CAHNR in the news

Students ReadingThe Daily Campus featured Lindsay DiStefano, associate professor and Head of Kinesiology, and her family’s search for bone marrow transplant donors for her two sons, who both have a rare immunodeficiency disease. The DiStefano family has partnered with Be The Match, a foundation able to connect directly with the bone marrow registry and advocates for those with rare diseases. DiStefano encourages college-aged people to join the registry as it allows them to continue to be donors for about forty years.

UConn Today announced research from the Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics (ARE) published in the journal Health Economics found Medicaid helps recipients make healthier food choices. The study was conducted by ARE Professor Rigoberto Lopez, Rebecca Boehm, now an economist with the Union of Concerned Scientists and Xi He, now a post-doctoral researcher at Iowa State University. The article was also published in Science Daily and Medical Xpress. Continue reading

Meet undergraduate student Stephen Kelly

Stephen Kelly with a brick exterior wall and evergreen branches in the background.
Stephen Kelly

Growing up in western Connecticut, landscape architecture student Stephen Kelly felt familiar with New York City, the place where he hopes to begin his career. When asked what he thought was a pressing issue of his generation, he said finding a way to integrate environmental and social justice in a way that benefits both, and making the government work for all of us in a way that it hasn’t in the past. As a student in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, Kelly is well aware of how urgent our need to address the environmental crisis, and he feels that landscape architects can be stewards of the land while creating sustainable and healthy outdoor spaces. Read more about his experiences as a UConn student. Continue reading

Economists produce study on effects of COVID-19 on the dairy industry

Jersey and Holstein cows graze on Horsebarn Hill in Storrs.
Jersey and Holstein cows graze on Horsebarn Hill in Storrs.

With support from the Richard DelFavero Fund, Rigoberto Lopez, professor in the Department of Acultural and Resource Economics, and Chris Laughton, director of knowledge exchange at Farm Credit East, have compiled a report on the impact of COVID-19 on the Connecticut dairy farm sector.

The study was conducted at the request of UConn Extension, the Connecticut Farm Bureau and the Connecticut Department of Agriculture. According to the report, “The Connecticut dairy farm sector is expected to experience a $16.5 million loss in revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This translates into a 19.4 percent decline in total farm revenue.” A pamphlet highlighting the major points of the report was also produced. Continue reading

Image of the week: Esperance Fellowship in Personalized Nutrition

Roger Newton announced the establishment of the Esperance Fellowship in Personalized Nutrition in his remarks to participants in the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Department of Nutritional Sciences.
Roger Newton announced the establishment of the Esperance Fellowship in Personalized Nutrition in his remarks to participants in the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Department of Nutritional Sciences.

Dr. Roger Newton, co-discoverer of Lipitor, and his wife, Ms. Coco Newton, have announced their gift of $150,000 in support of a new MD/Ph.D. program in personalized nutrition at the University of Connecticut.

In his remarks during the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Department of Nutritional Sciences on September 17, Dr. Newton announced the establishment of the Esperance Fellowship in Personalized Nutrition. The new fellowship is a partnership between the UConn School of Medicine and the UConn Department of Nutritional Sciences, part of the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. Goals of the fellowship are to prepare future physicians with enhanced training in nutrition, promote interdisciplinary research and education, provide opportunities for pre-med students in Nutritional Sciences to pursue a Ph.D. in conjunction with the MD and train future faculty and researchers.

Roger Newton is president of the American College of Nutrition and co-founder of the American Nutrition Association. He is founder, board director and scientific advisor for Esperion Therapeutics. He completed his master of science in nutritional biochemistry at UConn, then earned his Ph.D. in nutrition at the University of California, Davis. His graduate research in lipid metabolism led to his co-discovery of most prescribed cholesterol-reducing drug in the world, Lipitor. He continues as a leader in the development of pharmaceuticals for managing cardiovascular disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. He has received numerous awards in recognition of his research and his exceptional leadership and achievements in venture capital and equity financing.

Coco Newton is a registered dietitian nutritionist and a Certified Nutrition Specialist. She has practiced functional medicine nutrition for several decades, recently receiving a life-time achievement award from Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in recognition of her contributions to the field of functional medicine nutrition.

Of the Newtons’ gift, Dean Indrajeet Chaubey said, “There is a need to integrate nutritional and medical interventions to promote health and disease management. This fellowship will enable us to provide research-based training in personalized nutrition to future physicians. This fellowship will also bring additional synergies to an already strong collaboration that exist among researchers from Department of Nutritional Sciences and UConn School of Medicine.”

CAHNR in the news

Students ReadingUConn Today announced the Connecticut Institute of Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) is addressing how climate change is impacting public health in Connecticut in a series of six free webinars. CIRCA is hosting a Climate Change and Public Health Mini-webinar Series through the month of September as part of Resilient Connecticut, a large-scale climate planning project. Assistant Professor Mariana Fragomeni of the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture spoke on the topic “Heat, Public Health and Climate Change” on September 10. The webinars will be made available on CIRCA’s YouTube channel following the events.

Connecticut Magazine interviewed Extension Educator Dawn Pettinelli of the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture about improving soil health. Pettinelli is head of the College’s Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory.

UConn Today announced construction has begun on the Northwest Science Quad, a cornerstone of the Next Generation Connecticut program. CAHNR alum Sean Vasington (Landscape Architecture ’99), director of site planning and landscape architecture for University Planning, Design and Construction, is quoted on the project. Continue reading