Athens, Ga. – Mary Ann Johnson, the Flatt Professor in Foods and Nutrition in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, has been named president of the American Society for Nutrition.
Johnson, who also serves as the associate director of the University of Georgia Institute of Gerontology within the College of Public Health, will serve a one-year term.
She previously has served ASN as a national spokesperson and vice president.
Established in 1928, the ASN has more than 6,500 members in 75 countries who work in academia, government, industry and practice.
“I’m honored for this opportunity to serve the American Society for Nutrition, its members and the community that this organization has championed for almost 90 years,” Johnson said. “ASN has played a pivotal role in shaping my career and my passion for nutritional science and I look forward to contributing to a new generation’s advancement of nutrition research as we plan ASN’s next century of leadership.”
Among Johnson’s key priorities during her presidency are endorsing strategic planning and vision for the future of nutrition science; leading the launch of Nutrition 2018, ASN’s new scientific sessions and annual meeting; and advocating for increased research funding for nutrition from government and the private sector.
“ASN is the premier nutrition research organization in the world,” Johnson said. “Nutrition research is the foundation of everything we do as researchers, educators and practitioners. As president of ASN, I hope my impact on nutrition and public health will grow at the local and state levels and expand nationally and internationally.”
Johnson joined the FACS department of foods and nutrition in 1983 and was named the first Flatt Professor in 2008.
She conducts research and outreach programs for older people to improve dietary habits, physical activity and self-management of chronic diseases, in addition to teaching classes in food and nutrition policy, chronic diseases, obesity and proposal writing.
Johnson is a two-time recipient of the college’s top teaching award and is a member of the Georgia Governor’s Older Adults Cabinet, the Institute of Food Technologists and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
She also was instrumental in launching a graduate certificate in obesity and weight management as part of UGA’s Obesity Initiative.
Johnson has been a member of ASN since 1984 and received the organization’s Mead Johnson Award for early career outstanding nutrition research in 1994.
“I am so excited to serve as ASN president, particularly this year when we are launching a new format for our scientific sessions and annual meeting,” she said. “What excites me most is ASN’s commitment to serving researchers, practitioners and educators to advance careers, strengthening the links between nutrition and agriculture and improving public health around the world for people of all ages.”