Dr. Patricia Cassano, director and professor in the Division of Nutritional Sciences, has been named the Alan D. Mathios Professor in the College of Human Ecology (CHE). This endowed professorship honors Alan D. Mathios, former Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan Dean of the College, and his many contributions to CHE and the University.
An epidemiologist with interests in nutrition and genetics, Cassano has studied associations between nutrients and diseases, such as vitamin D and asthma and psoriasis, B-vitamins in the treatment of sickle cell disease, and food-sourced calcium and vitamin D in post-menopausal women, among others. She has specialized expertise in the causes of respiratory diseases and in the design, conduct and analysis of epidemiological studies.
Cassano also directs the WHO/Cochrane/Cornell Summer Institute on Systematic Reviews in Nutrition for Global Policy Making, which hosts a two-week intensive training each summer for about 30 participants from around the world.
During Mathios’ ten-year tenure as dean, CHE expanded collaborations in teaching and research between Ithaca and Weill Cornell Medical College campuses, established the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, brought in 40 new faculty members, and collaborated with the Hotel School to form the Institute for Healthy Futures.
Suzan Kurz Snyder ’81, Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council, worked with a group of other alumni and friends over the fall of 2017 and spring of 2018 to provide the $3 million needed to endow the professorship.
Cassano was nominated to the professorship by Mathios’ successor, Dean Rachel Dunifon. “This distinction recognizes Pat’s outstanding record of research, leadership and teaching and excellent and multiple contributions to Cornell and the Division,” Dean Dunifon said. “I am delighted to celebrate this professorship and Dr. Cassano as she continues her important work in the College.”