December 18, 2004
The American Society for Clinical Nutrition (ASCN) has renamed a prestigious award for UAB's Roland Weinsier, MD, DrPH, who joined the UAB faculty in 1975 as assistant professor of clinical nutrition in the newly created Department of Nutrition Sciences. Dr. Weinsier served as department chair from 1988 to 1999 and director of the Clinical Nutrition Research Center, which he founded with a National Institutes of Health grant, from 1999 until his death in 2002.
The Roland L. Weinsier Award for Excellence in Medical/Dental Nutrition Education was formerly known as the Dannon Institute Award. Sponsored by the Dannon Institute, it is presented to an individual with an . . . "outstanding career in medical/dental nutrition education . . .whose efforts have been widely recognized and have had a national or international impact."
Dr. Weinsier established the honor in 1991 during his tenure as chair of the ASCN committee on professional nutrition education; he won the award in 1995.
"Through Dr. Weinsier's vision and leadership, this award was first established as the highest national honor given for nutrition education of medical and dental professionals", says Professor of Nutrition Sciences Douglas Heimburger, MD, a colleague of Dr. Weinsier and 1999 Dannon Institute award recipient. "No single person in the United States, and perhaps the world, exemplifies so well the high standards of sustained quality, excellence, and commitment to improving nutrition education in academic health centers as Roland did."
During his distinguished 27-year UAB career, Dr. Weinsier served as an advocate for the many individuals facing challenges of weight management. In November 2002, an international group of Dr. Weinsier's colleagues gathered in Birmingham for a festschrift celebrating his life and work. The festschrift proceedings note that Dr. Weinsier made significant contributions to the treatment of obesity through lifestyle changes, nutrition education for health-care professionals, research into metabolic/energetic influences on obesity, body composition changes accompanying weight loss and regain, the benefits and risks of weight loss, and nutritional support for the sick.