Jere Haas

 

Jere Haas

Emeritus Professor
213 Savage Hall
 
Phone: (607) 255-2665 Fax: (607) 255-1033
Email: jdh12@cornell.edu
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Curriculum Vitae
 
Biographical Statement:

Jere D. Haas is the Nancy Schlegel Meinig Professor Emeritus of Maternal and Child Nutrition in the Division of Nutritional Sciences, College of Human Ecology, at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York. He is also International Professor of Nutrition in Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Science, Professor of the Graduate School, and Director of the campus-wide Human Biology Program. He received his Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology from the Pennsylvania State University and has been on the Cornell University faculty for 40 years. He is currently conducting research on the functional consequences of iron deficiency on physical and cognitive performance. The emphasis is on the effects of moderate iron deficiency on various aspects of physical performance and behavior in children and young women and how measures of performance relate to everyday productivity and social and economic well being. He also conducts research on food based interventions to reduce micronutrient malnutrition. Professor Haas conducts research on these and related topics in maternal and child nutrition in the United States, Mexico, the Philippines, Rwanda and India. Professor Haas served as vice-president and president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists and serves on the Expert Advisory Panel for Nutrition of the World Health Organization and the Technical Advisory Group on Food and Nutrition of the Pan American Health Organization. He served as Director of the Division of Nutritional Science at Cornell from 1998 to 2003.

 
Teaching and Advising Statement:

In support of my research program, I am a mentor for 7 undergraduate students through NS 4010, Empirical Research for Undergraduates, and 4 Ph.D. students through NS 8990, Doctoral Research. I have no formal teaching obligations as emeritus professor.

 
Current Professional Activities:

At Cornell University

  • The Nancy Schlegel Meinig Professor Emeritus of Maternal & Child Nutrition
  • International Professor of Nutrition, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
  • Graduate School Professor
  • Cornell Graduate Field Memberships: Nutrition; Anthropology; Latin American Studies; Epidemiology; International Agriculture.  
  • Director, Human Biology Program. 
  • Advisory Committee, Human Metabolic Research Unit
  • Advisory Committee, Tata-Cornell Initiative on Agriculture and Nutrition 
 

 
 
 

 

National and International

  • Member, Expert Advisory Panel on Nutrition for the World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Member, Technical Advisory Group on Food and Nutrition of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

 
Current Research Activities:

My research deals with nutrition problems of women and young children, with a primary emphasis on iron deficiency and protein and energy under nutrition in developing countries. For 40 years my research has focused on understanding the functional consequences of malnutrition on physical performance, physical activity and behavior. Current studies are designed to identify useful functional indicators that can be used to evaluate nutrition interventions that are designed to improve iron status in women and children.

We are currently examining two novel approaches to improving dietary iron intakes by enhancing the nutrient quality of staple food crops such as rice, pearl millet and beans and through the fortification of table salt. These staple foods and table salt are consumed by a large number of the most nutritionally vulnerable population groups in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In collaboration with colleagues from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the University of the Philippines at Los Banos and the Pennsylvania State University we have shown an improvement in body iron status in women who consumed an experimental variety of rice bred for high iron content. This research was the first to show that “biofortification" strategies can improve the micronutrient status of human subjects at risk of deficiencies in developing countries. 

 

We are analyzing data and writing up the results of a recently completed  "feeding trial" of another biofortified staple, black beans, in school children in southern Mexico. Early results from this study indicate that primary school children who consume the biofortified beans for 100 days show improved tissue level iron status (transferring receptor values declined) compared to controls. This effect is most apparent in children who were the most iron deficient at baseline and were not exposed to infections during the feeding period.  The research is being conducted in collaboration with scientist at the Mexican National Institute of Public Health (INSP), HarvestPlus Project of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia.

We concluded the field work for another feeding trial of iron-biofortified pearl millet in  secondary school children attending a boarding school in rural India.  After 4 months of consuming the iron-biofortified pearl millet, we found significant improvements in all measures of iron status when compared to subjects who consumed commercially available pearl millet.  We are also studying the effect of improved iron status on physical performance, physical activity and neuro-cognitive function in the adolescents in collaboration with scientists from the S.N.D.T. Women's University in Mumbai, the University of Oklahoma and the Pennsylvania State University. 

 

Another feeding trial with biofortified beans, supported by HarvestPlus, was completed in 2013 in Rwanda through collaboration with scientists at the University of Rwanda at Huye,  the University of Oklahoma and the Pennsylvania State University. This 4 months-long feeding study tested the efficacy of consuming iron-biofortified beans on improved iron status, physical performance and neuro-cognitive function  in university women.  Other collaborators included the the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia.

We have also recently completed a study that tested the effectiveness of consuming table salt (DFS) that is double fortified with iodine and encapsulated iron in India through a program administered by the Micronutrient Initiative of Canada. Published  results from this year long intervention trial have shown significant improvements in all measures of iron status in women who consumed DFS compared to controls. This project is also testing whether consumption of double fortified salt improves worker productivity, physical activity and cognitive function in women who pick tea on Indian tea estates in north Bengal.

 

 
Education:
  • A.B. Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA, 1967
  • M.A. The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 1970
  • Ph.D. The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 1973

 
Courses Taught:
  • NS 4010 Empirical Research for Undergraduates
  • NS 8990 Doctoral Research

 
Administrative Responsibilities:
  • Director, Human Biology Program

 
Selected Publications:

de Moura, F.F., A.C. Palmer, J.L. Finkelstein, J.D. Haas, L.E. Murray-Kolb, M.J. Wenger, E. Birol, E. Boy, J.P. Peña-Rosas. 2014. Are Biofortified Staple Food Crops Improving Vitamin A and Iron Status in Women and Children? New Evidence from Efficacy Trials. Advances in Nutrition 5: 568–570; doi:10.3945/an.114.006627

Demment, M.M., J.D. Haas, and C.M. Olson. 2014. Changes in family income status and the development of overweight and obesity from 2 to 15 years: a longitudinal study. BMC Public Health,14:417; doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-417.

Haas, J.D., M. Rahn, S. Venkatramanan, G.S. Marquis, M.J. Wenger, L.E. Murray-Kolb, A.S. Wesley, and G.A. Reinhart. 2014. Double fortified salt is efficacious in improving indicators of iron deficiency in female Indian tea-pickers. Journal of Nutrition, 144:957-964.

DellaValle, D.M. and J.D. Haas. 2014. Iron supplementation improves energetic efficiency in iron depleted female rowers. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 46(6):1204-15.

Crouter, S.E., D.M. DellaValle, J.D. Haas. 2012. Relationship between Physical Activity, Physical Performance, and Iron Status in Adult Women. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 37:697-705.

 
Selected Keywords:
Iron deficiency Maternal-child nutrition Developing countries Work capacity Physical activity Biofortification

 
The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.