Dr. Nevin Scrimshaw is institute professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and senior advisor for the food and nutrition programme at the United Nations University.
A major force in the field of international nutrition, Scrimshaw’s career has spanned more than five decades and his contributions have ranged from nutritional anthropology to food science and technology. His name is synonymous with the fight against malnutrition. Scrimshaw was the founding director of the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama, the first international research institute devoted to the study of malnutrition and to finding effective and feasible interventions. It was during this period that he clearly conceptualized the critical role of infection in the pathogenesis of severe protein-energy malnutrition, and the need to address both the infectious diseases and the dietary adequacy to break the cycle of malnutrition and infection. In 1961, he became head of the department of nutrition and food science at MIT and director of its clinical research center, quickly making MIT the leading center in international expertise in nutrition and nutrition policy.