Nutrition has been my passion for over thirty years. It all started at the end of high school, back in 1973, when it became clear that I wanted to devote my career to contribute to social equity, in a country characterised by deep social disparities.
But I also liked biology and medical sciences a great deal. I decided to study in the first undergraduate programme in nutrition in Mexico. After finishing a PhD programme in nutrition at Cornell University, I spent six years in Guatemala at the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama. Back in Mexico I was the founding director of the Center for Research in Nutrition and Health at the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico (INSP), a position that I hold today. I am also a professor of nutrition in the School of Public Health in Mexico.
At INSP our group developed a framework for research planning which has evolved with time and we use today. We call it Mission Oriented Research, which places its efforts on improving the nutrition and health conditions of the population through the application of the scientific method. On the basis of this framework, we have developed a model with phases that are necessary to achieve the final objective of developing nutrition and health policies. We have used this model to plan our research agenda and have been able to influence the design, on the basis of evidence, of nutrition programmes and policy in México.
I have been Chair of the International Nutrition Council of the American Society for Nutrition, and am co-chair of the International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group (IZiNCG). I was a member of the expert panel responsible for the 2007 and 2999 World Cancer Research Fund/ American Institute for Cancer Research, reports of food, nutrition and the prevention of cancer worldwide. Member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Academy of Sciences in Mexico. Member of the board of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) from 2001 to 2005.
Founding director of the Center for Research in Nutrition and Health at the National Institute of Public Health; also professor of nutrition at the School of Public Health in Mexico. Adjunct professor at Cornell University and at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, Atlanta. Member of the Latin American Nutrition Society, the American Society for Nutritional Sciences, and the American Society for Nutrition. Have published more than 200 scientific articles, book chapters and books.