In this biographical article, I describe the evolution of my career in nutrition from an early period as an animal nutritionist interested in amino acid metabolism and genetic variation in nutrient requirements to an involvement in human nutrition and international public health. The career changes were in some respects a mirror of the evolution of nutritional science in my lifetime. I spent my entire career at Cornell University in what I think of as three distinct phases. As a researcher and teacher in the Poultry Science Department, I was able to do research in animal nutrition and witness the rapid industrialization of the production of poultry meat and eggs, helped by the findings of the era of nutrient discovery in nutritional science. Later I had the opportunity to lead the reorganization of human nutrition at Cornell during a period when research in nutritional science turned away from identifying new nutrients and became increasingly concerned with the roles of diet and chronic disease. During this period my research focus evolved as I became interested in aspects of international nutrition problems, particularly the influence of parasitic infections on child health and nutrition. I also became involved nationally in nutrition issues through participation in organizations such as the National Nutrition Consortium, the Food and Nutrition Board, and National Institutes of Health study sections at a time of great ferment in nutrition about the relationship of dietary patterns to health. Finally, I became provost of Cornell University and involved in the administration of a major research university. I describe my career in the context of my origins and early education springing from life on a sustainable family farm in rural Illinois.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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