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Movers and Shakers

Kate Houston, New US Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service Deputy Undersecretary

Agriculture secretary, Mike Johanns, announced the appointment of Kate Houston as deputy undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. As deputy undersecretary, Houston will be responsible for improving the health and well-being of Americans by developing and promoting science-based dietary guidance and administering the US Department of Agriculture's 15 nutrition assistance programs worth billions of dollars. She served in US Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service as deputy administrator for special nutrition programs last year. Before that, Houston served more than 5 years on the Republican professional staff of the US House of Representatives, Committee on Education, and the Workforce. She is a graduate of Tulane University and has a master's degree from the Friedman School of Nutrition at Tufts University. She was a 2005 recipient of the Food Research and Action Center's Distinguished Service to Congress award.


Hentges to Lead International Life Sciences Institute North America

Eric Hentges, PhD, is the new executive director of the North American branch of the International Life Sciences Institute (North America). In this capacity, Dr Hentges will work closely with International Life Sciences Institute North America members, trustees, science advisors, and staff to enhance the organization programs and the impact of its scientific output. He brings over 25 years of experience in nutrition education, research, planning, and administration to the job. Since 2003, he has been the executive director of the US Department of Agriculture's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, which is well known for its Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Food Guidance System. Dr Hentges holds degrees from Iowa State University, Auburn University, and Oklahoma University. He and Susan Borra, vice president of the International Food Information Council Foundation and a past president of the American Dietetic Association, were married in early July. Congratulations, Eric! And best wishes to the Nutrition Couple of the Year!

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Pamela Fraker Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Pamela Fraker, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and of food science and human nutrition at Michigan State, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Fraker is among the 72 new members and 18 foreign associates from 12 countries who were elected to the academy of recognition for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. In her laboratory, Fraker studies the impact of zinc and other nutrients on immune defense systems; her work is being used to help improve patient health and stabilize immune defense. Dr Fraker is one of the few women who were elected to National Academy this year. Congratulations, Pam!


Nelson Wins 2007 World Food Prize

Dr Philip E. Nelson of Purdue University was named winner of the $250,000 World Food Prize for his innovative breakthrough technologies that have revolutionized the food industry, particularly in the area of large-scale storage and transportation of fresh fruit and vegetables using bulk aseptic food processing.


Dr Nelson was announced as the 2007 Laureate by Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, at a ceremony at the US State Department. In making the announcement, Ambassador Quinn stated that Dr Nelson's food science research has significantly reduced post harvest waste and spoilage and greatly increased the availability and accessibility of nutritious food worldwide, particularly in emergency situations.


The 2007 World Food Prize will be formally presented to Dr Nelson at a ceremony at the Iowa State Capitol on October 18, 2007.


Dr Acheson Named to New Food Protection Doctor Position at the Food and Drug Administration

David Acheson, MD, FRCP, has been named to take the new position of assistant commissioner for Food Protection of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In this role, Dr Acheson will provide advice and counsel to the commissioner on strategic and substantive food safety and food defense matters. Currently, he is chief medical officer and director of the Office of Food Defense, Communication and Emergency Response at the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. In his new role, Dr Acheson will work with individual FDA product centers, as well as the Office of Regulatory Affairs to coordinate FDA's food safety and defense assignments and commitments. In addition, Dr Acheson will serve as the commissioner's direct liaison to the Department of Health and Human Services, of which FDA is a part, and to other US departments and agencies on food safety and food defense-related interagency initiatives. Acheson is trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases and has published extensively in food safety and his research in infectious diseases.

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American Dietetic Association Names New Leaders

Seventeen national leaders in nutrition, medicine, industry, and public health will serve as the 2007-2008 Board of Directors of the American Dietetic Association, starting June 1, 2007. The Board is responsible for strategic planning, policy development, and fiscal management for the Association.


They include the following:


Connie B. Diekman, EdD, RD, LD, FADA, St Louis, Mo, president. Diekman is director of university nutrition at Washington University in St Louis and brings this expertise to her position.


Susan C. Finn, PhD, RD, FADA, Columbus, Ohio, chair of the American Dietetic Association Foundation. Finn is president and chief executive officer of the American Council for Fitness & Nutrition and director of industry communications and research in the department of nutrition at the Ohio State University.


Joyce A. Gilbert, PhD, RD, LD, Silver Springs, Fla, treasurer. Gilbert is owner and president of J. A. Gilbert Associates, a food management consultancy specializing in operational efficiencies, food safety, and presurvey audits in the food and healthcare industries.


Judith A. Gilbride, PhD, RD, CDN, FADA, New York City, NY, past president. Gilbride is professor and chair of the department of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University. She is also the editor of Topics in Clinical Nutrition.


Christine M. Palumbo, MBA, RD, Naperville, Ill, director-at-large. Palumbo is a nutrition communications consultant, speaker, and writer and an adjunct faculty member at Benedictine University.


Marsha K. Schofield, MS, RD, LD, Stow, Ohio, speaker-elect, House of Delegates. Schofield is a project director of the Summit County (Ohio) Health District.


Ellen R. Shanley, MBA, RD, CDN, Glastonbury, Conn, speaker, House of Delegates. Shanley is the didactic program director in dietetics and an instructor at the University of Connecticut's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.


Martin M. Yadrick, MS, MBA, RD, FADA, Los Angeles, Calif, president-elect. Yadrick is director of nutrition informatics for Computrition, Inc, a provider of integrated software solutions for the healthcare and hospitality industries. He is the first male to serve as president of the American Dietetic Association.


In Memoriam

Stephen E. Straus, MD

Stephen E. Straus, MD, 60, the first director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, died this Spring. As the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine's first director, Dr Straus articulated an uncompromising and compelling agenda for scientific research and research training that engendered broad interest and collaboration. As the founding director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine from 1999 to 2006, Dr Straus built a comprehensive research enterprise, championing the efforts to establish the efficacy and safety of complementary and alternative medicine practices while upholding the rigorous standards of science for which the National Institutes of Health is known. Under his leadership, complementary and alternative medicine research at the National Institutes of Health grew 3-fold, facilitating his vision of an evidence-based integrative approach to healthcare for the benefit of the public. His bench-to-bedside research yielded original insights into the pathogenesis and management of several viral and immunological diseases. Dr Straus published more than 400 original research articles and edited several books.


Jo Anne Brasel, MD

Nutrition Today mourns the loss of Jo Anne Brasel, former program director of the training program in pediatric endocrinology, former division chief, and the former director of the Clinical Research Center at Harbor UCLA. After pediatric training at Cornell University Medical Center and a Pediatric Endocrine Fellowship at Johns Hopkins, she served on the faculties at Hopkins, Cornell, and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons before joining the faculty of UCLA in 1979. She was secretary-treasurer and president of the Society for Pediatric Research, board member and president of the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society, and board member and president of the Association of Program Directors of General Clinical Research Centers. Her research focused on the effects of hormones and nutrition on growth and development, and recent research activities included studies of the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and control of tissue growth by growth factors.