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Senior Adviser to the Rector
Dr. Nevin S. Scrimshaw, an authority on international nutrition, is the Senior Adviser to the Rector for the World Hunger Programme of the United Nations University, a position he has held since the University began operations in 1975.
Since 1961, Dr. Scrimshaw has been Professor of Human Nutrition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts (U.S.A.), where he heads the Department of Nutrition and Food Science. In 1976, he was appointed "Institute Professor" at MIT, a distinguished rank reserved for scholars of special accomplishment to recognize achievement and leadership of high intellectual quality.
Dr. Scrimshaw - who holds both a Ph.D. and M.D. degree - was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1918. He did undergraduate work at Ohio Wesleyan University (B.A. 1938) and graduate work at Harvard (M.A. in biology 1939; Ph.D. in physiology 1941). He then attended medical school at the University of Rochester, receiving his M.D. degree in 1945. A medical internship at Gorgas Hospital in the Panama Canal Zone in 1945 - 1946 helped develop his interest in the problems of health and nutrition in the tropics.
In 1949, Dr. Scrimshaw was named Director of the newly formed Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP), established to study and help solve the nutrition problems of the six countries of the area - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Republic of Panama. He headed INCAP's activities for the next twelve years, and over the same period was a consultant and regional adviser in nutrition to the World Health Organization (WHO).
He is a member of a number of professional societies, including the American Institute of Nutrition, the Amer1can Physiological Society, the American Chemical Society, and the American Public Health Association (IAPHA). He has been active on a number of Advisory committees to the U.S. and other Governments as well as to the UN and WHO. He was the Chairman of the WHO Advisory Committee on Miedical Research from 1971 to 1977, a member of the U.S.-Japan Co-operative Medical Science Programme, and on the National Research Council of the U.S. National Academy of Science.
Dr. Scrimshaw has published over 350 scientific articles on various aspects of human and animal nutrition, nutrition and infection, agricultural and food chemistry, and public health. His most recent book (with Dr. Moisés Béhar) was Nutrition and Agricultural Gevelopment, published in 1976 by Plenum Press, New York.
Dr. Scrimshaw has been honoured many times for his work. In 1974, the University of Rochester awarded him an honorary Doctorate of Science. Among his other awards are IAPHA's Award for Excellence in Promoting and Protecting the Health of the People, in 1974; MIT's first James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award, in 1972; and the American Medical Association's Joseph Goldberger Award in Clinical Nutrition,in 1969. The Government of Guatemala presented him with the Order of Rodolfo Robles Award in 1961.