The Division of Nutritional Sciences was founded in 1974 as a unit that is jointly administered by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Human Ecology. All faculty in Nutritional Sciences are members of both colleges, and two of the DNS undergraduate majors are offered in both of our colleges.
History & Origins
The Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell was founded in 1974 as an intercollege unit within the colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Human Ecology. The history of nutrition dates back to Cornell’s early days reflecting the development of programs in nutrition in the College of Agriculture around animal nutrition and in what was then the College of Home Economics around human nutrition. Our long and storied past includes many examples of the interdisciplinary approach that is the hallmark of the Division to this day. The founding Director of DNS, Dr. Mal Nesheim provides a succinct history at the Cornell eCommons.
The Division of Nutritional Science studies human nutrition at levels ranging from molecules to populations, drawing upon the chemical, biological, and social sciences to understand the complex relationships among human health, nutritional status, food and lifestyle patterns, and social and institutional environments. Understanding these relationships includes the study of the metabolic regulation and function of nutrients, nutrient requirements through the life span, role of diet in reducing risk of disease, nutritional quality of foods, and interventions and policies designed to promote nutritional health of individuals and populations. Learn more about our research.
The figure highlights the four primary areas of emphasis in the Division of Nutritional Sciences., which can be investigated at the level of molecules and cells, organisms, populations and complex systems.