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Nutritional sciences emeritus professor dies

by Sherry Fisher - July 24, 2006

Robert Gordon Jensen, professor emeritus of nutritional sciences, died July 9. He was 80.

Jensen, who lived in Storrs, joined the UConn faculty in 1956. He helped establish and joined the Department of Nutritional Sciences in 1970, and retired in 1990.

He was internationally known in his field of bovine and human milk lipids. During his career, he published 400 articles and received $5 million in research grants. He trained 30 graduate students.

"He was a pioneer in the science of bovine and human milk and its role in improving human health," says Sung Koo, professor and head of the nutritional sciences department.

"He was a very distinguished scholar. We'll miss his contributions as a scientist, and his presence in the field of human nutrition."

Ken Hall, professor emeritus of nutritional sciences, says, "The scientific community has lost a great researcher and educator."

He says Jensen "trained graduate students so well that many of them are currently recognized for their science involvement."

Hall notes that Jensen continued his contributions to the field as an emeritus professor by being a "prolific writer," responsible for several books dealing with the science of milk.

During his career, Jensen received many awards. These include: Honorary Fellow, International Society for Research on Human Milk and Lactation; Macy-Gyorgy Award for Human Lactation Research; Supelco-Nicholas Pelick American Oil Chemical Society Award; and American Dairy Science Association Fellow Award.

He was also recognized in 2000 for his contributions to the University of Connecticut's agricultural extension service.

Jensen, who grew up in Carthage, Mo., served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees and a doctorate from the University of Missouri.

In his retirement years, Jensen continued to publish and mentor.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Helene Catherine; two sons and a daughter-in-law; two grandchildren; three brothers, and a sister.

Contributions may be made in his memory to the University of Connecticut Foundation Inc., Nutritional Sciences Unrestricted Account, 2390 Alumni Drive, Storrs, CT 06269-3206, or to Covenant Soup Kitchen, 220 Valley Street, Willimantic, CT 06226.

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