Dr. Betty Izumi and Dr. Carrie Nielson of the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health have received Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program awards to Japan and Spain, respectively. The awards were granted by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
Dr. Izumi will be a visiting researcher in the Division of Natural Sciences at Ochanomizu University in Tokyo. As a Fulbright scholar, she will conduct research focused on Shokuiku Kihon Ho, a groundbreaking piece of legislation passed in 2005 to address a wide range of problems at the intersection of health, food systems and culture — increasing rates of diet-related chronic diseases, shrinking and aging agriculture and fishing industries, low food self-sufficiency, and loss of traditional food culture due to globalization. Specifically, she will examine how Shokuiku Kihon Ho has been translated into practice in Tokyo elementary schools through their school lunch programs.
Dr. Nielson will teach epidemiology at the Universidad de Murcia and will conduct research on vitamin D and reproductive health outcomes. She writes that, “We have only recently begun to appreciate the full impact of vitamin D deficiency and variation in vitamin D metabolism on public health. The same factors that affect chronic disease risk – obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and “Western” dietary patterns – are risk factors for vitamin D deficiency. The opportunity to collaborate with Spanish faculty on a population sample with unique environmental and dietary exposures will be invaluable.”
Drs. Izumi and Nielson are among the several hundred U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and provide expertise abroad in the 2017-2018 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.