Sarah Goodwin

Kathi Ovnic
Holly Korschun
April 17, 1999


WASHINGTON, D.C.-The American Society for Nutritional Sciences (ASNS) has awarded international nutrition expert Reynaldo Martorell, Ph.D., Robert W. Woodruff Professor of International Nutrition and chair of international nutrition in Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health, the E.V. McCollum Award in international nutrition. Dr. Martorell will deliver the E.V. McCollum International Lecture at the Experimental Biology '99 Meeting in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, April 18 at 1:00 p.m.

During more than 30 years of scientific studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), carried out in collaboration with the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP), Dr. Martorell has demonstrated that improving nutrition during pregnancy and the first three years of life in settings of poverty and malnutrition leads to long-term benefits in the adult. Among these long-term effects are larger body size, enhanced work capacity and increased intellectual performance, which are important determinants of economic productivity in agricultural societies.

This not only creates "windows of vulnerability", but also "windows of opportunity" for redressing these effects, says Dr. Martorell. In a current NIH-funded study, Dr. Martorell is assessing the effects of improving nutrition in women during their early childhood on the health and well-being of their own children.

"Dr. Martorell's work has been a major influence on the policies of international organizations such as UNICEF, the World Bank and the World Food Program." according to Alfred H. Merrill, Jr., Ph.D., Emory professor of biochemistry. "Nutrition programs in early childhood are now seen as long-term economic investments because they build human capital."

Dr. Martorell serves as an advisor and active leader of many government and scientific organizations. He has retained a long-standing association with both large and small nutrition programs in Central America, especially Mexico and Guatemala and has participated directly in the design and evaluation of other large-scale programs that incorporate these nutritional principles, particularly in several states of India.

At Emory, he has played a vital role in the development of the Graduate Program in Nutrition and Health Sciences, serving as director of graduate studies and creating a new Master of Public Health degree. Furthermore, as chair of the Department of International Health he has assembled a strong team of both junior and established investigators to work on various aspects of diet and health. Emory's graduate program in nutrition is ranked third among 140 doctoral programs in nutrition in the latest Gourman Report.

For more general information on The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, call Health Sciences Communication's Office at 404-727-5686, or send e-mail to

Copyright ©Emory University, 1999. All Rights Reserved.