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June 6, 2005

West Named Inaugural George G. Graham Professor in Infant and Child Nutrition

On May 27, 2005, Keith P. West, Jr., DrPH, MPH, RD, was installed as the inaugural George G. Graham Professor in Infant and Child Nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. West is a professor with the Department of International Health and its Center for Human Nutrition.

Keith West

Keith West, DrPH, MPH, RD

"Keith West is an excellent researcher, global leader and a long-time collaborator. I'm delighted he is the inaugural George G. Graham Professor in Infant and Child Nutrition," said Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS, dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health. "We are indebted to George Graham for his discoveries that helped improve the nutritional health of infants and children worldwide and for founding the School's Center for Human Nutrition."

The professorship was endowed by family, alumni and friends, who are ardent admirers of George G. Graham, MD, a pioneer in the field of infant and childhood nutrition. During his tenure at the School of Public Health, Dr. Graham and his colleagues discovered copper deficiency in malnourished Peruvian children and demonstrated that this trace mineral is essential to human health. His research on food proteins and child growth guided the development of commercial formulas used to feed millions of infants worldwide.

"Professor Graham was visionary in his work, especially in revealing how dietary protein quality and quantity in relation to calorie intake promote growth while protecting body composition in malnourished infants. He has been a great mentor to me," said Dr. West.

Dr. West has worked in international health for the past 28 years, concentrating on the epidemiology and prevention of malnutrition in the developing world, including micronutrient deficiencies and their health consequences among children and women. He has lived and worked extensively in Southern Asia, especially in Indonesia, Nepal and Bangladesh-first, to define the extent, severity and consequences of vitamin A deficiency and the impact of its control on child and maternal health and survival and, second, to guide the development and evaluation of global prevention programs and policies.

Dr. West is directing a large, collaborative research project on the prevention of maternal and child micronutrient deficiency in northern Bangladesh, which is supported by multi-year grants from the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is an instructor for two courses at the Bloomberg School dealing with international nutrition and food and nutrition policy, and holds a number of positions in professional societies, including the steering committee of the International Vitamin A Consultative Group. Dr. West has published over 130 scientific articles and reviews, including the book, Vitamin A Deficiency: Health, Survival, and Vision, which he coauthored with Dean Sommer.

Dr. West received his bachelor's degree from Drexel University. He earned his Master of Public Health and Doctor of Public Health degrees from Johns Hopkins.

Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons or Kenna Lowe at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.