Mayer-Davis named chair of nutrition department

March 5, 2014

Dr. Mayer-Davis

Dr. Mayer-Davis

Elizabeth (Beth) Mayer-Davis, PhD, has been appointed chair of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Department of Nutrition, effective Jan. 1. Prior to that, she had served as interim chair since June 2013.

Nutrition is a joint department in the UNC schools of public health and medicine.

“We are confident that Dr. Mayer-Davis will be a superb leader and colleague for an outstanding department and for both schools,” said Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor at the Gillings School. “Her service as interim chair has been exemplary.”

Mayer-Davis has focused her distinguished career on diabetes, including the epidemiology and natural history of diabetes in children and adults. Her research addresses the many ways in which nutrition can affect diabetes risk, especially for children.

She holds a Master of Science in Public Health degree from the University Of Colorado School of Medicine and a doctoral degree in epidemiology from the University of California at Berkeley.  She is author of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications, with a research agenda supported for many years through major research grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health (including the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Center for Resources, and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute).

She is principal investigator for the Carolina site of the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study and serves as national chair 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 and Type 2 diabetes, particularly for those in medically- underserved communities.

“Like the Department of Nutrition,” Rimer said, “Dr. Mayer-Davis’s own research spans from basic science to highly applied research. She is committed to nurturing all aspects of the department and to seek even greater integration between the schools of medicine and public health.”

Mayer-Davis is active in the American Diabetes Association and was the Association’s 2011 president for health care and education. In 2011, she also was appointed by President Obama for an open-ended term of service on the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health.

“I am honored to be appointed as chair of Nutrition, a top-ranked department by the National Research Council,” Mayer-Davis said.  “Our faculty, students and staff are wonderful colleagues, and because of them, our future is very bright.”

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