaching until his retirement in 1988 as full professor with emeritus status.


Early in his career, he was associated with the Office of the Dean of Men, was a awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the Philippines, and served as codirector of the Peace Corps training program for volunteers to the Philippines from 1960 to 1962. His research interests focused on cross-cultural studies of infant and child development practices and social structure in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. His work, in collaboration with many other scientists and graduate students, was funded by grants from the Office of Naval Research, Abbott Laboratories, the Ford Foundation, and the Peace Corps.


Dr Guthrie authored more than 120 research publications and 4 books and developed a nonverbal intelligence test for use in developing countries. He traveled extensively in Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific. His is survived by his wife Helen and his 3 children: Barbara, Jane, and James.


Virginia Vivian, PhD, Noted Educator and Nutrition Scientist, Dies

Virginia M. Vivian, PhD, who was a member of the Department of Human Nutrition and Food Management in The Ohio State University's College of Human Ecology, died in November. In addition to her outstanding research, she was noted for the many fine nutrition scientists she trained, who included Susan Calvert Finn, PhD, RD, Past President of the American Dietetic Association; Donna Porter, PhD, of the Congressional Research Service; and many others.



Dr Bob Gravani of Cornell University was named a fellow in the international association for food protection in 2003.


Dr Katherine Tucker of Tufts University has been named to head 1 of 8 new National Institute of Health (NIH) centers to conduct cutting-edge research to understand and reduce differences in health outcomes, access, and care, especially for Hispanics in the Puerto Rican community. The center focuses on factors leading to poor health outcomes and health disparities.


Aspen Elections

At Nutrition Week in 2004 Gordon Jensen, PhD, MD, of Vanderbilt University will become president of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN). Scott Shikora, MD, of Tufts University will become vice president. The current President, David August, MD, will step down. Beth Wagner, MSN, RN, and Pam Charney, MS, RD, will remain to serve out the remainder of their terms. ASPEN has announced the slate of new candidates for offices. They include, for Vice President, Marion Winkler, MS, RD, surgical nutrition specialist at Rhode Island Hospital; for Secretary/Treasurer, Mary Marian, MSRD, of the University of Arizona's College of Medicine and the Arizona Cancer Center; and Kelly Tappenden, PhD, RD, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as director for research. In addition, the person nominated for director for chapters and sections is Vanessa Kumpf, PharmD, of Nutrishare, Inc. Vincent Vanek, MD, of St Elizabeth's Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio, is nominated for director of education.