Mayer-Davis named interim chair of nutrition

April 09, 2013
Dr. Mayer-Davis

Dr. Mayer-Davis

Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, PhD, professor of nutrition at Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been named interim chair of the nutrition department, effective June 1.

The nutrition department is jointly housed in the Gillings School and in UNC’s School of Medicine.

Mayer-Davis will succeed June Stevens, PhD, American Institute for Cancer Research/World Cancer Research Fund Distinguished Professor of nutrition and current chair of the department and professor of epidemiology.

Since 2012, Mayer-Davis has been the department’s associate chair for administration. She has focused her career on diabetes, including the epidemiology and natural history of diabetes in children and adults and on the many ways in which nutrition can affect diabetes risk, especially for children. Mayer-Davis is principal investigator for the Carolina site of the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study, and she serves as the national chairperson for this large multi-center study.

She also conducts translational research to develop, implement and evaluate interventions to facilitate improvement in diabetes self-management, metabolic status, and quality of life for people diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, particularly those who live in medically underserved communities.Stevens has served as department chair since 2006. A member of the Gillings School faculty for more than 20 years, she will continue as faculty member. After she leaves her chair position, Stevens will begin a Kenan sabbatical leave at the University of Cambridge, England, collaborating with colleagues there on analyses of large cohort studies to enhance the precision of BMI as a predictor of disease outcomes.

“Dr. Stevens left a strong mark on every aspect of the department, from its physical spaces to the composition of its faculty and students,” said Dean Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH. “She has recruited strong faculty members, continued to attract top students, increased enrollment and diversity and enhanced the department’s global profile. Under her leadership, the department’s academic programs and research portfolio have become even stronger.”

A search for permanent chair will begin in fall 2013.


Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications,
(919) 962-2600 or