Dr. Aryeh Stein Selected as American Society of Nutrition 2022 Fellow

May 1, 2022
Aryeh Stein

By Kelly Jordan

Aryeh Stein, PhD, MPH, professor of global health, was recently selected as a 2022 Fellow of the American Society for Nutrition (ASN). This recognition is the highest honor the ASN bestows and serves to recognize “individuals for significant discoveries and distinguished careers in the field of nutrition.” Stein was nominated for this honor by longtime collaborators and mentors, Reynaldo Martorell, PhD, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of International Nutrition at Rollins (ASN Class of 2013 Fellow), and Linda Adair (ASN Class of 2018 Fellow), PhD, professor of nutrition at UNC Chapel Hill.

“ASN is the leading organization of nutrition researchers in the US. Being selected as an ASN Fellow is recognition of the value of my research, primarily conducted at Emory, and my contributions to the governance of ASN,” says Stein.

Stein has dedicated the bulk of his career studying, researching, and teaching the impacts of nutrition on human health, particularly as it relates to child and maternal nutrition. This focus has served not only as a satisfying career path for the intellectually curious researcher, but for a purpose-driven life that has impacted people around the world—many of whom are children.

“[Aryeh] has had a major impact on the state of knowledge about the importance of early life nutrition and health for long-term health and human capital, made significant contributions to methods and approaches to the analysis of longitudinal data, had a transformational impact on Emory’s PhD Program in Nutrition and Health Sciences and its Institutional Review Board, and is a highly sought expert in cohort studies,” wrote Martorell in his nomination letter for Stein.

In reflecting on his longstanding passion for the field of nutrition, Stein shares, “We all need to eat to survive. At the macro level, access to sufficient, healthy, culturally-appropriate food is a basic human right that is denied to many millions globally, whether through ultra-processing of foods— which increases shelf life and consumer convenience at the expense of nutrient quality— or food price shocks that result from adverse weather or political events, including the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

“At the micro level, from a research perspective, even questions as basic as understanding what people eat are challenging, let alone questions as to how specific aspects of diet relate to health. Questions as to the potential role of nutrition in one phase of life, especially maternal nutrition during pregnancy and child nutrition in the first years after birth, on the development of chronic disease and the process of aging at the other end of the life-span, require innovative research strategies. My work, in collaboration with many research teams throughout the world, seeks to leverage the amazing work done by others in previous decades to address these questions. 

A life-course epidemiologist, several of Stein’s research projects follow study participants long term, as is the case for an investigative team he has led since 2016—part of the COHORTS collaboration—which is analyzing data from birth cohort studies in Brazil, Guatemala, India, Philippines, and South Africa. His contributions to science include his research on the long-term consequences of prenatal exposure to famine, the long-term consequences of maternal and infant nutrition supplementation for human capital, patterns of child growth and human capital (through the COHORTS project), and a multigenerational study of growth and development in South Africa (through the Birth to Twenty Plus study).

Stein has published more than 275 peer-reviewed articles and has been lauded with numerous professional accolades for his teaching, research, and mentorship. He received the Thomas F. Sellers Jr. MD Award for Support of Faculty Colleagues in Public Health in recognition of his role as a mentor at Rollins, is director of graduate studies for Emory’s PhD program in Nutrition and Health Sciences, and is co-chair of Emory’s Institutional Review Board. In addition, he currently serves as associate editor of Journal of Nutrition.

Stein will be publicly recognized for his selection as a fellow at ASN’S flagship meeting, NUTRITION 2022 LIVE ONLINE, which will take place June 14-16, 2022.