COLLEGE STATION, Texas, May 16, 2023 — Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D., director of the Texas A&M Institute for Advancing Health through Agriculture (IHA), has been named the 2023 W.O. Atwater Memorial Lecturer in recognition of his outstanding contributions to nutrition research.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) established the Atwater Lecture as a tribute to Wilbur Olin Atwater, an influential figure in modern nutrition research and education. It goes to scientists who have made exceptional efforts in improving the diet and nutrition of people around the globe.
The prestigious award represents the latest acknowledgement of the IHA’s contributions advancing research in responsive agriculture and precision nutrition and promoting a healthy diet and lifestyles.
“Dr. Stover is leading a charge toward positive impacts of nutrition and how people of the United States – and the world – consume food,” said Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp. “We are proud to have him on our team at Texas A&M, in conjunction with our partnerships with the USDA-ARS, and look forward to continuing to support his vision.”
His lecture, “Enhancing the Purpose of Food,” will focus on agriculture, food and nutrition as a solution to challenges facing society. It will be presented at Nutrition 2023, the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, July 22-25 in Boston. Past recipients have included prominent research scientists and academics.
Stover, an international leader in biochemistry, agriculture and nutrition, is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
“Being named an Atwater Memorial Lecturer is so humbling, given the legacy of Dr. Atwater and those who have previously been recognized, and highlights the critical importance of the work we are doing at the Institute for Advancing Health Through Agriculture,” Stover said.
“Our research strives to create meaningful connections in agriculture, food and human health through impactful fundamental and translational research. The research holds the key to mitigating the prevalence of diet-related chronic diseases while also considering the broader environmental and economic impacts of our food systems,” he said.
Stover, a former president of the American Society for Nutrition, has served two terms on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board. He received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Clinton, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.
“This award recognizes global leaders who work to improve human health through food systems. Dr. Stover’s visionary creation of the IHA will advance our ability to improve health and reduce chronic disease through collaborations of responsive agriculture, precision nutrition and social and behavioral research,” said Regan Bailey, Ph.D., IHA associate director for Precision Nutrition. “The IHA is the first of its kind to have such a multidisciplinary focus, and our partnerships with USDA would make Dr. Atwater proud.”
Stover has more than 23 years of academic leadership experience, serving as vice chancellor and dean for agriculture and life sciences at Texas A&M AgriLife, director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research and director the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Saint Joseph’s University, a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biophysics from the Medical College of Virginia and completed his postdoctoral studies in nutritional sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.