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Researchers team up to provide new hope for childhood hunger
Date:7/27/2009

ST. LOUIS, MO, July 28, 2009 A St. Louis-based team of plant and physician-scientists with a vision of eradicating malnutrition throughout the developing world today announced the formation of the Global Harvest Alliance (GHA), a humanitarian effort involving St. Louis Children's Hospital, The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and Washington University School of Medicine. Though they share a commonality of purpose, each institution brings unique strengths and world-class leadership within their respective fields to bear on this global challenge.

The focus of the newly formed Alliance will be to create low-cost, nutritionally complete foods to prevent and treat all forms of under-nutrition. These foods will incorporate crops that are protein and micronutrient rich, disease-and pest-resistant, and that can be disseminated through smallholder farmers.

Heading the GHA team is Mark Manary, M.D., a leader in the field of childhood malnutrition who is the Helene B. Roberson Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine; and member, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. Manary has a successful track record with such innovation; his peanut butter-based ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition has consistently resulted in 90% recovery rates in research and operational projects. The World Health Organization officially declared Manary's RUTF the most effective method by which malnourished children should be restored to health.

Manary's work extends beyond RUTF. He explores the basic mechanisms by which malnutrition compromises human health, gaining new scientific insights to improve and refine his approach to combating malnutrition. Understanding that even a successful food-based approach to treating malnutrition will never prevent it, in 2004 he began to collaborate with colleagues at the Danforth Plant Science Center to create a formidable preventive strategy. The intent is to en
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Contact: Beth Miller
millerbe@wustl.edu
314-286-0119
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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