Editor in Chief
Jack Odle, Ph.D.
William Neal Reynolds Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry, North Carolina State University
Dr. Odle brings a wealth of experience in nutrition research as well as a history of community engagement to Current Developments in Nutrition. The author of more than 190 scientific publications, Odle is an associate editor of the Annual Review of Animal Biosciences, and was a founding associate editor of Advances in Nutrition, and the Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology. He serves on the National Animal Nutrition Program coordinating committee, and has served on the National Academy of Science NRC Nutrient requirements committee. His research on neonatal nutrition and metabolism focuses on problems with relevance to both agricultural and medical science.
Connie Bales, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N.
Professor in Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine
Dr. Bales' research focuses on the role of nutrition in the prevention and treatment of age-related chronic disease and functional decline in older adults. Mechanistic and applied studies of interventions for obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and physical frailty have been the main topics, along with weight-reduction intervention trials aiming to enhance muscle function and mass in obese older adults who are functionally frail.
Sarah Booth, Ph.D.
Interim Director, JM USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (HNRCA); Senior Scientist and Director, Vitamin K Laboratory, HNRCA; Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University
Dr. Booth's expertise is in vitamin K food composition, dietary assessment, nutritional assessment, and bioavailability. Her laboratory characterizes dietary factors, including food composition and nutrient-nutrient interactions, and non-dietary factors, such as genetics, that contribute to the inter-individual variation in vitamin K intake, bioavailability, and utilization and vitamin K metabolite production. The role(s) and mechanism(s) of action for vitamin K beyond its essential role in coagulation, including the role of vitamin K in the prevention of abnormal non-skeletal calcification and the mechanisms of vitamin K action not currently explained by its role.
Rafael Perez-Escamilla, Ph.D.
Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases); Director, Office of Public Health Practice; Director, Global Health Concentration, Yale University School of Public Health
Dr. Perez-Escamilla's global public health nutrition and food security research includes breastfeeding programs, iron deficiency anemia among infants, household food security measurement and outcomes, and community nutrition education programs. His health disparities research involves assessing the impact of community health workers at improving behavioral and metabolic outcomes among Latinos with type 2 diabetes.
Eileen Kennedy, D.Sc.
Dean Emeritus and Professor of Nutrition, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University
Dr. Kennedy's research interests include assessing the health, nutrition, diet and food security impacts of policies and programs; nutrient density and diet diversity; and agriculture nutrition linkages. She is a member of the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the UN Committee on World Food Security. Formerly a member of the UN SCN Advisory Group on Nutrition. She founded and was the first Excutive Director of the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. She created the Healthy Eating Index which is used by to as a single summary measure of diet quality.
Janet King, Ph.D., R.D.
Senior Scientist, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute. Emeritus Professor, UC-Berkley; Research Professor, UC-Davis
Throughout a long and distinguished career, Dr. King has made substantive contributions to the body of human nutrition research, application, and policy development. In recognition of her national and international reputation, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine in 1994, and in 2007, she was inducted into the USDA Research Hall of Fame. She directed the USDA Western Human Nutrition Research Center at the University of California, Davis (1995-2002) and chaired the Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of California, Berkeley (1988-1994). Dr. King's impact on the field of human nutrition extends well beyond her research accomplishments. For example, she chaired the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)/U.S. Health and Human Services (USHHS) Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. When Dr. King was the Chair of the Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board in 1994, the paradigm for the then new Dietary Reference Intakes was established. She recently chaired a United Nations University, Food and Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization Joint Committee on Dietary Harmonization and is a member of the United Nations International Consultative Group on Zinc.
Gerald Combs, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor, Cornell University
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Dr. Combs was trained in Nutritional Biochemistry and spent most of his career as a professor of Nutrition (2 yrs at Auburn University, 26 yrs at Cornell University) before moving to the federal government as the Director of the USDA-ARS Human Nutrition Research Center in Grand Forks, ND where he served for 14 yrs. His is internationally recognized, having published widely and conducted research ranging from fundamental studies with cultured cells and animal models to human metabolic and clinical investigations. He has strong interests in micronutrient functions, diet and cancer prevention and sustainable food systems, i.e., the conceptualization of agriculture, food production and human health linkages. His research experience includes fundamental studies with cell and animal models, as well as clinical trials with human volunteers. He has conducted research in the US, China, Bangladesh, Costa Rica and Malawi. He has produced more than 350 scientific publications and 14 books, including the leading text/reference book, The Vitamins: Fundamental Aspects in Nutrition and Health (Academic Press, 1992, 1998, 2007, 2012, 2017).
Joel Mason, M.D.
Professor of Medicine and Nutrition at Tufts University
His research program explores how components of the diet modify cellular pathways that lead to cancer and how other factors, such as genetic background and alcohol consumption, interact with nutrition to determine cancer risk. His laboratory is particularly focused on the B-vitamins, 1-carbon metabolism and obesity as nutritional factors that determine cancer risk, and the ultimate aim of developing strategies for cancer prevention. His laboratory focuses on colorectal cancer and breast cancer and utilizes animal studies, cell culture studies, and human studies to accomplish their research goals.
Janos Zempleni, Ph.D.
Willa Cather Professor of Molecular Nutrition at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Director of the Nebraska Center for Obesity Prevention
His laboratory has a strong record of research in nutrition and epigenetics. More recently, his group has focused on a novel class of bioactive food compounds, i.e., dietary microRNAs. His work in molecular nutrition has demonstrated that 1) humans absorb microRNAs in foods of animal origin, 2) absorption is mediated by endocytosis of exosomes and their microRNA cargo, 3) dietary microRNAs are delivered to peripheral tissues where they affect human gene expression, 4) endogenous microRNA synthesis is not sufficient to compensate for dietary microRNA depletion, and 5) dietary microRNA status elicits phenotypes regarding fertility, body fat mass, and purine metabolism. His laboratory, uses a combination of cell culture, human and animal models. Dr. Zempleni has a vast array of editorial experience, having reviewed for many journals within the life sciences. This experience and insight will be very helpful as we work to establish Current Developments in Nutrition.
Dennis T. Villareal, MD
Professor of Medicine-Endocrinology at Baylor College of Medicine
He is a physician-scientist with board certification in geriatrics and endocrinology. He has extensive clinical and research experience in examining the impact of lifestyle interventions in reversing frailty in older adults with obesity. His clinical and translational laboratories involve hormonal, nutritional, and behavioral/lifestyle interventions to retard or reverse the metabolic and physical complications of aging, including sarcopenic obesity and type 2 diabetes. His research aims to inform practice guidelines with regard to optimal treatment strategies for obesity in older adults.
Pamela Pehrsson, Ph.D.
Research Leader, Nutrient Data Laboratory, USDA Beltsville, MD
She directs USDA's food composition and database work, which is used by health researchers, national nutrition policy makers, the food industry, and a broad consumer base. Dr. Pehrsson has over 30 years of experience in food composition research and nutrient database development, including the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR); she is currently working in the area of emerging bioactive compounds of public health importance. She has historically focused her research as a food scientist on infant formulas and baby foods, commercially processed foods (e.g., snack foods, sweets, high sodium foods), and American Indian/Alaska Native traditional foods. Dr. Pehrsson worked with many members of the international nutrition and food composition communities. She served as the ARS Co-Executive Secretary for the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and is a member of the Data Analysis Team for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines.
Kolapo Ajuwon, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Animal Science, Purdue University
His main research interest is in understanding the regulation of adipose tissue development and function by factors within the extracellular matrix, environmental temperature, nutrients and inflammatory stimuli. Dr. Ajuwon also conducts research aimed at delineating the importance of prenatal maternal environment and nutrition on post-natal offspring adiposity and health. He is a longstanding member of both ASN and the American Society for Animal Sciences. His publications (~50) demonstrate strong focus swine and poultry nutrition and metabolism, and he utilizes the pig as a model for human metabolism and adipose biology. He has reviewed manuscripts for about 16 scientific journals and he is currently on the editorial board of one. He is very active in the ASN as a member, and past chair, of the Experimental Animal Nutrition Research Interest Section, and as a member of the Nutrient-Gene Interaction RIS.
Jessica Fanzo, Ph.D.
Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor of Global Food & Agricultural Policy and Ethics, Johns Hopkins University
Her research effort focuses on the multi-sectoral and system approaches to ensure better nutrition and diets. Her research is concentrated in three areas: (1) on the linkages between agriculture, the environment and climate, and health to improve food systems and environments, diversity and quality of diets, and nutrition outcomes (2) the importance of regaining food security and agriculture-based livelihoods in post-conflict regions through better governance and policy and, (3) the emerging area of equitable, ethical, and sustainable diets and food systems. Dr. Fanzo has worked in sub-Saharan Africa for the ten plus years as well as South and East Asia in the last five years. She was the first laureate of the Carasso Foundation's Sustainable Diets Prize in 2012 for her work on sustainable food and diets for long-term human health.
Anna Maria Siega-Riz, Ph.D.
Professor, University of Virginia, Department of Public Health Services
Her epidemiologic research examines the influence of maternal weight status and dietary patterns/behaviors in the etiology of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as gestational diabetes, pregnancy induced hypertension, preeclampsia, preterm birth and inadequate or excessive gestational weight gain. She is currently exploring early determinants of childhood obesity (Pregnancy Eating Attributes; PEAS) funded by NICHD with colleagues at the University of North Carolina (http://www.peasweb.org). Other research interests include examining the dietary trends of Hispanics and the association between dietary patterns and health outcomes using the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL https://www2.cscc.unc.edu/hchs/), as well as determinants and consequences of food insecurity and the implications of food policy on health outcomes. She has participated in five Institute of Medicine Committees, served on NIH and CDC study sections as well as the National Heart, Lung, Blood and Sleep Institute Advisory Council and most recently serving on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Federal Advisory Committee. She has served in a number of elected positions in professional societies including council member of the American Public Health Association, and president (2006/7) of the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research. Within ASN, she served as chair of the nutritional epidemiology research interest section (2008-10).