Patrick Stover, Ph.D.
Director of the IHA
Patrick Stover, Ph.D., is the director of the Institute for Advancing Health Through Agriculture (IHA) at Texas A&M AgriLife. The IHA is the world’s first research institute to bring together precision nutrition, responsive agriculture, and behavioral research to reduce diet-related chronic disease in a way that considers environmental and economic effects. Supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Agriculture Research Service (USDA-ARS) and the state of Texas, the IHA has an annual budget of more than $30 million and includes an embedded USDA-ARS unit.
As an international leader in biochemistry, agriculture and nutrition, Stover’s research focuses on the biochemical, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that underlie the relationships among nutrition, food fortification and human pathologies such as developmental anomalies, neuropathies and cancer. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is former president of the American Society for Nutrition and 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 government’s highest honor bestowed on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.
He has over 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 of 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.
Regan Bailey, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.
Associate Director for Precision Nutrition
Regan Bailey is associate director of precision nutrition for the Institute for Advancing Health Through Agriculture and professor of nutrition at Texas A&M University. She previously served as a professor of nutrition science at Purdue University, and as a nutritional epidemiologist and director of career development at the National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements.
She is a registered dietitian who completed a dietetic internship and has a master’s degree in food and nutrition from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She received her doctorate in nutrition science from Pennsylvania State University. She completed a master’s of public health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.
Her research focuses on improving the methods of measuring nutritional status to optimize health. She utilizes nationally representative survey data to characterize the American dietary landscape, to identify the optimal methods for assessment of biomarkers of nutritional status to understand how dietary intakes relate to health outcomes. She developed the first models combining nutrients from foods and dietary supplements to estimate total usual intake. Her work was used to inform the calcium and vitamin D Dietary Reference Intakes, and the National Academy reference values. She has used these models to identify differences in nutritional exposures by gender, race, ethnicity, life stage, and income, suggesting the need for population-specific, interventions and public health policy. She is the author of more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific publications.
She served on the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and as chair of the Data Analysis and Food Pattern Modeling Subcommittee. She was a member of the 2021 Committee on Scanning for New Evidence on Riboflavin to Support a Dietary Reference Intake Review for the National Academy of Medicine. She recently was appointed to serve on the American Heart Association’s Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Nutrition Committee.
Rebecca Seguin-Fowler, Ph.D., R.D.N., L.D., C.S.C.S.
Associate Director for Healthy Living
Rebecca Seguin-Fowler, Ph.D., R.D.N., L.D., C.S.C.S., is associate director for the Institute for Advancing Health Through Agriculture at Texas A&M AgriLife. As a public health scientist with expertise in community-based nutrition and physical activity intervention research, she provides leadership for the organization’s social and behavioral intervention research initiatives via the Healthy Living program. She is also chief scientific officer for the Healthy Texas Institute, professor in the Department of Nutrition in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, and graduate faculty in the Department of Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences at the School of Public Health.
Improving community health for underserved and underrepresented populations has been at the core of her work for more than two decades. She has led widely disseminated dietary and physical activity interventions, innovative food systems intervention projects, and a variety of adapted evidence-based programs for at-risk populations. Her current research focuses on understanding how people’s social, food and physical activity environments influence behavior change and maintenance—particularly in at-risk populations and settings, such as low-income families and rural communities.
Her programs have reached nearly every state in the U.S., as well as several other countries, helping hundreds of thousands of individuals improve their health and providing critical skill-building and support to a vast range of health educators working to serve their local communities.
She has secured more than $15 million in competitive funding to support her research with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has received numerous awards throughout her career including the Mead Johnson Award from the American Society for Nutrition, an Excellence Award from the Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions, and a Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. She has published more than 115 peer-reviewed articles and is frequently asked to speak to national and international audiences about her scientific findings as well as her community-engagement research and multisector partnerships.
A registered dietician, she received her bachelor’s degree in clinical exercise physiology from Boston University and a master’s degree in nutrition communication and a doctorate in food policy and applied nutrition from Tufts University in Boston.
Elizabeth Parker, D.V.M.
Interim Associate Director for Responsive Agriculture, and Associate Director for International Programs and Strategic Initiatives
Elizabeth Parker grew up on a farm in Abilene, Texas, and holds two bachelor’s of science degrees, in biomedical Science in 1987 and veterinary science in 1990, and a degree of doctor of veterinary medicine in 1993 from Texas A&M University. She was in private veterinary practice in Texas doing mixed, small animal and small animal emergency work from 1993 to 1999. An experienced professional with expertise in policy, science and technology issues and strategy development, most of her career has been in agricultural policy, working for the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, a major U.S. livestock trade association, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and academic settings.
She has extensive legislative, trade association and international experience. From 2007-2011, she was the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s first Chief Veterinarian, leading the association’s domestic and international efforts on animal health, animal welfare and food safety and security. She served two stints at the FAO in Rome – in 2006 as an international consultant, working on highly pathogenic avian influenza strategy, policy and resource mobilization, and from December 2011 to July 2014 as an animal health officer, focusing on overall strategy, coordination, quality assurance and resource mobilization for the Animal Health Service and the Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases.
In August 2014, she returned home to Texas with a joint appointment as the chief veterinarian for the Texas A&M AgriLife Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (IIAD) and served in the director’s office. In December 2017 she continued in the director’s office as the international and strategic partnerships specialist and became associate director of operations and strategic initiatives in March 2020. She oversaw the agency’s strategic and financial planning, statewide research infrastructure, investments in research and intellectual property and commercialization. Currently, she is associate director for international programs and strategic initiatives and interim associate director for responsive agriculture for the Institute for Advancing Health Through Agriculture.