The Friedman School pursues cutting-edge research and education from cell to society, including in molecular nutrition, human metabolism, population studies, clinical trials, nutrition interventions and behavior change, communication, food systems and sustainability, global food insecurity, humanitarian crises, and food economics and policy.
Merry Fitzpatrick has been with the Feinstein International Center since 2015. She brings to her work at Friedman more than 20 years of field experience in humanitarian response. She has worked with multiple humanitarian agencies, including the International Rescue Committee, GOAL Ireland, and Food for the Hungry. Most recently, at World Concern she was the Relief Director and then the Senior Director for Technical Support. With Feinstein she has conducted research on the Somalia famine, resilience and livelihoods in Darfur, Sudan, and pastoralism. Additionally, she has been the international research team leader on the Sudan Humanitarian Assistance and Resilience Program (SHARP) since 2015 and continues to contribute to the center’s research on multiple studies related to undernutrition, food insecurity and livelihoods. Merry has also co-instructed a course on Famine, Livelihoods and Resilience for the past two academic years.
Merry’s research interests span two separate but related fields. She has had a long-term interest in livelihoods and food security in crisis settings. The focus of this work is on supporting local strategies that households and communities use to mitigate, cope with, and recover from the effects of crises. More recently, she has been studying the etiology of kwashiorkor malnutrition in order to design preventive interventions in extremely low resource settings and biomarkers to indicate the early stages of kwashiorkor. Although Merry has worked in most regions of the world, her research interests are primarily in Central Africa around the Great Lakes, and the Sahel.
Merry holds a B.S. in chemistry from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.B.A. with a concentration in international development from Hope International University, an M.Sc. in food policy and applied nutrition and a Ph.D. from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts.