French-born American nutritionist Jean Mayer, after a 26 year research and teaching career at Harvard University, became president of Tufts University in 1976. There he created a School of Nutrition and employed a Washington DC firm to lobby Congress to fund a research center at Tufts, now known as the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, the largest research institution in the world devoted to investigating the relationship between nutrition and aging.
Mayer’s own research centered on the regulation of food intake and its consequences for weight. In 1969, President Richard Nixon asked him to organize the seminal first White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health.
Mayer died suddenly of a heart attack at age 72 less than a year after retiring from Tufts.