Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, 1977
|The Jean Mayer United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Human Nutrition Research Center (HNRC) on Aging was established by act of Congress in 1977, along with five other mission-oriented research centers. The HNRC is operated by Tufts University under the authority of the USDA as a government-owned, contractor-operated facility. The HNRC, situated in downtown Boston on the Tufts Health Sciences campus, opened officially in November 1982.|
The mission of the HNRC is to examine the relationship between nutrition and aging, and it was the first research center in the world to have that specific focus. Research at the center aims to suggest ways in which diet, alone and in association with other factors, can delay or prevent the onset of degenerative conditions associated with the aging process.
The HNRC was founded through the advocacy of Jean Mayer, Tufts president and renowned nutritionist. The center's placement in New England was chosen because the large population of older citizens, the variety of ethnic and economic groups, and its urban/rural character make it a microcosm of the US as a whole.
The HNRC is located on the corner of Stuart and Washington Streets on the Boston campus in a building constructed to house the center in 1982.The building was designed by Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson, and Abbott, and was dedicated in November 5, 1982.Prior to that time the center's activities were housed elsewhere on the Boston campus.