Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Lectures » 2023 » W. O. Atwater

2023 W.O. Atwater Memorial Lecturer

Patrick Stover, Ph.D.

Institute for Advancing Health through Agriculture (IHA)
Texas A&M AgriLife

Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D., is the director of the Institute for Advancing Health through Agriculture (IHA) at Texas A&M AgriLife Research.  The IHA is the world’s first research institute to bring together precision nutrition, responsive agriculture, and behavioral research to reduce diet-related chronic disease in a way that considers environmental and economic effects. With support from the United States Department of Agriculture – Agriculture Research Service (USDA-ARS) and the State of Texas, the IHA conducts research that improves linkages between agriculture, food and human health, and includes an embedded USDA-ARS program.

As an international leader in biochemistry, agriculture and nutrition, Stover’s research focuses on the biochemical, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that underlie the relationships between nutrition, food fortification and human pathologies such as developmental anomalies, neuropathies and cancer. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also former president of the American Society for Nutrition and has served two terms on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board. He received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Clinton, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.

Stover has over 23 years of academic leadership experience, serving as vice chancellor and dean for agriculture and life sciences at Texas A&M AgriLife, director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, and director the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Saint Joseph’s University, a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biophysics from the Medical College of Virginia and completed his postdoctoral studies in nutritional sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.

Wilbur Olin Atwater (1844-1907)

 Wilbur O. Atwater

The W.O. Atwater Lecture was established in 1968 to honor the memory of Wilbur Olin Atwater (1844-1907) and to recognize scientists who have made unique contributions toward improving the diet and nutrition of people around the world. Atwater, considered the father of modern nutrition research and education, was the U.S. Department of Agriculture's first chief of nutrition investigations.

The W.O. Atwater Lecture is a forum for a presentation on a scientific topic, trend, issue, or policy of the lecturer's choice. The awardee will receive a $5,000 honorarium, an engraved plaque and medal. They also, become part of a prestigious cohort of ARS Memorial lecturers, and are featured on the ARS website and social media platforms.


Nominations for the 2024 W. O. Atwater Memorial lecture are now open. To nominate a outstanding senior contributor in industry, university or government, please visit the nominations page.