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2024 Wilbur O. Atwater
Memorial Lecturer

Adam Drewnowski, Ph.D.

Professor, School of Public Health
Director, UW Center for Public Health
University of Washington

Adam Drewnowski is Professor of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health at the University of Washington and the Director of the UW Center for Public Health Nutrition. Dr. Drewnowski obtained an MA degree in biochemistry from Balliol College, Oxford University and PhD degree in psychology from The Rockefeller University in New York. He has held faculty positions at The Rockefeller University and the University of Michigan and was visiting professor at the University of Paris. He is the author of the Nutrient Rich Food Index, a well-known nutrient profiling model designed to assess the nutritional value of individual foods, meals, and food patterns. He has published on food prices, diet costs, and affordable nutrient density in relation to health equity and social disparities. His Seattle Obesity Study (S.O.S.) combined health survey research with novel methods of spatial analysis, receiving long-term funding from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Drewnowski has published more than 400 research articles, and advises foundations, governments, non-profits, and the private sector on nutrient profiling and obesity-related issues. He is a Fellow of the American Society for Nutrition and a member of the Académie d’Agriculture de France.

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.


Nominees may be outstanding senior scientists in industry, university, or government positions. Current ARS employees are not eligible.

To nominate someone for the 2025 Wilbur O. Atwater Memorial Lecture, please send a letter explaining the nominee’s contributions to improving the diet and nutrition of people around the world and their current curriculum vitae to