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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 62 (1993)

Chapter: LEADERSHIP IN ESTABLISHING CORNELL AS A CENTER FOR HUMAN NUTRITION RESEARCH AND TEACHING

« Previous: FIRST CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE NUTRITION PROGRAM AT CORNELL UNIVERSITY
Suggested Citation:"LEADERSHIP IN ESTABLISHING CORNELL AS A CENTER FOR HUMAN NUTRITION RESEARCH AND TEACHING." National Academy of Sciences. 1993. Biographical Memoirs: Volume 62. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2201.
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Page 300
Suggested Citation:"LEADERSHIP IN ESTABLISHING CORNELL AS A CENTER FOR HUMAN NUTRITION RESEARCH AND TEACHING." National Academy of Sciences. 1993. Biographical Memoirs: Volume 62. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2201.
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Page 301

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LEONARD AMBY MAYNARD 300 are the only stipulated efforts for students in that graduate program. LEADERSHIP IN ESTABLISHING CORNELL AS A CENTER FOR HUMAN NUTRITION RESEARCH AND TEACHING Maynard accepted a personally imposed challenge to establish a program at Cornell in which graduate students would be prepared for careers in human nutrition research and teaching. His genius was in knowing that in developing such a program, it would be necessary to broaden currently held definitions of what should be termed ''human nutrition." He also knew that he would have to work with a multidisciplinary faculty to accomplish his goals. A unique feature in his building of this program was the manner in which he formed linkages between the different units at Cornell, units that were then carrying out nutrition research with goals dictated by their separate leadership and allegiance. Maynard's intent was to bring about a necessary unification of the different programs, at least to the extent that the different units would all have concern for studies which provided insight into the nutritional needs of human beings. In certain instances, this unification came about because he initiated the research endeavors; in other cases, he was successful in persuading his colleagues to focus their work on the solution of human nutrition problems. In 1939 the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture established the U.S. Plant, Soil and Nutrition Laboratory on the Cornell campus, and Maynard became its first director, serving in this capacity until 1945. During his years of leadership of the Laboratory, the focus was on research which better defined methods of food production to meet the needs of the public. In 1941 he was appointed the first director of the Graduate School of Nutrition. In this new unit of the university,

LEONARD AMBY MAYNARD 301 he collaborated with Dr. Norman Moore, director of health services for students at Cornell, to establish a program in which effects of both environmental and dietary factors on human nutritional requirements could be investigated. For this purpose, Dr. Moore set aside ten beds in the students' inpatient unit to be used for metabolic studies. Further, he provide the medical coverage and expertise which made such studies possible. Another undertaking, encouraged by Maynard and for which he provided technical support, was a nutrition survey of a nearby township which was later to be involved in follow-up studies. Both the survey and the studies in the metabolic unit were actually carried out by Charlotte Young, one of Maynard's most distinguished proteges. He also forged relationships in the Department of Poultry Husbandry, where Leo Norris had assumed leadership. In pursuing this research linkage, Maynard was able to harness the knowledge of poultry scientists to focus on meeting human dietary needs with their products and also on using chickens as animal models for human nutritional diseases. In the years 1940-45, when the war effort necessitated outstanding collaboration to improve the availability of the domestic food supply, Maynard brought the resources of many different units at Cornell together to solve the problems of food preservation by freezing. These units included not only those already involved in nutrition research, such as the College of Agriculture and the College of Home Economics, but also the College of Engineering and the Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York. He also worked with the major food companies, food freezer manufacturers, and utility companies to bring the food freezing endeavors at Cornell to practical use.

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Biographic Memoirs: Volume 62 contains the biographies of deceased members of the National Academy of Sciences and bibliographies of their published works. Each biographical essay was written by a member of the Academy familiar with the professional career of the deceased. For historical and bibliographical purposes, these volumes are worth returning to time and again.

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