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Symposium Seeks Solutions for Global Micronutrient Deficiencies

Multi-disciplinary experts will showcase roadmaps for countering folate, thiamine and vitamin D deficiencies.

Published October 17, 2018

NEW YORK, September 17, 2018 — More than two billion adults and half of the world’s children lack the basic dietary nutrients required for healthy physical and cognitive development, disease prevention and general wellbeing. An important global health issue, micronutrient deficiency is especially troubling because its impact isn’t always apparent, yet its effects can be fatal. Reducing micronutrient deficiency is an important solution to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals focused on zero hunger and good health and well-being.

On October 30th, 2018 international experts in the fields of public health, healthcare, biochemistry and nutrition will meet to present their conclusions on countering worldwide folate, thiamine and vitamin D deficiencies during a half day symposium assembled by the Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science, the Micronutrient Forum (hosted by Nutrition International) and sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation at the New York Academy of Sciences. Topics to be discussed will include the prevalence of deficiency arising from inadequate intake of folate, thiamine or vitamin D, the disease burden associated with deficiency in each of those micronutrients, and solutions to improve micronutrient status in affected populations. Conclusions from the program will be published as two Special Issues of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Registration will open at 1:00 p.m. and speakers will present from 1:00 p.m. to 4:35 p.m. at the New York Academy of Sciences, 7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich Street, 40th floor, NYC. A networking session will follow the final presentation.

Each of the presenters will be available for an interview.

Presenters include: 

Assessment and Control of Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies Globally, Kenneth Brown, MD, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Global Prevalence & Disease Burden of Vitamin D Deficiency: A Roadmap for Action in Low- and Middle-Income Countries Daniel Roth, MD, PhD, Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto;

Kevin Cashman, PhD, RPHNutr, University of Cork

Thiamine Deficiency Disorders: Diagnosis, Prevalence, and a Roadmap for Global Control Programs

Gerald Combs, Jr., PhD, Tufts University; Aviva Fattal-Valevski, MD, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Tel Aviv University; Kyly Whitfield, PhD, Mount Saint Vincent University

Executing a Technical Consultation on Folate Status in Women and Neural Tube Defects Prevention

Homero Martinez, MD, PhD, Nutrition International; Lynn Bailey, PhD, University of Georgia

If you’re unable to attend in person, you can register for the symposium’s webinar.

About the Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science

The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science at the New York Academy of Sciences is dedicated to advancing nutrition science research and knowledge, mobilizing communities, and translating this work into the field. The Institute is generating a coordinated network across sectors, disciplines, and geographies that promotes open communication; encourages exchange of information and resources; nurtures the next generation of scientists; and affects community intervention design and public policy changes. Visit for more information.


Marie Gentile

Director of Communications