Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Spotlight on Martha Ann Belury, recipient of the 2022 Ralph Holman Lifetime Achievement Award

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Martha Ann Belury is the recipient of the 2022 Ralph Holman Lifetime Achievement Award of the AOCS Health and Nutrition Division. This award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the Division’s area of interest, or whose work has resulted in major advances in health and nutrition.

About Martha Ann Belury

Martha Ann Belury

Dr. Martha Ann Belury, Ph.D., RDN, is the Carol S. Kennedy Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Ohio State University. Dr. Belury earned her B.S. in nutrition/dietetics and her Ph.D. in biological sciences at the University of Texas, Austin. Dr. Belury conducts translational research to identify cellular targets of lipophilic bioactive compounds in the diet that affect energy metabolism and inflammation. With many wonderful collaborators and student mentees, Dr. Belury has authored over 120 peer-reviewed publications to reveal how dietary fatty acids and flavonoids modulate energy metabolism and inflammation in the contexts of cancer, obesity, type-2 diabetes and sarcopenia. Dr. Belury has mentored many undergraduate, masters and doctoral students. She is Vice President of the American Society for Nutrition and is an Elected Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Can you tell us about your current research?

I am a translational nutrition scientist with over 25 years of experience working to identify the cellular pathways of dietary fatty acids to influence metabolism and inflammation in human health and disease. Having transitioned many of my pre-clinical projects to clinical trials, my work aims to identify the mechanistic links between linoleic acid rich oil (LA-oil) with functional mobility and the mitochondrial lipidome (cardiolipin species) and respiration. These studies build on my prior work where my laboratory identified that LA fortification of the diet improved glucose metabolism, increased lean mass and reduced trunk adipose in pre-clinical models and randomized controlled trials.

What was your reaction when you learned you had won the award?

I am truly grateful for this honor. Lifetime does sound like a long time.

How has AOCS helped develop your career?

My first peer-reviewed paper was in the AOCS journal, Lipids. This has stayed with me over the years. AOCS has a very unique community of food industry, lipid chemists, nutrition researchers and physiologists that is not apparent to me in other organizations. This is needed in nutrition where the complexity of food systems is part of our consideration as we prioritize nutrition and dietetic research concerning lipids.

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