William H. Dietz, M.D., Ph.D. serves as the Chair of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness and also as the Director of the STOP Obesity Alliance. A noted public health figure, Dr. Dietz has devoted the majority of his career to topics related to obesity, including obesity prevention, nutrition and physical activity. 

From 1997-2012, Dr. Dietz served as the Director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity in the Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Prior to his appointment to the CDC, he was a Professor of Pediatrics at the Tuft's University School of Medicine and Director of Clinical Nutrition at the Floating Hospital of New England Medical Center Hospitals.

Dr. Dietz received a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1966, an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1970, and, after the completion of his residency at Upstate Medical Center, a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Rachel Clark, Policy Director

Christine Gallagher, Research Project Director, STOP Obesity Alliance

Kelly Whittier, Senior Center Specialist, Communications, Outreach & Engagement

To encourage the enrollment of outstanding incoming pre-doctoral students who are interested in nutrition, physical activity, obesity, the Redstone Center provides a doctoral fellowship with 3 years of support at the Milken Institute School of Public Health. We attract outstanding students who are interested in solutions to the syndemic of nutrition, physical activity, obesity and climate change, including sustainability of the food supply chain, and select one student each year for this opportunity.

Our Current Fellows Are:

Sydney Pryor, Health Policy Doctoral candidate
Sydney Pryor

Health Policy

Sydney Pryor, MPH is a third-year PhD candidate in Health Policy and Management focusing on de-siloing food policy and health policy research to achieve healthy and sustainable diets in the U.S. With a background in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, Chronic Disease Epidemiology, and Public Health Modeling, and long-standing interest in food policy and systems thinking, Sydney's research focuses on the U.S. agrifood system, and related policies, as drivers of the nexus between human and planetary health. For her dissertation, Sydney is using a systems approach to explore strategies to overcome policy inertia related to reducing red and processed meat production and consumption in the U.S. As a research assistant at Redstone, Sydney works on a number of policy issues at the local and federal level related to food and nutrition insecurity, diet-related chronic disease, and climate change.

Christie St. Pierre, Exercise Physiology and Applied Nutrition Doctoral candidate
Christie St. Pierre

Exercise Physiology and Applied Nutrition

Christie St. Pierre, MPH, RDN is a doctoral student in the Exercise Physiology and Applied Nutrition Program, where her research focuses on child nutrition & food security, school-based nutrition interventions, and food systems.

Her doctoral work builds on her previous experience with farming, agricultural policy, and dietetic practice in a school-based setting and has included evaluation work with nutrition and physical activity-focused organizations in Washington, DC and New Orleans, as well as a summer research position at the USDA ARS Food Systems Research Unit in Burlington, Vermont.


Mariana Fagundes Grilo, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences Doctoral candidate
Mariana Fagundes Grilo

Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Mariana Fagundes Grilo, MPH, is an international PhD student from Brazil who is passionate about the many ways in which public policies can contribute to healthier food environments. Her current areas of study focus on different aspects of ultra-processed foods (UPFs) consumption: from identification of UPFs in the food supply to population exposure to UPFs and food additives. She is developing studies about the new nutrition labeling being implemented in Brazil, and participating in epidemiological, behavioral, and intervention studies related to UPF and food additives (such as artificial sweeteners) consumption and their impacts on chronic disease.

Previous experience also includes work and research on food and nutrition programs and strategies to guarantee the Human Right to Food, such as food basket and food vouchers programs, in addition to studies on the School Feeding Program in different countries.

Em Português: Mariana Fagundes Grilo, Mestre em Saúde Coletiva, é uma estudante internacional de doutorado, do Brasil, e que é apaixonada pelas várias maneiras pelas quais as políticas públicas podem contribuir para ambientes alimentares mais saudáveis.Sua área de estudo atual inclui diferentes aspectos do consumo de alimentos ultraprocessados (UPPs): desde a identificação de UPPs na oferta de alimentos até a exposição da população a UPPs e aditivos alimentares. Está desenvolvendo estudos sobre a nova rotulagem nutricional no Brasil e está participando de estudos epidemiológicos, comportamentais e de intervenção relacionados ao consumo de UPP e aditivos alimentares (como adoçantes artificiais) e seus impactos em doenças crônicas.

Experiências anteriores de pesquisa incluem trabalhos com programas e estratégias de alimentação e nutrição para garantir o Direito Humano à Alimentação, como programas de distribuição de cestas verdes e vale-alimentação, além de estudos sobre o Programa de Alimentação Escolar em diversos países.

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To further deepen engagement within the Milken Institute SPH and amplify work across departments and the broader university community, the Redstone Center established an Internal Advisory Group (IAG) in 2015. Members meet annually to provide strategic support and guidance on the Center’s projects and plans.

Current membership includes:

Lynn Goldman, Michael and Lori Milken Dean of Milken Institute School of Public Health and Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health

Jim Tielsch, Professor and Chair of the Department of Global Health

Deanna Kerrigan, Professor and Chair of the Department of Prevention and Community Health

Anne Marcus, Professor and Chair, Department of Health Policy and Management

Jennifer Sacheck-Ward, Sanofi Professor of Prevention and Wellness and Chair, Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

The work of the Redstone Center is guided by an External Advisory Group (EAG), which meets on an annual basis to provide direction and recommendations. Created in December 2015, the EAG has helped to define Redstone’s scope of work and identify new opportunities, including special consideration of policy development and implementation.

Current membership includes:

Sue Curry, Dean, University of Iowa College of Public Health and Distinguished Professor, Department of Health Management and Policy

Steven Gortmaker, Professor of the Practice of Health Sociology, Harvard University School of Public Health

Mauricio Hernandez Avila, Secretary General – IANPHI Mexico Secretariat, National Institute of Public Health

LaQuandra Nesbitt, Director, DC Department of Health

Russel Pate, Professor, Department of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina

Joseph Wright, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Capital Region Health, University of Maryland Medical System