Scientific and Research Board

Advisory Board

     Michael Beckwith

     Joe Cross

     Deborah Morin

     Alanis Morissette

     Harry Ploss


Scientific and Research Board

Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
Director of Research

Joel Fuhrman M.D. is a board-certified family physician, best-selling author and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional methods. He is the author of seven books on human nutrition including the New York Times best-selling, Eat to Live (2003), his newest release, Super Immunity (2011), and Disease Proof Your Child (2005). Dr. Fuhrman is actively involved in scientific research in human nutrition. His most recent scientific study on food addiction and human hunger was published in the scientific journal, Nutritional Journal, November 2010, entitled, "The Changing Perception of Hunger on a High Nutrient Density Diet." Dr. Fuhrman is on the board of directors of the American Academy of Lifestyle Medicine. He is also a member of the Whole Foods Market scientific advisory board. Dr. Fuhrman is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (1988) and has received the St. Joseph's Family Practice Resident's Teaching Award for his contribution to the education of residents. In addition, Dr. Fuhrman speaks to other physicians at hospital grand rounds and provides nutritional education to physicians for CME credit.
Steven Acocella, MS, DC, DACBN
Dr. Steven Acocella brings both an educational and organizational background to the Nutritional Research Foundation. He holds a baccalaureate degree from the University of Southern California, a Master of Science in Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport and received his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from the Southern California University of Health Sciences. In addition, Dr. Acocella is a Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition. During his years in private practice he has held many positions in professional associations and regulatory licensing boards. He served as District Representative, Secretary Treasurer and then Vice President of the Maryland Chiropractic Association. He was a 2-term Maryland State Representative in the National Congress of Professional State Associations. He also has long held the Physician’s Rehabilitation Committee Chairmanship for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene licensing board. Dr. Acocella is also a certified member of the American Board of Quality Utilization Review Physicians. He is currently active in writing and research and has written many articles, contributed to several best-selling books and is twice journal published in the area of clinical nutrition.

Thomas Davenport, M.D. 
Thomas Davenport, MD is a plastic surgeon practicing on Long Island, New York. He received his medical degree from Yale University, and his surgery training in general surgery and plastic surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University Program. As a fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital in New York City, Tom pursued specialty training in cancer reconstruction and cosmetic surgery. In 2000, ReSurge awarded him the prestigious Webster Fellowship. As the Webster fellow, Tom traveled around the world performing reconstructive surgery and lecturing on plastic surgery. He was also awarded an additional fellowship at Harvard University to work at the Shriner Burn Hospital for Children in the reconstruction of burn and accident victims. Tom has extensive experience working with non-profit development and has been on the board of ReSurge International (formerly Interplast) since 2008. ReSurge performs reconstructive and burn surgery as well as provides training for surgeons in developing countries. In 2010, Tom was also a founding board member of Mission Restore, an NPO providing hospital support and surgeon training to select countries devastated by war and poverty.


Michael Greger, MD

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, MD, is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. He has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the International Bird Flu Summit, the National Institutes of Health, testified before Congress, and was invited as an expert witness in the defense of Oprah Winfrey in the infamous "meat defamation" trial. He is a graduate of Cornell University School of Agriculture and Tufts University School of Medicine. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available at


David JA Jenkins, MD, D.Sc, Ph.D

Educated at Oxford University, Dr. Jenkins is currently a professor in both the Departments of Nutritional Sciences and Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, a staff physician in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and the Director of the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center, St. Michael's Hospital. He has served on committees in Canada and the United States that have formulated nutritional guidelines for the treatment of diabetes and most recently recommendations for fibre and macronutrient intake for the general population under the new joint United States-Canada DRI system (RDAs) of the National Academy of Sciences (Washington, DC). His team was the first to define and explore the concept of the glycemic index of foods and demonstrate the breadth of metabolic effects of viscous soluble fiber, including blood glucose and cholesterol lowering. His studies on combining cholesterol lowering food components (dietary portfolio) have been recognized as creating an effective dietary alternative to drug therapy (statins) for many people and was the only dietary approach referenced in 2004 Guidelines update of the US National Cholesterol Education Program (ATP III) and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) guidelines for 2012. He has received many National and International awards in recognition of his contribution to nutrition research. He believes that diets have to be palatable and more readily available to encourage dietary adherence, equally they have to be environmentally sustainable.



Dr. Joel K. Kahn is Clinical Professor of Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine and Medical Director of Wellness Programs, Preventive Cardiology, and Cardiac Rehabilitation at Detroit Medical Center. Dr. Kahn is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and its subspecialty board in Cardiovascular Disease and Interventional Cardiology. He also holds a special certification from the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology and the National Radiation Commission. He has served as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at Wayne State University School of Medicine since 1993. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School (Inteflex program), Dr. Kahn is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, Amercian College of Physicians, and the Society of Cardiac Angiography and Interventions. He has been a member of the American Heart Association, the National Lipid Association, the American Society of Preventive Cardiology, the American Society of Hypertension, and the Michigan State and Oakland County Medical Societies. He has authored over 130 articles on heart disease, over 10 book chapters, and several monographs and video national presentations. He is a frequent lecturer on heart disease and its prevention. He has performed thousands of cardiac catheterizations and stent procedures. He has been advising patients on heart healthy programs for over 20 years.


Brian K. Kennedy, PhD

Dr. Brian Kennedy is internationally recognized for his research in the basic biology of aging and as a visionary committed to translating research discoveries into new ways of detecting, preventing and treating age-related conditions. These include Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, cancer, stroke, diabetes and heart disease among others. He leads a team of 20 principal investigators at the Buck Institute - all of whom are involved in interdisciplinary research aimed at extending the healthy years of life. He is actively involved in aging research in the Pacific Rim, which features the largest elderly population in the world. He is a visiting professor at the Aging Research Institute at Guangdong Medical College in China. He is also an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Washington, Seattle.


Michael Klaper, MD

Dr. Michael Klaper is a practicing physician with over 40 years experience in general practice and acute care medicine. He graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago, served his medical internship at Vancouver General Hospital in British Columbia and undertook additional training in surgery, anesthesiology, orthopedics, and obstetrics at the University of California Hospitals in San Francisco. Dr. Klaper serves on the staff of the True North Health Center in Santa Rosa, CA, a nutritionally-based medical clinic specializing in therapeutic fasting and health improvement through a whole-foods, plant-based diet. He is Director of the non-profit Institute of Nutrition Education and Research, to further the education of physicians and other health professionals on the importance of nutrition in clinical practice. He is also a member of the Nutrition Task Force of the American Medical Student Association. Dr. Klaper has served as an advisor to the NASA project on nutrition for long-term space colonists on the moon and Mars. An author of successful books and videos on cholesterol-free nutrition, he has contributed to the making of two PBS television programs, "Food for Thought," and the award-winning, "Diet for a New America."


Robert H. Lerman, MD, PhD

Robert H. Lerman, MD, PhD, is a board-certified internist. He received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, completed a rotating internship at Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco and residency training in internal medicine at Tripler General Hospital in Honolulu. Subsequently, he worked as Chief of Medicine in U.S. Army hospitals in Berlin, Germany and Vicenza, Italy and achieved the rank of major in the US Army Medical Corps. Following his military duty, he received fellowship training in nephrology at Soroka Medical Center of the Negev in Be’er Sheba, Israel. Later, he completed a fellowship in Clinical Nutrition at University Hospital (now Boston Medical Center) in Boston and received a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is an Adjunct Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. His past positions include Acting Chief of Nephrology at Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheba, Israel; Attending Physician in Internal Medicine Shaare Tsedek Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel; Director of Clinical Nutrition at Boston Medical Center; Chief of Nutrition at Jewish Memorial Hospital in Boston; Director of Medicine and Extramural Clinical Research for Metagenics, Inc; and Director of Medical Education and Senior Medical Education Advisor for the Institute for Functional Medicine. Dr Lerman is author or coauthor of numerous scientific publications and has lectured nationally and internationally.


David Nanus, MD

Dr. Nanus is an internationally recognized leader in the treatment and care of patients with genitourinary (GU) cancers, including cancers of the prostate, kidney, bladder and testes. He is actively involved in clinical, translational and basic research in GU malignancies, serving as principle or co-investigator on a variety of clinical research trials that incorporate novel targeted therapies for his patients. Since 2004, Dr. Nanus has served as Co-Chief of the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Weill Cornell Medical College at Cornell University and Clinical Chief of the Division. He is the recipient of numerous awards including membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians.


Barbara Sarter PhD, APRN, FNP-C, DiHom

Dr. Barbara Sarter is currently an Associate Professor in Advanced Practice Nursing at the University of San Diego. Previously she was an Associate Professor of Nursing and Family Medicine at the University of Southern California. She obtained her Ph.D. in Nursing from New York University. Dr. Sarter is the author of three books and numerous articles. She is a family nurse practitioner in active practice. She had an internship in nutritional medicine with Dr. Fuhrman and in 2004 completed a fellowship in clinical cancer genetics at the City of Hope Medical Center, where she investigated the biological mechanisms by which herbs and foods can help prevent various cancers. Dr. Sarter specializes in integrative treatment of health problems in men, women and children.


Andrew SwickAndrew Swick, PhD

Dr. Swick has broad experience in metabolism and nutrition research and expertise in relevant cell and animal models, clinical study design and translational research. He joined Metagenics, Inc. as Vice President of Nutritional Science in 2013. Prior to that, he was an Associate Professor and Director of Obesity and Eating Disorders Research at the Nutrition Research Institute of the University of North Carolina. Before joining the University of North Carolina, Dr. Swick was Senior Director of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases at Pfizer Global Research and Development working on target validation, biomarker discovery, animal models and translational research in diabetes and obesity. While at Pfizer, his research was primarily in the area of metabolic diseases and obesity, focusing on the molecular mechanisms that regulate body weight and obesity-associated comorbidities with an eye on the translation of preclinical results to the clinical situation.

Dr. Swick earned a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Wisconsin, an M.S. in Nutrition from the University of Nebraska and a B.S. in Animal Science from the University of Florida. In addition, he received postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center and the University of North Carolina Lineberger Cancer Research Center.




Jerry Deutsch
Executive Director

Jerry Deutsch is the Executive Director of the Nutritional Reseach Foundation, working to establish research investigating the relationship between diet, lifestyle and health. He has been involved with health promotion and education for over 20 years, serving as past president of the National Health Association and many years on the Board of Directors. Jerry attended Cornell University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development. He received advanced degrees from Purdue University and Aarhus University in Denmark. Jerry founded Deutsch Organization and as its President and CEO, built, developed, and operated 15 retail jewelry stores (Deutsch Jewelers, John Gerald Jewelers, and Keepsake Diamond Center) and 5 card and gift stores (Hallmark and Cardtech). Jerry has worked as a business coach with MCA consulting, and as an independent consultant in both business and health. His work has helped develop programs for hundreds of professional coaches in the areas of business, health and wellness, family counseling, and personal development.


Michael Singer
Research Assistant

Michael Singer is currently a Research Assistant of the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group and Nutritional Research Foundation, assisting physicians in the funding, design, and implementation of clinical research.  In 2011, he was awarded a NY STEM grant to conduct research examining hematopoietic stem cell transplantation survivorship at Cornell University’s Biotechnology Center. Michael founded and led an action sports team sponsored by Sobe Lifewater and others, volunteered as an environmental health advocate, and sang a cappella prior to graduating from Cornell University with a degree in nutritional sciences and a concentration in neurobiology. He has since worked as a science writer, operations manager, health coach, and independent consultant in New York.


Julie Butterfield

Julie Butterfield writes nutrition and news pieces for Nutritional Research Foundation. While living in Italy, she wrote food truisms and humor essays for The Florentine. In 2009, she researched and wrote food facts and statistics for the New York Times bestselling Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half. Julie joined Nutritional Research Foundation in 2013.