At Arkansas Children's Research Institute, Dr. Mario Ferruzzi serves as the Director of the Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center, a partnership between USDA-Agricultural Research Service and ACRI with a research focus on maternal-child nutrition and physical activity in optimizing health and development. He received his BS in Chemistry from Duke University and Ph.D. in Food Science and Nutrition from The Ohio State University. Before coming to ACRI, Dr. Ferruzzi served as a David H. Murdock Distinguished Professor at North Carolina State University's Plants for Human Health Institute. Presently within the UAMS Department of Pediatrics, he is a Professor and Chief of the Section of Developmental Nutrition. Dr. Ferruzzi also holds the Arkansas Children's Endowed Chair in Digestive Disease & Nutrition Research.
Dr. Ferruzzi's research interests interface agriculture, food, and nutrition sciences in the study of micronutrient and phytochemical bioavailability, metabolism and impact on human health. He focuses on strategies that can be leveraged to improve food products' nutritional and functional quality for at-risk populations. His primary efforts have focused on the characterization of plant foods, including exploring the chemistries and functionalities of bioactive phytochemicals and micronutrients. His group has emphasized studying how food formulation and processing impact the bioavailability, metabolism, and potential nutritional and health impacts of phytochemicals and micronutrients. Dr. Ferruzzi's efforts have received consistent research support from federal, foundational and industry sources. His efforts include significant international food and nutrition research and translational collaborations with leading academic and government research centers and institutions in Italy, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Senegal, and South Africa.
Dr. Ferruzzi serves on the USDA's National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics (NAREEE) Advisory Board providing insight into food and agriculture research priorities. He also guides key stakeholder groups, including food manufacturers and associations, on the interface of food and nutrition sciences and developing and assessing food products. He is a professional member of the Institute of Food Technologists, the American Society for Nutrition, the American Chemical Society, the Institute for the Advancement of Food and Nutrition Sciences, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.