Mary Frances Picciano Dietary Supplement Research Practicum

Practicum attendees


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  • Presentations from the 2023 Mary Frances Picciano Dietary Supplement Research Practicum were recorded and are available on our videos page.


The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers the Mary Frances Picciano Dietary Supplement Research Practicum, a multi-day educational opportunity to provide fundamental knowledge of dietary supplements to faculty, students, and practitioners with a serious interest in this subject. This comprehensive educational practicum provides a thorough overview and grounding about issues, concepts, unknowns, and controversies about dietary supplements and supplement ingredients. It also emphasizes the importance of scientific investigations to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and value of these products for health promotion and disease prevention as well as how to carry out this type of research.

a moderated panel from a previous PracticumThe faculty consists of experts from NIH, academic institutions, federal regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Participants also hear from representatives of the dietary supplement industry, consumer advocacy groups, and media who study, advocate, regulate, or educate about dietary supplements.

The practicum is designed to cover a range of topics, including:

  • Supplement use in the United States and reasons for use
  • The regulatory framework governing supplements
  • Designing and conducting studies on dietary supplements
  • Challenges when studying dietary supplements and dietary supplement ingredients
  • Resources available to researchers
  • Supplement quality

To learn more about our sessions, please refer to our 2023 agenda as an example.

Past Practicums

Presentations from previous years' Dietary Supplement Research Practicums were recorded and those videos are available for viewing.

Contact Us

To reach practicum coordinators with your specific questions, email:

Mary Frances Picciano, Ph.D.

Mary Frances Picciano, Ph.D.The Dietary Supplement Research Practicum is named for Mary Frances Picciano, who was a Senior Nutrition Research Scientist at the Office of Dietary Supplements from 2001 until her death in August 2010 after a long battle with cancer. Dr. Picciano led the creation and development of this practicum, which was first conducted in May 2007. She was especially proud of the way it has grown, evolved, and attracts more applicants every year. The practicum is a highly regarded, annually offered educational opportunity for academicians and students on all aspects of dietary supplements, from research to regulation.

More about the life, career, and professional accomplishments of Mary Frances Picciano, this exceptional woman who was a dynamic and caring colleague, may be found in a published tribute in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.