December 20, 2007

Photograph, Dr. Steven Zeisel

Steven Zeisel, MD, PhD, will receive the American Society for Nutrition’s Osborne and Mendel Award in recognition of outstanding recent basic accomplishments in nutrition.

The award will be presented at the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology international meeting in San Diego, Calif., on April 6, 2008.

Zeisel, Kenan Distinguished University Professor of nutrition and pediatrics in the UNC Schools of Health and Medicine, is director of the School of Public Health’s Nutrition Research Institute at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, N.C.

Much of his research focuses on choline, a nutrient only recently determined to be essential for humans.

Exposure to extra choline during pregnancy in rats and mice markedly improves the memory of their offspring throughout life. A pilot human study on the effects of choline during pregnancy is underway.

“I was delighted to learn of the most recent recognition of Steve Zeisel’s groundbreaking research,” said Barbara K. Rimer, dean of the School of Public Health. “Steve’s research is really transformative and translational at the same time. His most recent findings on choline have important implications for global nutrition.”

The American Society for Nutrition is the premier academic society in the field and has more than 3,500 members worldwide. The award Zeisel received is named in recognition of Lafayette Mendel and Thomas Osborne, early twentieth-century chemists who together pioneered studies of protein quality and discovered vitamin A.


School of Public Health contact: Ramona DuBose, director of communications, (919) 966-7467 or



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