Sarah Goodwin

Kathi Ovnic
Holly Korschun
April 17, 1999


WASHINGTON, D.C.--Nutritional scientists from around the world will gather at a special symposium honoring Donald B. McCormick, Ph.D., Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Nutrition at Emory University, at the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences (ASNS) in Washington, D.C. on Monday, April 19 at 2:00 p.m. The ASNS meeting is part of the annual Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) meeting.

Dr. McCormick is recognized as the world's leading expert on water-soluble vitamins and other cofactors. The scientific symposium will highlight his distinguished career through research presentations by some of his more than 65 former graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, many of whom are now renowned scientific leaders in academia, government and industry. The symposium is entitled "Mechanistic Aspects of Vitamin and Coenzyme Utilization and Function" and will highlight various aspects of water- and fat-soluble vitamin absorption transport, metabolism and biological function.

Through his research, teaching and public service, Dr. McCormick has had a major public impact on world nutrition and continues to play a leading role in organizations responsible for establishing worldwide public health policies.

"Dr. McCormick's broad-based expertise on micronutrients and vitamin cofactors and his knowledge of the historical basis of past recommendations has made him the final authority on these and many other nutrients and an invaluable contributor to worldwide nutritional recommendations," says Alfred H. Merrill, Ph.D., Emory University Professor of Biochemistry and a former graduate student of Dr. McCormick.

He has been a primary participant on the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS)- the group that decides on recommended dietary allowances of vitamins, and was a recent participant in the IOM/NAS committee that updated the recommendations on B-complex vitamins for the U.S. In 1998, he led the Joint FAO/WHO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations/World Health Organization) Expert Consultation on Human Vitamin and Mineral Requirements as they outlined proposed new worldwide nutritional guidelines, health promotion and disease prevention strategies for the next millennium.

"Dr. McCormick's not only has an encyclopedic knowledge of vitamins, coenzymes and minerals, ranging from their most basic chemistry and biochemical functions to applications in human beings around the world, but also vast expertise in a variety of subjects, including human communications and interpersonal interactions," says William Wood, M.D., chair of the Department of Surgery at Emory University School of Medicine. "His honesty and good humor, genuine sense of commitment to guiding principles and deep personal integrity reaches beyond even the most impressive research accomplishments to true human achievement."

As chair of Emory's Department of Biochemistry from 1979 to 1994, Dr. McCormick was instrumental in establishing the Center and Graduate Program in Nutrition and Health Sciences, which is designated as a Center for Excellence by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) and was recently ranked third out of 140 graduate programs in nutrition in the U.S. by the Gourman Report.

Dr. McCormick has served on several National Institutes of Health study sections and as an advisor to several large foundations. He has been a member of the board of the FASEB and president of the American Institute of Nutrition. As a nutritional advisor to NASA, Dr. McCormick has been described by the director of NASA's nutrition program as "the person most responsible for the dietary guidelines of the Mars project."

In appreciation of his outstanding contributions to research, teaching and service in biochemistry and nutrition, Dr. McCormick's former students, fellows and friends have established an endowment to benefit students within Emory University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for an annual "Donald B. McCormick Award for Research Contributions to Nutrition."

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