The Institute Of Human Nutrition

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History of the Institute

Brief History Of The University And The Institute


Brief History Of The University And The Institute

Columbia University began as King's College, which was founded in 1754 by royal grant of George II, king of England, "for the Instruction of Youth in the Learned Languages, and the Liberal Arts and Sciences." The American Revolution interrupted its program, but in 1784 it was reopened as Columbia College. In 1912 the title was formally changed to Columbia University in the City of New York.

King's College organized a medical faculty in 1767 and was the first institution in the North American Colonies to confer the degree of Doctor of Medicine. In 1814 the medical faculty of Columbia College was merged with the College of Physicians and Surgeons, which had obtained an independent charter in 1807. In 1860, by agreement between the Trustees of the two institutions, the College of Physicians and Surgeons became the Medical Department of Columbia College. In 1891 the College of Physicians and Surgeons was formally incorporated as an integral part of the University. Since September 1917 women have been admitted to the College on the same basis as men.

The organization of the Institute began in 1948 when Dr. Charles Glen King was appointed acting director with the responsibility of laying the foundation for a graduate training center that would help meet the worldwide need to combat malnutrition. In the 1950's the Institute of Human Nutrition Sciences was established in the School of Public Health and Administrative Medicine (renamed the School of Public Health in 1972). Dr. W. Henry Sebrell, Jr., was appointed director and received the first students. During Dr. Sebrell's directorship (1958–1971), 230 degrees were granted, 80 percent of them to foreign students from 46 countries. In addition, 25 postdoctoral fellows and approximately 100 special students, mostly from abroad, received extensive training in clinical and public health nutrition.

In 1970 the name of the Institute was changed to the Institute of Human Nutrition. In 1971, Dr. Myron Winick was appointed director. The administration was transferred from the School of Public Health to the Postgraduate Education Division of the Faculty of Medicine with the aim of developing research programs in human nutrition related to growth and development, nutritional diseases, community nutrition, and of expanding the teaching role of the Institute to encompass medical students and physicians.

Dr. DeWitt S. Goodman was appointed the third director of the Institute in January 1988. Dr. Goodman initiated programs to have the Institute become a model for basic nutritional research in which the most advanced techniques of molecular and cell biology are focused on important nutritional questions. Dr. Richard J. Deckelbaum, appointed director in September 1992, aims to strengthen this goal particularly by linking public health questions directly to the basic research activities at the Institute. Other current goals for the Institute of Human Nutrition are to broaden and strengthen both clinical research and training in nutrition; to develop public health nutrition activities concerned with the roles of nutrition in health promotion and disease

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630 West 168th Street, PH1512
Columbia University Medical Center
New York, NY 10032
212 305-4808