Campus News

Folate researcher named to head UGA foods and nutrition department

Athens, Ga. – Lynn B. Bailey, whose research and public health policy work has been instrumental in establishing the requirements for folate and reducing birth defects like spina bifida, has been named head of the Department of Foods and Nutrition in the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences. She will begin her tenure in August.
“It is an honor and a privilege for me to accept the position of head of the Department of Foods and Nutrition in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences,” Bailey said. “I welcome the opportunity to work with such a talented and dynamic group of faculty, students and administrators in the department and college.”

Bailey, a faculty member in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Florida since 1977, succeeds Rebecca Mullis, who has served as department chair since 1999 and will return to a faculty position. Bailey earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Winthrop University in South Carolina, her master’s in nutrition from Clemson University and her doctorate in nutrition from Purdue University.

“Lynn Bailey brings a wealth of experience in the areas of research, teaching and outreach,” said Anne Sweaney, FACS interim dean. “We look forward to her joining our team.”

Bailey’s folate research included human metabolic and population intervention studies to establish human requirements and quantities needed to reduce birth defect risk in national fortification programs. Findings by her team of researchers helped establish the current Institute of Medicine’s folate intake recommendations, including those for pregnant women and older individuals. In the early 1990s, Bailey was named to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration committee whose recommendations were adopted as law in 1996, mandating that all enriched foods in the United States be fortified with folic acid.

“Along with Dr. Bailey’s national and international recognition, she is well known for her collaborative research and mentoring skills,” said Mary Ann Johnson, the Bill and June Flatt Professor of Nutrition. “Many of her former graduate students are now scientists and faculty at federal agencies and universities across the nation. Dr. Bailey’s research expertise, grantsmanship and mentoring skills will serve our department well as we seek to increase our research collaborations and funding to improve human health across the lifespan.”

For more information on the Department of Foods and Nutrition, see