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  February 18, 2002

Nutritional Science Lands
USDA Fellowship Grant
By John Wray

A $276,000 grant from USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service to the Department of Nutritional Sciences will support four three-year doctoral fellowships in human nutrition, starting this fall.

The grant will support a program called "An Integrated Approach to Nutrition Across the Lifespan." Human nutrition has been identified as an area of national need.

Program director Carol J. Lammi-Keefe, who is also department head of nutritional sciences, says the program is designed to meet the goals set forth in the Surgeon-General's monograph Healthy People 2010: to increase the quality and years of life, and to eliminate health disparities.

"During the past eight years," says Lammi-Keefe, "the Department of Nutritional Sciences has consistently won a high share of fellowships and grants. The fact that we have been successful in obtaining the present program funding from the USDA further underscores the school's leadership position in the nutritional sciences."

Students will complete coursework that provides a background across the breadth of nutritional science. Their thesis projects will incorporate an interdisciplinary approach.

"Our objective," says Lammi-Keefe, "is to provide a sound foundation for nutrition professionals in academia, industry, and public policy areas."

Fellows admitted to the program will complete a core curriculum in nutritional sciences, complemented by extra-departmental courses in physiology, biochemistry, statistics, neuropsychology, endocrinology, and epidemiology. These areas of expertise and research are further complemented by nine joint faculty from allied health, animal science, kinesiology, and pharmaceutical sciences.

Lynn Bloom, Aetna Chair of Writing, will work with Lammi-Keefe to instruct the doctoral fellows in writing for the science and lay communities.

Students will earn from 29-33 credits beyond a baccalaureate, in addition to 15 credits in doctoral dissertation research. They will complete their coursework during the first two years, and embark upon research during the first year. They will also participate in extramural grant proposal preparation.

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