Mary will serve as the Associate Director for Academic Programs in the Institute. She brings to this position 13 years serving in leadership positions at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, including as Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs at the School from 2011-2013. Mary is a leading scholar in the field of child and adolescent nutrition and child obesity prevention. She has published close to 400 articles in this field, is the director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation national program office of Healthy Eating Research, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine.
Dr. Story has devoted her research career to the study of child and adolescent nutrition and childhood obesity. Her research has focused primarily on nutrition and diet-related issues of low-income and minority youth and their families, and environmental and behavioral community-based obesity prevention interventions for youth. Dr. Story has conducted several NIH funded school and community-based obesity prevention trials. She was the Principal Investigator on the NIH funded, Pathways study, a multi-site school-based obesity intervention for American Indian youth residing on seven Indian reservations; and the NIH/NHLBI funded phase I multi-site obesity prevention study for African American preadolescent girls, The Girls Health Enrichment Multi-Site Studies (GEMS), which developed, implemented and evaluated an after-school obesity prevention program for African American girls ages 8-10. She was PI on Bright Start, a NIH funded school and family-based obesity prevention randomized community trial study on the Pine Ridge reservation with kindergarten and first grade children in 13 schools. She has been a co-investigator on several NIH grants such as Project EAT a longitudinal study of factors influencing diet and obesity in adolescents and young adults, New Moves an obesity prevention trial with adolescent girls and several environmental interventions to improve healthy eating, including several pricing interventions. Since 2005, Dr. Story has directed the Healthy Eating Research program, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that supports research on environmental and policy strategies to promote healthy eating among children to prevent childhood obesity.