Iowa State scientist in line to lead American Society for Nutrition

Headshot of Professor Kevin Schalinske in a navy polo-type shirt.
Kevin Schalinske, Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Iowa State University.  

AMES, Iowa  –  Iowa State University Professor Kevin Schalinske, in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, was recently named the American Society for Nutrition’s vice president-elect. The position is the first year in ASN’s leadership line-up of four consecutive terms, leading on to vice president, president and past president.

His involvement with ASN began as a student in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he earned degrees in molecular biology and nutritional sciences. Since then, he has served several roles with ASN, including on its board of directors for two terms, on conference planning committees and as an associate editor for the Journal of Nutrition. 

“I am honored and excited to have this chance to lead the American Society for Nutrition, working with our members from around the world as the organization approaches its 100th anniversary (in 2028),” Schalinske said.

When he agreed to stand for election for the new position, he said he had to think about it. “I had to get another plate off the shelf since my plate was already full. But I decided it was worth it.”

Schalinske has been on the faculty of Iowa State since 1999 after working at the universities of Wisconsin and Michigan and in private industry.

His research has largely focused on how the biochemical process of methylation -- reactions involved mainly with the metabolism of internal substances -- influences health and diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart and liver systems, and how foods can help avoid or alleviate these conditions. Recent projects of his lab include studies on the influence of eggs on obesity and diabetes. An area of current focus is the relation between diet and polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition on the increase among women in the United States.

He also researches and teaches courses on epigenetics, an emerging field that explores the way genes can be turned on or off by lifestyle choices, such as smoking, diet and stress, affecting health in ways that can impact future generations. 

Schalinske’s research, teaching and service have been recognized with awards including the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Rossmann Manatt Faculty Development Award (2017), the Regents Award for Faculty Excellence (2016) a Regional USDA Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award (2019) and the Margaret Ellen White Graduate Faculty Award (2019). He has also authored a textbook to support his teaching, “Advanced Nutrition and the Regulation of Metabolism.”

Funding for his work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the USDA National Research Initiative, the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, the Cancer Prevention and Research Foundation, the American Egg Board/Egg Nutrition Center and other sources.