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Awards and Accolades
Raina Gay of the HNRCA Nutritional Immunology lab won the won the Hamish N. Munro Postdoctoral Research Award, given annually for outstanding scientific research conducted by a postdoctoral fellow, research associate or visiting scientist within five years of receiving his or her Ph.D. under the mentorship of an HNRCA scientist. The award is named for the first director of the HNRCA.
José Ordovas is a candidate for the Prince of Asturias Award, known as the Spanish Nobel. He was nominated by the Spanish Society of Arteriosclerosis and is supported by six other Spanish scientific societies as well as institutions around the world. In the past, these awards have been given to luminaries such as Bill Gates, Francis Collins, Jane Goodall, Woody Allen, Arthur Miller and Craig Venter.
Allen Taylor, chief of the Nutrition and Vision Research lab, will receive the Denham Harmon Award for Excellence in Aging Research at the annual meeting of the American Aging Association in San Antonio in June.
Here & There
Jeffrey Blumberg, director of the Antioxidants Research lab, presented seminars on nutrition and aging during programs organized by the Singapore Health Promotion Board and Centre for Third Age and also to the Department of Geriatric Medicine at Alexandra Hospital in Singapore and as well as at Subang Jaya Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Susan Harris of the HNRCA Bone Metabolism Laboratory completed the Boston Marathon as a member of the Tufts team.
Eileen Kennedy, dean of the school, is co-editor of a new book, The Nation's Nutrition (International Life Sciences Institute, 2007), which brings together the scientific evidence that underlies U.S. nutrition policies and programs. For more information, go to http://www.ilsi.org/Publications/press_nationsnutrition.htm.
Miriam Nelson, director of the John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition, has been appointed vice chair of a Health and Human Services (HHS) advisory committee that will make recommendations on the first federal guidelines on physical activity. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which will be issued in late 2008, will offer science-based recommendations on the latest knowledge about activity and health, with depth and flexibility to target specific populations, including seniors, children and persons with disabilities.
Following in the footsteps of several world leaders and Nobel laureates, José Ordovas, director of the Nutrition and Genomics lab, gave a lecture at the Fundación Rafael del Pino in Madrid, Spain. Previous speakers have included Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan and Lech Walesa. His talk on nutrigenomics marked the first time that the lecture focused on health/science issues. Ordovas was also named president of the scientific advisory board of Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA-Alimentación), a new institute of excellence in research created by the government of Madrid in coordination with universities, research centers and industry. The mission of the institute is to improve public health through nutrition research focused on nutrigenomics and food quality and safety. In addition to serving as president of the scientific advisory board, he is also serving as president of the board of trustees of the IMDEA Foundation.
Robert Russell, director of the HNRCA, has accepted an invitation to become an advisor to the Nestle Foundation for the study of problems of nutrition in the world. The foundation is an independent institution that initiates and supports research in human nutrition with public health relevance in low-income countries.
Allen Taylor, chief of the Nutrition and Vision Research lab, has been awarded a grant from the American Foundation for Aging Research. Together with Chung-Jung Chiu and other members of the lab, Taylor will use the funds to investigate relationships between dietary sugar intake and risk for age-related macular degeneration. Chiu has received a grant from the Ross Aging Initiative to study genetic and nutritional relationships with age-related macular degeneration. Taylor was also a speaker at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology's plenary symposium in May, when he gave a presentation on "Functions for the Ubiquitin Pathway in Eye Homeostasis, Cell Proliferation and Development: Expression of K6W Ubiquitin Confirms Critical Roles for the Ubiquitin Proteasome Pathway in Lens Formation and Function."
Students Shine at EB Meeting
Many Friedman students presented talks and posters at the Experimental Biology meeting this spring:
Suneetha Kadiyala presented a poster on "The Impact of Prime Age Adult Mortality on Child Survival and Growth in Rural Ethiopia."
Tomoko Kato presented a poster on "Healthy Family Weight and Its Association to Vegetable and Fruit Consumption: Results of the Mexican Family Life Survey 2002."
Josiemer Mattei presented a poster on "Apolipoprotein C-III (APOC3) Gene Variants as Predictors of Allostatic Load and Disease in Puerto Ricans."
Marcella Rumawas spoke on "Mediterranean-style Dietary Pattern Is Associated with Surrogate Measures of Insulin Resistance in the Framingham Offspring Cohort."
Lisa Troy's talk was titled "Are Healthy Diets That Follow the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Associated with Incident Hip Fracture Risk in Men and Women?" She also presented a poster titled "The Frequency of Affirmative Responses to Food Security Items Falls with Increased Total Income and Is Higher for Food Stamp Program Participants."
Shu Wang gave two oral presentations and was one of 12 finalists in a student competition. She spoke on "The Impact of Different Ratios of Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids to Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)" plus "Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on Atherosclerotic Lesion Formation and Inflammatory Factors in the LDL receptor knockout (LDLr-/-) mouse."
The policy brief, "Industrial Livestock Companies' Gains from Low Feed Prices, 1997-2005," by Timothy Wise, deputy director and researcher at the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE), and Elanor Starmer, N07, research assistant at GDAE, was featured on the cover of the prominent weekly industry magazine Feedstuffs (March 26, 2007). The article comes at a time of active debate in Washington over the Farm Bill and over the recent increases in feed prices due to the ethanol-driven run-up in corn prices. The article can be found at: http://ase.tufts.edu/gdae/policy_research/Feedstuffs.Wise.26Mar07.pdf. The policy brief can be found at: http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/Pubs/rp/CompanyFeedSvgsFeb07.pdf.
Jenna Hollenstein, N99, has written "Understanding Dietary Supplements" (University Press of Mississippi), a user-friendly guide meant to clarify the confusing array of over-the-counter supplements. It covers a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals, herbs, botanicals and drugs and includes the full text of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. She is clinical editor at the Pri-Med Institute of M|C Communications in Boston. More info is available at www.upress.state.ms.us/catalog/spring2007/under_dietary_supplements.html.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Tufts is a program for semi-retired or retired individuals and community friends. The program provides a stimulating learning experience through peer-developed and peer-led study groups. Membership benefits include use of Tufts Athletics Facilities, use of Tisch Library and invitations to many events on campus and at Brookhaven-at-Lexington that are not open to the general public. If you would like more information about any of this summer's exciting study groups, visit the institute online at www.ase.tufts.edu/lli. Or you can call 617-627-5885 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 617-627-5885 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
Quotable: Friedman Faculty in the News
"A lot of people making a few small changes added up to this huge thing. We couldn't go to the kids and say you have to change your lifestyle. We had to change the environment and the community spirit first."
Christina Economos in a front-page Wall Street Journal article about Shape Up Somerville
"Talk about information overload, though. You almost have to be a nutritional scientist to make sure what combination of food and nutrients makes sense."
Eileen Kennedy in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about fortified foods
"They promise you can lift the world with one hand and do your day job with the other. People buy into that—'I can drink this and feel better.' What these things do is play to the mentality of a quick fix."
Jeanne Goldberg in an Internet Broadcasting Systems article about so-called energy drinks.
The deadline for the next issue of the Dean's Letter for Tufts Nutrition is Wednesday, August 29. Please send your submissions to Julie Flaherty at email@example.com.