Support The World's Smartest Network

Help the New York Academy of Sciences bring late-breaking scientific information about the COVID-19 pandemic to global audiences. Please make a tax-deductible gift today.

This site uses cookies.
Learn more.


This website uses cookies. Some of the cookies we use are essential for parts of the website to operate while others offer you a better browsing experience. You give us your permission to use cookies, by continuing to use our website after you have received the cookie notification. To find out more about cookies on this website and how to change your cookie settings, see our Privacy policy and Terms of Use.

We encourage you to learn more about cookies on our site in our Privacy policy and Terms of Use.

Little Beans, Big Opportunities:  Realizing the Potential of Pulses to Meet Today's Global Health Challenges

Little Beans, Big Opportunities: Realizing the Potential of Pulses to Meet Today's Global Health Challenges

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by Bush Brothers & Company, The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science, and The New York Academy of Sciences


The General Assembly of the United Nations' proclamation of 2016 as the "International Year of Pulses" focuses attention on pulse crops, such as beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas. This diverse group of staple foods has been cultivated by civilizations across the globe for over 10,000 years. Global activities throughout 2016 will explore the integral role these nutrient-dense foods can play in small-holder sustainable cropping systems and meet the global nutrition and agricultural challenges of our time. This inaugural conference will look at the contribution of pulses in healthy and sustainable diets, examine how pulses can make significant impacts on public health, and explore opportunities for enhancing these benefits broadly through food system innovations. The conference is presented by The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science and Bush Brothers & Company. Organizing sponsors include the Global Pulse Confederation, American Pulse Association, and Pulse Canada.

Scientific Organizing Committee

Amy R. Beaudreault, PhD, The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science
Julianne Curran, PhD, Pulse Canada
Anna Lartey, PhD, United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization
John McDermott, PhD, International Food Policy Research Institute
Sara F. Rose, Bush Brothers & Company
Janice MW Rueda, PhD, ADM Edible Bean Specialties, Inc.
Julie Shlisky, PhD, The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science
Irvin Widders, PhD, Michigan State University

A complimentary 1-year NYAS membership will be included for current nonmember attendees.

Read more in Amy R. Beaudreault, PhD's Huffington Post blog, Pulses: Little Beans with Big Opportunities. Dr. Beaudreault is the Associate Director of the Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science at the New York Academy of Sciences and a member of the Scientific Organizing Committee for Little Beans, Big Opportunities.

Registration Pricing

 By 10/2/2015After 10/2/2015Onsite
Member (Student / Postdoc / Resident / Fellow)$15$25$35
Nonmember (Academia)$65$85$95
Nonmember (Corporate)$85$105$115
Nonmember (Non-profit)$65$85$95
Nonmember (Student / Postdoc / Fellow)$45$55$65


Presented by

  • Bush Brothers & Company
  • The New York Academy of Sciences
  • The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science


Organizing Partners

  • American Pulse Association
  • Global Pulse Confederation
  • Pulse Canada


* Presentation titles and times are subject to change.

November 19, 2015

8:30 AM

Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 AM

Welcoming Remarks
Julianne Curran, PhD, Pulse Canada
Amy R. Beaudreault, PhD, The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science

9:20 AM

Population, Public Health, Pulses and Partnership
Sonny Ramaswamy, PhD, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Session 1: Nutritional Impact of Pulse Consumption

Session Chair: Julianne Curran, PhD, Pulse Canada

10:00 AM

Meeting the Nutritional Needs of Women and Infants during the First 1,000 Days and Beyond
Seth Adu-Afarwuah, PhD, University of Ghana

10:30 AM

Coffee Break

11:00 AM

Can Pulses Play a Role in Reducing the Incidences of Obesity and Chronic Diseases?
John L. Sievenpiper, MD, PhD, FRCPC, University of Toronto

11:30 AM

The Effect of Pulses in the Human Microbiome
Mark J. Manary, MD, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

12:00 PM


Session 2: The Promise of Pulses:  Economic, Environmental Policy, and Health Related Impacts

Session Chair: Irvin Widders, PhD, Michigan State University

1:15 PM

Food Systems for Healthier Diets - The Essential Link between Agriculture and Health
John McDermott, PhD International Food Policy Research Institute

1:45 PM

The Importance of Dietary Diversity and the Complementarity of Pulses
Joanne Slavin, PhD, University of Minnesota

2:15 PM

Sustainable Production of Pulses
Allan Hruska, PhD, United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization

2:45 PM

Trends in Global Pulse Consumption and Production and Factors Influencing Access of Pulse-Based Foods to Vulnerable Populations
P. K. Joshi, PhD, International Food Policy Research Institute

3:15 PM

Coffee Break

Session 3: The Role of Policy and Partnerships in Sustainable and Nutritious Diets

Session Chair: Janice MW Rueda, PhD, ADM Edible Bean Specialties, Inc.

Panel Discussion: Utilizing Effective Multisectorial Partnerships to Promote Pulses in Nutritious Diets

Panel Moderator: Panel Moderator: Vincent Amanor-Boadu, PhD, Kansas State University

3:45 PM

Introduction to Panel
Vincent Amanor-Boadu, PhD, Kansas State University

4:00 PM

Panelists (Each panelist will be provided 10 minutes to present their perspectives on partnerships before the panel questions begin)

Richard Black, PhD, PepsiCo
Danielle Nierenberg, Food Tank
Laurette Dubé, PhD, McGill University

5:15 PM

Closing Remarks
Julianne Curran, PhD, Pulse Canada

5:25 PM

Networking Reception

6:30 PM

Conference Adjourn


Scientific Organizing Committee

Julianne Curran, PhD

Pulse Canada

Julianne Curran has a PhD in Human Nutritional Sciences from the University of Manitoba and has worked at Pulse Canada since 2005 as part of a team to position pulse crops (beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas) as a healthy and environmentally sustainable ingredient solution for the food industry. In her current role of Vice President, Food & Health, Julianne identifies strategic priorities for research related to health, nutrition, processing and utilization of pulses through outreach with a broad range of stakeholders including scientists, government, health professionals, food and pulse processing industries. Julianne also works to facilitate projects and funding partnerships to address these research priorities. Using existing research, Julianne works on developing credible, science-based nutrition and health marketing messages and health claims and provides support for food regulatory initiatives.

Anna Lartey, PhD

United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization

Anna Lartey is the Director of Nutrition at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome Italy. She joined FAO in October 2013. Prior to that she was a Professor of Nutrition at the University of Ghana. Dr. Lartey attended the University of California, Davis, USA, as a Fulbright student and received her Ph.D. in International nutrition. She obtained her MSc and BSc degrees from the University of Guelph and University of Ottawa, Canada respectively. She worked as a researcher in Sub-Saharan Africa for 27 years. Her research focused on maternal child nutrition. Dr Lartey won the University of Ghana’s “Best Researcher Award for 2004”.  She held the International Development Research Center (IDRC, Canada) Research Chair in Nutrition for Health and Socioeconomic Development in sub-Saharan Africa (2009-2014). She is the recipient of the Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership Award for 2014. Dr Lartey currently wears two global hats: i) as Director of Nutrition at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and ii) as President of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS, 2013-2017).

John McDermott, PhD

International Food Policy Research Institute

John McDermott is the Director of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), led by IFPRI since January 2012. Previously he was Deputy Director General and Director of Research at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi from 2003-2011. John has lived and worked in Africa for 25 years.

As a researcher, John’s research career has focused on public health, animal health and livestock research in developing countries, primarily Africa. He has led projects on zoonotic and emerging diseases in Asia and Africa. John has a strong background in quantitative methods (modeling, study design, statistics).

He has earned a PhD in quantitative epidemiology from the University of Guelph, a Master’s Degree in Preventive Veterinary Medicine from the University of California – Davis, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Guelph. During his research career, John authored or co-authored 200 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and conference papers and has advised over 30 post-graduate students, including 20 PhD graduates. He was a visiting Lecturer at the University of Nairobi and a Professor at the University of Guelph. He has also served as an advisor to FAO, WHO, OIE, and other international agencies, served as a non-executive Director o the Global Alliance for Livestock Vaccines and Medicine (GALVmed), and is a member of the advisory committee of veterinarians with Borders in Canada.

Sara F. Rose

Bush Brothers & Company

Sara Fortune Rose is Vice President and Director of Industry and Government Affairs at Bush Brothers & Company, a Knoxville-based family-held food maker best known for its leading brand of bean-based products. Although currently focused on strategic initiatives that impact the growth of both the industry and the company, she has also held roles in Marketing, Manufacturing, Product Development, and Research in her 20 years at the company.

A strong supporter of the bean industry, Sara served as the first President of the Beans for Health Alliance, an international consortium of organizations supporting the link between bean consumption and improved health status, funded by U.S.A.I.D.. She also served on the Board of Directors of the American Pulse Association in its initial 5 years, and currently represents Bush Brothers on the Board of the U.S. Dry Bean Council.

Sara graduated magna cum laude with a BA in History and Economics from Vanderbilt University, and holds an MBA from Indiana University.

Janice MW Rueda, PhD

ADM Edible Bean Specialties, Inc.

Janice MW Rueda earned a Ph.D. in Nutrition and Food Science from Wayne State University and has worked extensively in child nutrition research and policy. She joined the Edible Bean Specialties group of Archer Daniels Midland in September 2014. In addition to working to develop new market opportunities for bean ingredients, Dr. Rueda continues to collaborate with her science and policy colleagues to establish research priorities, develop grant proposals and facilitate policy to increase the availability of bean-based foods in the food supply. Dr. Rueda is a tireless promoter of beans and their potential to improve both agricultural systems and public health. Dr. Rueda loves her industry, she loves working, and wholeheartedly admits to being one of those people that extends work life into their spare time as much as possible. Dr. Rueda serves on several organizing committees for the International Year of Pulses, she is an active member of several professional organizations, and holds adjunct faculty positions at Washington State University and Wayne State University.

Irvin Widders, PhD

Michigan State University

Dr. Irvin Widders.  Ph.D. in plant physiology from the University of California, Davis.  Joined the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University in 1982 and currently holds the rank of Professor.  The focus of his research program has been on vegetable crop physiology, the regulation of ion transport, and plant responses to abiotic stresses.  Dr. Widders has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Environmental Physiology, Vegetable Crop Production, and Plant Mineral Nutrition.  He also coordinated semester-long study abroad programs in Peru and Costa Rica (1996-2010).

Dr. Widders has been actively engaged in international programs at Michigan State University, having worked in such diverse countries as Honduras, Uruguay, Zimbabwe and Vietnam.  He has served as Director for the Bean/Cowpea Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) (2000-2007), the Dry Grain Pulses CRSP (2007-2012), and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Grain Legumes (2013-2017).  MSU is the Management Entity of this Title XII research and institutional capacity strengthening program funded by the USAID’s Bureau for Food Security in partnership with U.S. universities and agriculture research institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.  Under Dr. Widders’ leadership, the program has expanded in technical scope to include research on human nutrition, has developed ties with the CG’s Grain Legume Research Program, and has improved the livelihoods of the rural poor, especially those which produce, market and consume grain legumes in developing countries throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

Amy R. Beaudreault, PhD

The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science

Currently, Dr. Beaudreault works as associate director of The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science, a program of the New York Academy of Sciences, which is dedicated to advancing nutrition science research and knowledge, mobilizing communities and translating this work into the field. She holds a BS in Journalism from the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and an MS in Agricultural Communication, a PhD in Agricultural Education and Extension, and a graduate certificate in survey research from The Ohio State University. Her career spans 15 years’ in strategic communication, quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, and program development, implementation, and evaluation. Prior to joining the Academy, Dr. Beaudreault managed the Ohio State University Extension Agricultural and Safety Health Program and The Great Lakes Center for Agricultural Safety and Health; used her public relations background while working in research communication at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH, with an initiative to translate research to practice in biobehavioral health, perinatal research, and injury research and policy; and directed several U.S. Department of Education contracts in Washington, DC.

Julie Shlisky, PhD

The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science

Julie joined the Sackler Institute at the New York Academy of Sciences in 2014 as Program Manager after a postdoctoral fellowship at the New York Obesity Research Center where she examined postprandial energy expenditure. She earned her doctorate in Nutritional Science from Penn State in 2012 where she conducted a 6-month diet and physical activity lifestyle intervention investigating an energy-restricted diet on body composition, metabolic parameters and bone health in premenopausal women. She brings experience from industry and the laboratory to her position at the Academy, having worked in research and development at DuPont after her undergraduate education in molecular biology.


Seth Adu-Afarwuah, PhD

University of Ghana

Dr. Seth Adu-Afarwuah is a faculty at the Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana. He obtained his PhD and Post-Doctoral training in International Nutrition from the University of California in Davis, California. Before joining the University of Ghana, he worked with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Dr. Adu-Afarwuah’s research is in the area of maternal and infant nutrition, with a focus on the prevention and treatment of malnutrition. Since 2009, he has been is a member of a team of international collaborators from the University of California, Davis, the University of Tampere, Finland, and the University of Ghana, Legon investigating the efficacy of micronutrient supplements made using groundnut paste, vegetable oil, powdered milk, and micronutrients for improving the nutrient intakes of women and children in low-income settings. Dr. Adu-Afarwuah has deep knowledge on issues about meeting the nutritional needs of women and infants during the first 1,000 days and beyond.

Vincent Amanor-Boadu, PhD

Kansas State University

Vincent Amanor-Boadu is an agribusiness economics and management professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University and Principal Investigator of the USAID-funded METSS project in Ghana and the Legume Innovation Laboratory’s Consumer Choice Economics project in Eastern Africa. . He received his PhD from the University of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada. He was a managing director of AgriFood Innovations, an agri-food technology commercialization company he co-founded. He is currently a Managing Editor of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review (IFAMR) and on the editorial advisory board of the International Journal of Chain and Network Science (JCNS). He is a reviewer for a number of journals, including the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics and Food Policy. His research activities encompass entrepreneurship and business development, inter-organizational relationships and governance and the enterprise of science. Vincent sits on a number of corporate boards and says balancing academics with service to industry ensures his ability to bring real-world situations into his classroom.

Richard Black, PhD


Richard Black joined PepsiCo in January, 2013 as Vice President of Global R&D Nutrition Sciences, leading PepsiCo’s dynamic nutrition team to develop and drive a nutrition strategy that fuels PepsiCo’s innovation and portfolio transformation through nutrition science. Richard and his team work closely with PepsiCo’s sector R&D organizations and the Global Nutrition Group to leverage nutrition science for the PepsiCo brands.

Prior to joining PepsiCo, Richard worked for Mondeléz International, where he served as Vice President, Nutrition & Chief Nutrition Officer. He brings a wealth of leadership and technical expertise from the consumer packaged and pharmaceutical industries to PepsiCo. In his twenty year career, Richard has held nutrition and health and wellness leadership positions at Nestle, Kellogg’s, Novartis, and Kraft with a focus on dairy, sports nutrition, and micro/macro ingredients. In addition, Richard was an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, Department of Nutrition Sciences. Richard also served on Health Canada advisory panels, developing policies on health claims and addition of micronutrients in food. He holds his PhD in Psychology of Eating Behavior and has a dual BS degree in Chemistry and Psychology from McMaster University.

Richard is a member of the American Society of Nutrition, Institute of Food Technologists, The Obesity Society, as well as various food industry trade associations.

Laurette Dubé, PhD

McGill University

Laurette Dubé is Full Professor and holds the James McGill Chair of consumer and lifestyle psychology and marketing at the Desautels Faculty of Management of McGill University, which she joined in 1995. Dr. Dubé’s lifetime research interest bears on the study of affects and behavioral economic processes underlying consumption, lifestyle, and health behavior, and how such knowledge can inspire more effective behavioral change and ecosystem transformation. Beyond scientific publications in the leading scientific journals of her field, including Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marketing, Management Information System Quarterly and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, her work has been presented in leading general audience and business publications such as Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and The Economist.

Dubé is also the founding chair and scientific director of the McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics. The center has pioneered a unique integrative approach to foster convergence between disciplinary and sectoral science, policy and innovation, such that single and collective action throughout society target human and economic development at the same time. Convergent innovation propounds that a comprehensive redress of complex societal problems requires technological innovation to be synergistically bundled with other types of innovation such as social, organizational, financial and institutional innovations, creating convergent outcomes. In partnership with the  Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (Agriculture for Nutrition and Health program) and the International Clinical Epidemiology Network (the INCLEN Trust International), the Center is spearheading the formation of a convergent innovation coalition, with roadmap projects targeting food and nutrition security, prevention and management of non-communicable diseases, as well as technology-enabled affordable food, health and healthcare.

Dr. Dubé received the YMCA Women of Distinction Award for the social sciences in 2011 and The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Allan Hruska, PhD

United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization

Allan J. Hruska is Plant Production and Protection Officer of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He has been based in the Sub-regional Office for Mesoamerica in Panama since 2008 and previously was based in the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, in Santiago, Chile.

He earned a PhD in entomology from North Carolina State University under Dr. Fred Gould, an MSc in genetics from Duke University and a BS in biology from the University of Michigan. He is the author of over thirty refereed publications, many FAO publications and has made dozens of presentations internationally.

Dr. Hruska has dedicated his professional career to the promotion of sustainable agriculture and food security in Latin America. He has lived and worked in Panama, Chile, Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica for over thirty years. He has lead projects, programs, and institutions, taught, conducted research and provided technical and policy advice in seed systems, crop disease and pest management, early warning systems for emerging problems, pesticide management, sustainable crop production and food systems, family farming and local development. Previous to his career with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization he worked with CARE, Zamorano and NicaSalud, and the National Agricultural University of Nicaragua.

P. K. Joshi, PhD

International Food Policy Research Institute

Dr. P K Joshi is the director for IFPRI South Asia. Previous to this, he held the positions of the director of the National Academy of Agricultural Research Management, Hyderabad, India, and the director of the National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research, New Delhi. Earlier, Dr. Joshi was South Asia Coordinator at the International Food Policy Research Institute and senior economist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in Patancheru. His areas of research include technology policy, market, and institutional economics.

Dr. Joshi has received the following awards: Dr. MS Randhawa Memorial Award of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (2009–11), DK Desai Award of the Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, and RT Doshi Foundation Award of the Agricultural Economics Research Association for outstanding contribution in social science and agricultural economics research. He is a National Academy of Agricultural Sciences Fellow.

Dr. Joshi has also served as the chairman of the SAARC Agricultural Centre’s governing board in Dhaka, Bangladesh (2006–08); chairman of the UN-CAPSA governing board in Bogor (2007); and member of the intergovernmental panel on the World Bank’s International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (2007–08). He served as a member of the International Steering Committee for the Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security Challenge Program, led by the ESSP Science Community and the CGIAR (2009–11).

He was also a member of the core group of the Indian government’s “Right to Food” National Human Rights Commission and the secretary-general of the Fourth World Congress on Conservation Agriculture. Currently, Dr. Joshi is the trustee of the Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences (since 2008) and secretary of the Agricultural Economics Research Association in India.

Mark J. Manary, MD

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

My professional goal is to ‘fix malnutrition for kids in Africa’. To this end, I have developed ready-to-use therapeutic food and used the food in home-based therapy. Ready-to-use therapeutic food is a novel lipid-based food which has been accepted as the standard of care for uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition by the UN agencies. I did the first clinical trial with this food in 2001. I am currently formulating and evaluating new foods designed to augment the therapy of HIV in Africa, and treat moderate childhood malnutrition. I also recognize the importance of work to prevent childhood malnutrition, and to that end am exploring the use of lipid nutrient supplements to as complementary foods for children 6-24 months in Malawi.  I believe the ultimate solution for malnutrition will incorporate improved agriculture. I continue to explore the basic pathophysiology and metabolism of malnutrition, and I am currently looking at the gut microbiota and metabolome in kwashiorkor and marasmus, and well as zinc homeostasis. I love engaging students in my work, as they can be inspired to embrace global health issues and bring fresh perspectives to the problems.

Danielle Nierenberg

Food Tank

Danielle Nierenberg is President of Food Tank and an expert on sustainable agriculture and food issues. She has written extensively on gender and population, the spread of factory farming in the developing world and innovations in sustainable agriculture. Danielle co-founded Food Tank, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, in 2013 as an organization focused on building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. Prior to starting Food Tank, Danielle spent two years traveling to more than 35 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America, meeting with farmers and farmers’ groups, scientists and researchers, policymakers and government leaders, students and academics, along with journalists, documenting what’s working to help alleviate hunger and poverty, while protecting the environment. Danielle has an M.S. in Agriculture, Food, and Environment from the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and spent two years volunteering for the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic.

Sonny Ramaswamy, PhD

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Sonny Ramaswamy was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as director of the United States Department of Agriculture’s extramural science agency, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) on May 7, 2012. Through its portfolio of funding, NIFA catalyzes transformative discoveries, education, and engagement to address agricultural challenges.

Ramaswamy has previously held a number of academic positions, including: dean of Oregon State’s College of Agricultural Sciences; director of Purdue’s Agricultural Research Programs; distinguished professor and head of Kansas State’s Entomology Department; professor of entomology at Mississippi State; and research associate at Michigan State. As an insect physiologist, he worked on integrative reproductive biology of insects.

Sonny has received grants from many federal agencies, including NIFA, NSF, NIH, EPA, and USAID. He has published over 150 papers, book chapters, and a book. His many awards include: Fellow of AAAS and Entomological Society of America; Frazier Lecturer, American Society for Horticultural Science; and Presidential Award, Soil Science Society of America.

Dr. Ramaswamy received his BSc (Agriculture) and MSc (Entomology) from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India; PhD (Entomology) from Rutgers. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska’s New Academic Chair’s Program and Harvard’s Management Development Program.

John L. Sievenpiper, MD, PhD, FRCPC

FRCPC, University of Toronto

Dr. Sievenpiper completed his MSc, PhD and Postdoctoral Fellowship training in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. He completed his MD at St. Matthew’s University, School of Medicine followed by Residency training in Medicial Biochemistry at McMaster University. Dr. Sievenpiper is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, where he holds the PSI Foundation Graham Farquharson Knowledge Translation Fellowship and a Canadian Diabetes Association Clinician Scientist Award. He is also a Consultant Physician in the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism, Scientist in the La Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, and Knowledge Synthesis Lead of the Toronto 3D Knowledge Synthesis & Clinical Trials Unit at St. Michael’s Hospital. His research is focused on using randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews and meta-analyses to address important questions in relation to diet and chronic disease prevention. He has authored over 110 scientific papers and 12 book chapters. Dr. Sievenpiper is directly involved in knowledge translation with appointments to the nutrition guidelines’ committees of the Canadian Diabetes Association, European Association for the study of Diabetes (EASD), Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS), and American Society for Nutrition (ASN).

Joanne Slavin, PhD

University of Minnesota

Joanne is a professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota and teaches Advanced Human Nutrition. With the help of current and former graduate students (n=65), she has authored more than 250 scientific articles on dietary fiber, carbohydrates, whole grains, protein, and the role of diet in disease prevention. Joanne was a member of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). She is a Science Communicator for the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and a member of numerous scientific societies, including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) and the American Society for Nutrition (ASN). Dr. Slavin grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin which she still owns with her 2 sisters. She is a proud Badger graduate with BS, MS, and PhD degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Meeting the Nutritional Needs of Women and Infants during the First 1,000 Days and Beyond
Seth Adu-Afarwuah, PhD, Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana

The first 1000 days (from conception to 24 months of a child’s life) are critical for preventing nutrient deficiencies. Nutrient deficiencies occurring during this stage of life result in long term adverse effects on growth, cognitive development and subsequently adult quality of life. In many developing countries meeting nutrient requirements in typical diets is often a challenge due to the high reliance on predominantly cereal-based diets. Ensuring adequate nutrition in the first 1000 days has therefore become a major global priority. Interventions to meet adequate nutrient intakes have included supplementation, fortification, including home fortification, and dietary diversification. Findings from research work done in using peanut-based nutrient supplements to address nutrient deficiencies in the 1000 day window will be presented. Additionally, the role of pulses in bringing diversity to the diet and thus improving the mean adequacy of micronutrient intakes for both women and children will be discussed.
Coauthor: Anna Lartey, PhD, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy

Can Pulses Play a Role in Reducing the Incidences of Obesity and Chronic Diseases?
John L Sievenpiper, MD, PhD, FRCPC1,2,3,4
1 Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
2 Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada
3 Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada
4 Toronto 3D Knowledge Synthesis & Clinical Trials Unit, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada

Obesity and diabetes represent two of the most important unmet prevention and treatment challenges. Diet and lifestyle are universally seen as the cornerstone of the prevention and management of obesity, diabetes and their downstream cardiometabolic complications. The role of diets high in dietary pulses such as beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils, however, remain unappreciated in this context. Despite early studies showing that dietary pulses have an exceptionally low glycemic response, a property that has been exploited extensively in low glycemic index and high fiber diets to benefit glycemic control and cardiomeatbolic risk factors, major dietary guidelines have tended either not to recommend dietary pulses specifically or focus narrowly on the advantages of their nutrient profile. To address the need for high-quality syntheses of the evidence to support dietary guidelines and public health policy, we conducted a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials of the effect of dietary pulses on cardiometabolic risk factors.  We found that diets high in dietary pulses lead to clinically meaningful improvements in glycemic control, established lipid targets of cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, and body weight. Other systematic reviews and meta-analyses of prospective cohort studies have also shown that legumes are associated with reduced coronary heart disease. Taken together, these different lines of evidence make a compelling case for dietary pulses in the prevention and management of chronic disease. Larger, longer, and higher quality trials are still needed.

The Effect of Pulses in the Human Microbiome
Mark J. Manary, MD, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Stunting affects about 25% of children worldwide, and accounts for 20% of disability adjusted life years in children less than 5 years of age.  The causes of stunting are multifactorial, and one of these is gut health. Gut Health refers to the ability of the gut to absorb adequate amounts of nutrients from the diet, and appropriately modulate inflammation so as to eliminate microbes from the gut tissue, while not promoting a chronic inflammatory state.
Gut health is in large part the consequence of diet.  Diet has 2 components, nutrient content and non-nutritive content.  Our understanding of the role in non-nutritive components of the diet has changed recently with our awareness of the microbiota and microbiome.
In this talk I will discuss the origins of poor gut health in African children, the nutritive and non-nutritive content of common beans and cowpeas and how these legumes might improve gut health and consequently growth and development in this population.
Understanding this new dimension to nutrition may allow us to make significant inroads on the problem of malnutrition.

Food systems for healthier diets - the essential link between agriculture and health
John McDermott, IFPRI, Director CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health

Reducing or eliminating malnutrition in all its forms (acute and chronic under-nutrition, micronutrient deficiency and obesity) has become a priority in the global development agenda. This presentation will focus on countries in Africa and South Asia that have a high burden of under-nutrition and a rapidly growing prevalence of obesity. Healthier diets are necessary but insufficient to address all forms of malnutrition as well as ensuring food safety. Other necessary elements of improving nutrition outcomes in low and middle income countries are gender empowerment, social protection, health (including water and sanitation) and nutrition education. 
While improving nutrition and health outcomes through food-based solutions is a complex challenge, there are some key principles and emerging lessons in helping us meet this challenge. One is to take a food systems approach, which expands on the traditional commodity supply (or value) chain approach, to consider more systematically what influences consumption and diets. Given the complexity of food systems and the importance of local context, we focus on national and sub-national food systems. In low-income countries in Africa and South Asia, poor people have limited diet diversity and understanding the most important diet gaps and the options for increasing the diversity of foods that are demanded and can be supplied is important for different food system actors to understand. Diverse diets need not be produced in each household, community or country; markets and trade are increasingly important relative to diverse production, particularly with rapid urbanization. In food markets, relative prices of food are critical determinants of diet diversity. Over the past several decades the relative prices of cereals have fallen and those of pulses, animal source foods and fruits and vegetables increased and this has had important implications for diet quality and diversity for the poor. 
What might be done to transforming food systems for healthier diets? Food systems innovations will require convergence of technical innovation with smarter institutional arrangements and more effective policies and regulations. In many countries in Africa and South Asia, pulses can make important contributions to healthier diets. In the presentation, options for supporting pulses to make a greater contribution to healthier diets through (1) increased efficiency of pulse supply chains, (2) more effective institutional arrangements for innovation, and (3) policies, regulations and investments that are more nutrition-sensitive will be discussed.

The Importance of Dietary Diversity and the Complementarity of Pulses
Joanne L. Slavin, PhD, RD, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, St Paul, Minnesota

Pulses are accepted as both a starchy vegetable and protein source in dietary guidance. This unique position provides both opportunities and challenges. First, pulses are a starchy vegetable and provide complex carbohydrates to the diet. Intake of starchy vegetables is typically not limited in most diets. Pulses are also recognized as protein sources. Dietary guidance supports that consumers increase consumption of plant proteins because of positive health outcomes associated with plant protein consumption. Pulses are deficient in amino acids (methionine) needed for growth so must be combined with grains or other plant proteins to form complete proteins. Grains are low in lysine so by eating grains and pulses together, all amino acids are available to build proteins in the body. Processing of plant products can enhance protein quality and protein digestibility. Thus, some sources of soy claim to be complete proteins, but these are generally soy protein isolates. Methods to determine protein quality continue to be debated with PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score), the method current used for labeling in the US. Other methods such as protein efficiency ratio (PER) measure growth in experimental animals are useful to compare protein sources. Interest in protein consumption has increased and recent studies find that plant proteins are equal to animal protein for satiety.
Coauthors: Angela Bonnema, PhD, Jennifer Erickson, RD, University of Minnesota, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, St Paul, Minnesota

Sustainable Production of Pulses
Allan J. Hruska, PhD, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Panama City, Panama

The majority of pulses are produced by small-scale farmers. They face particular contexts that promote, or not, the sustainable production. Examples of these contexts will be presented and analyzed and recommendations made to promote sustainable pulse production by family farmers.

Trends in Global Pulse Consumption and Production and Factors Influencing Access of Pulse-Based Food to Vulnerable Population
P K Joshi, International Food Policy Research Institute
South Asia Regional Office, New Delhi, India 110 012

Pulse-based food is an important source of dietary protein and essential minerals. On an average at the global level, pulses share just 5 percent of the total protein consumption but their contribution in several developing countries range between 10 and 40 percent.  Unfortunately, the per capita availability of pulses declined from 9.5 kg in the sixties to around 6 kg in mid-2000 and marginally increased since then. The World Food Programme (WFP) for instance includes 60 grams of pulses in its typical food basket, alongside cereals, oils and sugar and salt. To meet the growing demand and raise their per capita availability, countries made efforts to increase their production and explore trade opportunities.
Globally, between 1980 and 2013, pulses production grew at an annual rate of 1.3 per cent. However, there were two phases of pulses production at global level. While there was almost a period of stagnation in production of pulses during the nineties, the production sharply increased since 2005.  The bulk of the increase in production came from developing countries where both area and yield contributed to the production. For developed countries, where production also grew, the centre of production shifted from Europe to North America and Oceania. Thus, pulse production has diversified with Canada and Australia, East and West Africa, and Southeast Asia emerging as new production centres. There have also been dynamic changes in the composition of pulse types with the share of cowpeas, chickpea, pigeon pea and lentil increasing while that of dry peas, dry beans and broad beans declined.
To overcome the excess demand, pulses trade increased from 7 percent of their production in the 1980s to 19 percent in 2011. In absolute terms, there has been a more than 4 fold increase in pulse trade, while it just increased by 1.5 times in case of cereals. Developed countries (Canada, Australia, and USA) emerged as the main exporters while developing countries were the main importers. The exceptions were Myanmar and East African countries that emerged as important exporters. The value of pulse exports in 2011 was US$ 7.7 billion with developed countries accounting for about 52 percent. Developing countries account for bulk of the imports led by South Asia that accounted for about 40 percent of the total imports. Globally, the top three traded pulses are dry peas, dry beans, lentils and chickpeas. Despite of increasing production and trade, pulse prices continue to be twice the prices of cereals.
Projections indicate that demand for pulses will continue to grow in the short to medium term in developing counties due to growing population, rising per capita incomes and increasing demand for snack food due to growing urbanization. To meet the future demand for pulses, supply side constraints, like low yields in developing countries since pulses are mainly grown in marginal areas under low input conditions, small scale production, week institutional arrangements, and low research priorities and lukewarm government support compared to cereals, are the major obstacles the pulse sector is facing. Besides addressing these issues, role of private sector is critical in ensuring low-cost pulse-based food and snacks to the vulnerable population. It will require enabling policy environment and efficient marketing and processing arrangements.
Coauthor: P Parthasarathy Rao, Formerly Assistant Director (MIP Division), International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Patancheru, India

Population, Public Health, Pulses, and Partnerships
Sonny Ramaswamy, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC

Humanity’s nutritional security is an existential threat because of Earth’s burgeoning population – projected to be well over 9 billion by 2050 – and concomitant societal challenges, including climate change, diminishing land and water resources, increasing urbanization, changing incomes and diets, and the need to ensure health. 
Compounding the above challenges is the global “billions dilemma”: almost one billion people in the world go hungry; over one billion are either overweight or obese, and consume medications, including statins, aspirin, and other drugs to control sugar, cardiovascular disease, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and hypertension.
With increasing incomes, global demand for protein continues to escalate.  Protein is a significant part of human nutrition and is needed for growth, reproduction, and health.  Sources of protein – derived from plants, livestock animals, fish, or invertebrates – each have positive and negative attributes.
Of the many plant species grown for proteins, pulses offer a number of advantages, including: excellent nutrient density and nutritional profile of amino acids, potassium, iron, B vitamins, fiber, complex carbohydrates, low glycemic index, and low in fat; low carbon and ecological footprint; require significantly less water and nitrogen for production; and improve soil structure and nutrition.

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) mission is to invest in and advance knowledge to solve societal challenges.  Funding is provided for research on pulses – from production to genetics and genomics to nutrition and health impacts – which is translated into innovations and solutions delivered to farmers, food industry, dieticians, nutritionists, parents, schools, and community- and faith-based organizations.

A Convergent Innovation for Sustainable Prosperity and Affordable Healthcare: The Pulse Innovation Platforms
Laurette Dubé, PhD1

Food is core to life and at the nexus of agricultural, industrial and health systems in emerging and advanced economies alike. However, usually farm, food, health and other sectors have innovated independently, with each sector remaining in its own silo. Scaling up effective multistakeholder partnerships (MSPs) to produce and promote nutritious food and healthy diet requires new business and collaborative models for threading the needle between conflict and convergence of interest within and between public and private sectors in agriculture, food and health. To be successful, commercially successful food innovation and food-based solutions for economically viable healthcare must consider the motives of eating behavior as well as sustainable health and environment. Convergent Innovation (CI) is introduced as a game-changing MSPs model to bring about the behavioral change and ecosystem transformation this requires in both the industrialized world and emerging economies. It is an integrative approach that targets a ‘sweet spot’, where agriculture, health and wealth outcomes are considered together and leveraged in a holistic manner, one product or project at a time. Pulse Innovation Platforms, to be launched on the occasion of the International Year of Pulses at global and national levels, convene partners from academia, private, public and civil society actor in farm, food and health sectors to “change the world through food”. CI partners aim to accelerate successful go-to-market strategies for appealing and nutritious food innovations in a manner which is both economically and environmentally sustainable.
Coauthors: Srivardhini Jha, PhD2, Chris Lannon, PhD3, Narendra Arora, PhD4, Robert Tyler, PhD5, Prabhu Pingali, PhD6, P.K. Joshi, PhD7, John McDermott, PhD8
1 McGill University, Faculty of Management, MCCHE, Montreal, QC, Canada
2 CGIAR/McGill Centre for Convergence of Health and Economics, Montreal, QC, Canada
3 McGill Centre for Convergence of Health and Economics, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
4 The INCLEN Trust International, New Delhi, India
5 College of Agriculture and Bioresources, University of Saskatchewan, SK, Canada
6 Tata-Cornell Agriculture & Nutrition Initiative, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
7 International Food Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, India
8 CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, Washington, DC, USA

Travel & Lodging

Our Location

The New York Academy of Sciences

7 World Trade Center
250 Greenwich Street, 40th floor
New York, NY 10007-2157

Directions to the Academy

Hotels Near 7 World Trade Center

Recommended partner hotel

Club Quarters, World Trade Center
140 Washington Street
New York, NY 10006
Phone: 212.577.1133

The New York Academy of Sciences is a member of the Club Quarters network, which offers significant savings on hotel reservations to member organizations. Located opposite Memorial Plaza on the south side of the World Trade Center, Club Quarters, World Trade Center is just a short walk to the Academy.

Use Club Quarters Reservation Password NYAS to reserve your discounted accommodations online.

Other nearby hotels

Conrad New York


Millenium Hilton


Marriott Financial Center


Club Quarters, Wall Street


Eurostars Wall Street Hotel


Gild Hall, Financial District


Wall Street Inn


Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park