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Two Researchers Awarded for Excellence in Nutrition Science

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Catharine Ross, PhD, and Aditi Das, PhD, were awarded the Mary Swartz Rose Senior Investigator Award and the Mary Swartz Rose Young Investigator Award,

respectively, at Nutrition 2019, the flagship meeting of the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) held in Baltimore, MD. The awards, named in honor of the late Mary Swartz Rose (1874-1941), founder and president of what was then the American Institute of Nutrition (now ASN), are given in recognition of outstanding research on the safety and efficacy of bioactive compounds for human health.

The Mary Swartz Rose Senior Investigator Award is given to an investigator with 10 years or more of postgraduate training, for outstanding preclinical and/or clinical research on the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements as well as essential nutrients and other bioactive food components that may be distributed as supplements or functional food components. This year’s recipient, Ross, has been professor and occupant of the Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair of Nutrition since 1994 and Head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences since 2017 at the Pennsylvania State University.

Ross’ research has focused on molecular and cellular factors involved in the biosynthesis, storage and transport of vitamin A molecules, linking biochemical findings

Andrew Shao and Aditi Das _ Mary Swartz Rose Award Recipient

Andrew Shao and Aditi Das, Mary Swartz Rose Award Recipient

with nutritional studies to better understand how vitamin A homeostasis is regulated by dietary status and metabolic conditions. Dr. Ross has previously received the Mead-Johnson Award and the Osborne and Mendel Award from ASN, and served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Nutrition from 2004-2013. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, member of the National Academy of Sciences, and member of the Food and Nutrition Board. Previously, she chaired the Committee on Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium and served on the panel on Micronutrients for the Dietary Reference Intakes, as well as other academy panels.

The Mary Swartz Rose Young Investigator Award is based on the same qualifications as the Senior Investigator Award, except the investigator must have 10 years or less of postgraduate training. Das, this year’s recipient, is an associate professor in the Department of Comparative Biosciences (Pharmacology & Toxicology) and a member of the Division of Nutritional Sciences (DNS) at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Das’s laboratory, which investigates the biochemistry behind the physiological effects of dietary consumption of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, seeks to discover new bioactive lipids derived from these fatty acids that can be exploited to design new therapeutics targeting inflammation that is common in various disease states. Her research is generously funded by several grants from the National Institute of Health, National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) and American Heart Association.

“CRN is honored to have the privilege of presenting the Mary Swartz Rose awards to Drs. Ross and Das in recognition of their achievements in nutrition science,” said Andrew Shao, PhD, interim senior vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). “We are equally proud to partner with ASN and support these awards that represent our shared commitment to advance the science behind dietary supplements and nutrition science as a whole.”

For more information, visit https://meeting.nutrition.org/awards/.

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