Message from the Director

Dear Alumni and Friends,

Welcome to the second newsletter from the Division of Food, Nutrition & Exercise Sciences (FNES). It has been a year and half since Food Science and Nutrition & Exercise Physiology joined forces to form the new division based on a vision that synergistic programs in food innovation, nutrition and diet improvement, and lifestyle intervention will advance health and quality of life. In the past year, the faculty, staff, and students have been working with much collaborative spirit to make the new division a cohesive and successful one. As you’ll read from this newsletter, we have many notable accomplishments to celebrate.

The division currently has 23 ranked faculty (7 professors, 8 associate professors, and 8 assistant professors) with 19 primarily housed in the College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources (CAFNR) and 4 primarily in the School of Medicine (SoM). Eighteen faculty have a split appointment between teaching and research, and five devote their time to teaching or extension. There are 12 full-time staff members supporting our teaching, research and extension missions. The division also employs a number of part-time instructors and staff.

This past Fall Semester, we welcomed historically high numbers of new undergraduate students to our programs: 102 to Nutrition & Exercise Physiology and 19 to Food Science, thanks to the recruiting efforts by Amy Marek, our Sr. Academic Advisor and the faculty in both programs. The two graduate programs currently enroll 73 students: 41 PhD and 32 MS (including 13 in the accelerated MS program in dietetics). In part owing to our strong enrollments, the student-credit hours the FNES faculty produce is the second in CAFNR, only slightly behind the School of Natural Resources, which makes FNES the most productive teaching division in the college on a per-faculty basis.

The faculty have been very successful in research. They won numerous prestigious major grants from federal agencies such as NIH, NSF, and USDA. They were also successful with grants from major foundations such as the American Heart Association, and industry. In the last fiscal year that ended June 30, 2022, they generated $2.6M in research expenditures from external grants and published 67 referred research papers in internationally recognized journals. Three faculty members and their research groups are housed in the new MU NextGen Precision Medicine Center.

Many of you have voiced support and excitement about the new division and the opportunities the unique combination of programs will bring to our students and research endeavors, which means a lot to us. We greatly appreciate your continued support. We would also like to hear your suggestions and ideas as we continue our efforts to make the division a success.

Jinglu Tan

Director and Professor

Division of Food, Nutrition & Exercise Sciences