Summer 2018

Celebrating 40 Years

A message from the dean of the Friedman School.

This year, the Friedman School is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

When Jean Mayer arrived at Tufts as president in 1976, one of his first priorities was to create an institution focused on nutrition. President Mayer was an accomplished Harvard bench scientist who had studied the regulation of hunger, food intake, and weight gain in animal models and people. Yet his work outside the lab had convinced him that while nutrition science involved biochemistry, it went far beyond that: social science, behavior, communication, equity, policy, economics, agriculture, food systems, sustainability, and much, much more. As an adviser to three U.S. presidents, the principal organizer of the first (and still only) White House Conference on Nutrition in 1969, and a tireless champion for national policies to reduce hunger and improve nutrition among the poor and older adults, Mayer realized that multiple disciplines were needed to create an exceptional institution with powerful impact.

In 1977, President Mayer and his new recruit Stanley Gershoff launched the Tufts Nutrition Institute, which soon became our school. Their foresight was remarkable: creating an interconnected, multidisciplinary institution that considers all aspects of the food system, from cell to society. The Friedman School—today including 60 primary faculty, more than 100 secondary and affiliated faculty, 350 graduate students, and more than 2,000 alumni—is now known worldwide for its multifaceted approach to education, research, and translation in nutrition science and policy.

On October 18, 2018, we will be hosting our 40th anniversary celebration at the Friedman School in Boston. We will use this day to award our inaugural Jean Mayer Prize in Nutrition Science & Policy—a biennial “mini-Nobel” prize, supported by a gift from John Hancock, for leaders who have achieved real impact in nutrition science or policy. This first prize will be jointly awarded to U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, former USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest for their bipartisan success in helping to pass the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, a major advance for healthier eating in schools, early child care, and after-school across the United States. We look forward to sharing these events with our community, including our alumni, Board of Advisors, Tufts Nutrition Council, Entrepreneurship Advisors, and other collaborators, friends, and supporters.

Please join us in celebrating 40 years of Tufts Nutrition. We have achieved much, and the best is yet to come!

Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H.

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