Ruth Macdonald

Ruth Macdonald

Dr. Ruth MacDonald is Professor and Chair, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, at Iowa State University, and the Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She holds a PhD in Nutrition, minor in Food Science, and Masters in Nutrition, minor in Physiology from the University of Minnesota, and she is a Registered Dietitian. Following her PhD she was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School, Joslin Diabetes Center for 2 years. Dr. MacDonald was on the faculty at the University of Missouri for 17 years, rising through the ranks from Assistant to Full Professor, prior to relocating to ISU. Her research interests include the role of dietary factors in cancer progression, specifically breast, colon and prostate cancer. Using mouse and cell culture models, she explored the ability of selected dietary botanical supplements and phytoestrogens to alter cancer cell development and characterized their cellular mode of action. She identified a role for estrogen receptors in colon cancer risk. This work was funded in part by the NIH-sponsored University of Missouri Botanical Center, USDA and AICR. In other work funded by the USDA, she studied the cellular role of zinc in regulation of growth and food intake. While at the University of Missouri, she taught courses in nutritional biochemistry, sports nutrition and food science. At ISU she teaches a graduate course in nutritional oncology and an undergraduate course in food systems. She developed service learning curricula for undergraduate nutrition and dietetic students funded by the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the American Cancer Society. With funding from the USDA she leads the Cyclone Scholars program that provides tuition scholarships to underrepresented minority students. Dr. MacDonald gives frequent public presentations on the science and safety of biotechnology use in food and is a scientific expert for GMO Answers and Best Food Facts. Dr. MacDonald is a 2014 graduate of the Food Systems Leadership Institute. She is a professional member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the American Society for Nutrition (ASN), and the American Association for Cancer Research. Dr. MacDonald has served on editorial boards for the Journal of Nutrition, Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Nutrition Research and Korean Journal of Nutrition. She has been a member of the Executive Board for the Nutrition Division of IFT and currently serves on the IFT Higher Education Review Board. She has served on grant review panels for the NIH, USDA, Department of Defense, and Komen Foundation. She also served on the state of Iowa Economic Development Board and the Technology and Commercialization Committee. Dr. MacDonald has traveled extensively and is a faculty leader for the Dean’s Leadership Program in Rome that engages ISU students with researchers at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Although she was raised in central New Jersey, Dr. MacDonald has adopted the Midwest as her home. Her husband is a native Minnesotan and their two sons were born in Missouri.

Affiliations and Expertise

Food Science and Human Nutrition College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Human Sciences CALS Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA


Authors: Ruth Macdonald & Cheryll Reitmeier Release Date: 01 Jun 2017
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