Avanelle Kirksey Lecture Series

Dr. Avanelle Kirksey (HDR’97), a valued faculty member of the Department of Nutrition Science from 1961 to 1994, left a legacy at Purdue University. Her dynamic, productive and imaginative research program bridged the gap from basic mechanistic science, to a better understanding of the relation of diet, to human behavior and cognition. In addition to her commemorable research program, Dr. Kirksey served as an inspiring role model for students.

In 1985, Dr. Kirksey became only the second female at Purdue to named “Distinguished Professor,” and the university awarded her with an Honorary Doctorate in 1997. Each spring, the Department of Nutrition Sciences recognizes Dr. Kirksey’s groundbreaking research, valued teaching and community outreach via the Kirksey Lecture Series.


The next Kirksey lecture will be on October 7, 2022.

"Reducing Breastfeeding Ethnic/Racial Inequities in the USA: Three Decades of Mixed Methods Research"
Featuring Rafael Perez-Escamilla, Ph.D., Professor, Director of Office of Public Health Practice, Director of Global Health Concentration, Director of Maternal Child Health Promotion program, Department of Public Health, Yale University. 


Year Title Presented By
Fall 2022 Reducing Breastfeeding Ethnic/Racial Inequities in the USA: Three Decades of Mixed Methods Research Rafael Perez-Escamilla, Ph.D.
2022 Putting Women’s Nutrition at the Center of the First 1000 Days Parul Christian, DrPH
2021 Looking into the Black Box: Applying Non-Invasive Approaches and Systems Biology to Study Host-Microbe Interactions in Human Infants Sharon Donovan, Ph.D., R.D.
2020 Child Eating Behaviors and Energy Intake: Findings from the Growing Up in Singapore to Healthier Outcomes Cohort (GUSTO) Ciaran G. Forde, PhD
2019 Assessment and Control of Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies in Low-Income Countries: Achieving Greater Coherence in Nutrition Intervention Programs Kenneth H. Brown, MD
2018 The Nutritional Quality of Human Milk: New Research on an Old Problem Lindsay Allen, PhD
2017 Micronutrient Deficiencies We Rarely See: Frontiers in Preventing Hidden Hunger Keith P. West, Jr., Dr.P.H., R.D.
2016 Future of Dietary Guidance - Conception to Chronic Disease Prevention  Dennis M. Bier, PhD
2015 Premature Infant Nutrition: Work in Progress Ekhard Ziegler, MD
2014 Dietary-induced zinc deficiency in low-income countries: Challenges and solutions Rosalind Gibson, PhD
2013 Complementary Feeding Strategies for Breastfed Infants: What's the Evidence that it Matters? Nancy F. Krebs, MD, MS
2012 Impact of Maternal Obesity and Diet on Fetal Development Janet C. King, PhD
2011 Improving the Assessment of Diet in the National Children's Study: The Battle Between Technological Advancement and Old Habits Anna Maria Siega-Riz, PhD, MS
2010 Early Determinants of Chronic Disease: Pregnancy Through Early Childhood Stephanie Atkinson, PhD
2009 The World is Fat -- The Trends, Policies, and Products that are Fattening the Human Race Barry M. Popkin, PhD
2008 What are the "Problem Nutrients" for Breastfed Infants? Kathryn Dewey, PhD
2007 Insulin and Amino Acids are Critical Regulators of Neonatal Muscle Growth Teresa A. Davis, PhD
2006 Childhood Malnutrition Kills: Scientific Demonstration, Persuasion, and Evolution of Policy Jean-Pierre Habicht, MD, MPS, PhD
2005 Nutrition, Physical Activity, Bone Development and Forearm Fractures in Children Heidi J. Kalkwarf, PhD, RD
2004 Maternal/Fetal Nutrient Partitioning During Pregnancy: Whose Needs Predominate? Kimberly O'Brien, PhD
2003 Reference Infant and Child Models of Body Composition: A Contemporary Update Kenneth Ellis, PhD
2002 Micronutrient Deficiencies and Child Development Maureen Black, PhD
2001 Are Activity and Diet Really Important for Children's Bones? Bonny Specker, PhD
2000 The Public Health Importance of Maternal Zinc Deficiency: Lessons Learned From Peru Laura E. Caulfield, PhD
1999 Prenatal Vitamin B-6 Deficiency and Poverty -- Is There a Link? Robert D. Reynolds, PhD
1998 Folate Nutrition and Reproductive Health Mary Frances Picciano
1997 Developmental and Behavioral Effects of Iron Deficiency in Infants Betsy Lozoff
1996 Early Flavor Experiences: When Do They Start? Julie Mennella, PhD

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