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Connie Weaver elected to the Institute of Medicine

October 15, 2010

- Connie Weaver, distinguished professor and head of Purdue University's Department of Foods and Nutrition, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine, which is the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences.

 "This appointment is a singular honor for one of the nation's top researchers in nutrition," said Purdue President France A. Córdova. "The Institute of Medicine is a premier organization representing the best in health fields, and it is often called upon to advise the government and nation on a variety of topics."

Weaver, an expert in mineral bioavailability, calcium metabolism and bone health, is deputy director of the National Institutes of Health-funded Clinical and Translational Science Institute. In 2005 she was appointed to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and she served on the National Academy of Sciences Food and Nutrition Board Panel to develop new requirement recommendations for calcium and related minerals.

She is a former president of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences and is an elected fellow of the American College of Nutrition and Institute of Food Sciences. She has received many awards, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture's W.O. Atwater Award for promoting human health and the recent Tony and Mary Hulman Health Achievement Award in Preventive Medicine and Public Health in Indiana.

"I am touched by this new appointment, and I look forward to being active and involved with the institute and the diverse individuals representing a spectrum of health issues," Weaver said. "We have a lot of work to do to promote nutritional health as our nation struggles with an obesity epidemic and our largest-ever aging adult population."

The Institute of Medicine is not only an honorary membership organization, but it also serves as an advisory organization. Once elected, members commit to volunteering on committees, boards and other activities related to the Institute of Medicine. Projects completed during the past year include studies on the cardiovascular effects of secondhand smoke exposure, nutrition standards for the federal school meals programs, prevention and control of viral hepatitis, strategies to reduce rates of hypertension and decrease Americans' sodium intake, and a major summit on integrative medicine.

Weaver has published more than 150 original research articles and 100 books, book chapters and reviews.

She received bachelor's and master's degrees in nutrition from Oregon State University in 1972 and 1974. She received a doctorate in food science and human nutrition from Florida State University in 1978.

Weaver's appointment brings the number of current and retired Purdue faculty who are members of the National Academies to 27. Last year Mark S. Lundstrom, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Doraiswami Ramkrishna, professor of chemical engineering, were elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and Jay Melosh, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, was recruited to Purdue. President Emeritus Steven C. Beering is a member of the Institute of Medicine.

Weaver was one of the 65 new members and five foreign associates announced Monday (Oct. 11) at the institute's 40th annual meeting. The new members raise the institute's total active membership to 1,649 and the number of foreign associates to 96. With an additional 72 members holding emeritus status, the institute's total membership is 1,817.

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