Deborah Diersen-Schade 2006
Deborah A. Diersen-Schade
'78 Animal Science
MS '81, Nutritional Physiology
PhD '84, Nutritoinal Physiology
Deborah A. Diersen-Schade (’78 animal science, MS ’81 and PhD ’84 nutritional physiology) has made infants the focus of her life’s work in nutritional science, and thanks to her efforts, some babies—both full term and pre-term—may expect to live fuller, healthier lives.
After receiving her PhD from Iowa State and doing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Hormel Institute, Dr. Diersen-Schade joined Mead Johnson Nutritionals as a nutrition scientist. For the past 20 years she has led Mead Johnson’s research on lipid nutrition of infants. Her work has led to what some experts describe as “the most signicant innovation in infant formula composition in several decades,” and earned her the admiration and respect of nutritionists and scientists worldwide.
Dr. Diersen-Schade has applied the groundbreaking work on the impact of omega-3 fatty acids in brain and eye development by other leading nutrition scientists, including fellow Iowa State alumna Dr. Susan Carlson, on infant nutrition and development. The results have helped Mead Johnson become the first company to obtain FDA allowance to market infant formulas with added long-chain polyunsaturated acids (DHA and ARA) and, more importantly, provided advancements in infant nutrition that will have worldwide benefit in improving infant health and development.
Dr. Diersen-Schade’s career with Mead Johnson has been one of outstanding achievement in nutrition science. She has advanced from scientist to senior scientist, principal research scientist and senior principal research scientist to Mead Johnson’s highest scientic distinction, that of Research Fellow, which is equivalent to Distinguished Professor in the academic world. She is co-inventor on five patents or pending patent applications, and has more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and abstracts and six invited presentations to her credit, not including her numerous presentations to Mead Johnson/Brystol Myers Squibb U.S. scientists, collaborators and consultants worldwide. She is a full member of the American Society for Nutrition, the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids, and the American Oil Chemists’ Society, having served on its governing board from 1999 to 2002. Dr. Diersen-Schade and her husband, James Schade, are annual members of the ISU Alumni Association.
They reside in Evansville, Ind., and have two children, Andrew and Michael.