Johanna T. Dwyer, D.Sc., R.D., Senior Nutrition Scientist

Johanna T. Dwyer, D.Sc., R.D., is a Senior Nutrition Scientist at the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). At ODS her work involves the development of the Dietary Supplement Label Database, a compendium that aims to include virtually all dietary supplement labels sold in the United States, and the Dietary Supplement Ingredient Database that provides analytically substantiated values for key ingredients in commonly used types of dietary supplements and related research and training activities involving these tools. She is also involved in several activities of the ODS population studies group involving dietary supplements and health outcomes particularly among high-risk groups (including pregnant women, older adults, children, and those suffering from disease) and on supplements’ role in nutrition screening, quality of life, and dietary assessment.

She also holds positions as the Director of the Frances Stern Nutrition Center at Tufts Medical Center, Professor of Medicine (Nutrition) and Community Health at the School of Medicine, and Professor of Nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. She is also a Senior Scientist at the Jean Mayer/U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. Prior to her position at Tufts, she was on the faculty of the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Dwyer is the author or co-author of more than 250 original research articles and 280 review articles published in scientific journals and 2 books on topics including preventing diet-related disease in children and adolescents, maximizing quality of life and health in the elderly, and vegetarian and other alternative lifestyles. More recently her work has centered on the safety, quality, efficacy, and use of dietary supplements.

In addition to her work as a scholar and clinician, her interests in public policy and specifically nutrition policy have led to extensive involvement and assignments in Washington, DC. Work on such projects has included the White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health; the organization of nutrition research in the federal government; strengthening the role of human nutrition in the USDA; and assuring that the national population-based nutrition surveys remain strong.

Dr. Dwyer was a member of President Carter’s President’s Reorganization Project in the Executive Office of the President and was vice chair and later chair of the food advisory group of the Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress. As a Congressional staffer and Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow, she served on the personal staffs of Senator Richard Lugar (R-Indiana) and the Hon. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) (1980–1981). She was Assistant Administrator for Human Nutrition at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (2001–2).

Her federal service also includes NIH study sections, the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences (1990–2002) and the Dietary Guidelines Committee (2000).

She is active in several professional associations. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, past President of the American Institute of Nutrition (now the American Society for Nutrition), past Secretary of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, and past President and Fellow of the Society for Nutrition Education.

Her honors and awards include the W. O. Atwater Award from the USDA, the J. Harvey Wiley Award from the Society for Nutrition Education, the Conrad Elvejhem award for public service of the American Society for Nutrition, the American Dietetic Association’s Medallion award, the Elaine Monsen award of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Trailblazer award of the Institute of Food Technologists and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the distinguished alumna award of the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Dwyer was named among the 1,000 female biomedical scientists and best medical scientists in the United States by in 2022.

Dr. Dwyer received her D.Sc. and M.Sc. from the Harvard School of Public Health, her M.S. from the University of Wisconsin, and her undergraduate degree with distinction from Cornell University.