Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, PhD

Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor of Nutrition and Medicine Department of Nutrition
Chair Department of Nutrition

T:(919) 966-7218

F:(919) 966-7215


245 Rosenau Hall

135 Dauer Drive

Department of Nutrition

University of North Carolina

Chapel Hill, NC 27599

Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, PhD, is the Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor of Nutrition and Medicine, and Chair of the Department of Nutrition, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has focused her career on diabetes, including the epidemiology and natural history of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children and adults. Her research addresses the many ways in which nutrition can impact on the risk for development of diabetes, and on the risk of complications of either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Studies have typically included culturally and regionally diverse populations. Dr. Mayer-Davis’ primary focus now is on type 1 diabetes in youth and young adults. She is Principal Investigator for the Carolina site of the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study, and she serves as the national co-chairperson for this large multi-center study. Recently funded studies address nutritional factors that may improve prognosis for adolescents with type 1 diabetes, and behavioral strategies to help youth with type 1 diabetes better manage their disease. New work focuses on metabolic, clinical and behavioral challenges in weight management for individuals with type 1 diabetes. Intervention strategies are patient-centered, using problem solving skills training and motivational interviewing that incorporates communication technologies as desired by the patient. Studies include large epidemiological studies as well as clinical trials, including adaptive interventions and adaptive designs. Dr. Mayer-Davis is very active in the American Diabetes Association and was the 2011 President for Health Care and Education for the Association. She also serves as an appointee of President Obama on the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion and Integrative and Public Health.

Representative Courses

Grant Writing Seminar (NUTR 728)

Research Activities
FL3X: An Adaptive Intervention to Improve Outcomes for Youth with Type 1 Diabetes

Tribal Turning Point Program

Emergence of Cardiometabolic Risk Across the Lifecycle in China

UNC Center for Diabetes Translation Research to Reduce Health Disparities.

SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth, Phase 3: Cohort Study - Carolina Center

Research Interests
  • Diabetes
  • Health Equity
  • Nutrition and Physical Activity
  • Obesity
Service Activities

2011 - Present: Appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion and Integrative and Public Health
2013 - Present: ADA Past President of Health Care and Education Research Policy Committee

2015: Food Theme Steering Committee
2015: School of Public Health Population Health Lead

Key Publications

The dose-response effect of insulin sensitivity on albuminuria in children according to diabetes type. D Dabelea, J Divers, L Dolan, G Imperatore, D Maahs, S Marcovina, M Mauer, E Mayer-Davis, A Mottl, D Pettitt, C Pihoker (2016). Pediatric nephrology (Berlin, Germany), 31(6), 933-40.

An efficient approach for surveillance of childhood diabetes by type derived from electronic health record data: the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study. D Beavers, D Bowlby, T Carey, J Craig, D Dabelea, R Hamman, L Jaacks, J Lawrence, E Mayer-Davis, J Obeid, E Pfaff, C Pihoker, S Saydah, J Thomas, V Zhong (2016). Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA.

Association between breastfeeding and insulin sensitivity among young people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes: the SEARCH Nutrition Ancillary Study. J Crandell, T Crume, D Dabelea, A Lamichhane, J Lawrence, E Mayer-Davis, C Shay, N The, S Wang (2016). Diabetic medicine : a journal of the British Diabetic Association.

Association of adherence to a Mediterranean diet with glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in youth with type I diabetes: the SEARCH Nutrition Ancillary Study. S Couch, J Crandell, D Dabelea, G Kim, A Lamichhane, J Lawrence, A Liese, S Marcovina, E Mayer-Davis, N The, B Tzeel, V Zhong (2016). European journal of clinical nutrition.

Longitudinal association between television watching and computer use and risk markers in diabetes in the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study. B Beech, T Crume, R D'Agostino, D Dabelea, J Kaar, C Li, A Liese, E Mayer-Davis, A Merchant, R Pate, D Pettitt, B Rodriguez, C Taplin (2015). Pediatric diabetes, 16(5), 382-91.

Trends and characteristics of self-reported case presentation of diabetes diagnosis among youth from 2002 to 2010: findings from the SEARCH for diabetes in youth study. R D'Agostino, D Dabelea, J Divers, L Henkin, G Imperatore, G Klingensmith, J Lawrence, E Mayer-Davis, C Pihoker, S Saydah (2015). Diabetes care, 38(6), e84-5.


PhD, Epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley, 1992

MSPH, Public Health (with honors), University of Colorado School of Medicine, 1986

BS, Dietetics, University of Tennessee, 1980