Steven A. Abrams is the director of the Dell Pediatric Research Institute and professor of pediatrics. Abrams has developed and championed the use of stable isotopes to determine mineral requirements and physiological turnover rates in infants and children. He developed the mass spectrometric methods and analytical approaches allowing populations throughout the world to obtain critical data needed for food fortification strategies to be effective.
His research has also furthered understanding of the physiological basis for hormonal changes during growth affecting bone formation and turnover using mathematical modeling techniques adapted by his team for infants and small children. He has conducted research studies using mineral isotopes in more than 20 countries and for 25 years operated the largest nutritional research lab in the world analyzing biological samples for mineral isotope enrichment. He has frequently consulted with governments and has been a trainer for the International Atomic Energy Agency in developing the skills of scientists in countries including Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia and South Africa on isotopic techniques as applying to human nutrition.
He has also authored dozens of methodological papers and a textbook relating disease processes to nutrient metabolism. He continues to consult frequently with companies related to product design to incorporate key nutrients, especially calcium and iron, in their products. In 2016, he received the highest award in the pediatric nutritional research community, the Samuel J. Fomon Nutrition Award, for his contributions to helping improve the health of children through application of mineral stable isotope research.
Abrams has served as a member of the Committee on Nutrition of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is now chair of that committee. He has published numerous editorials advocating for healthy nutrition and other health care needs of children. From 2012-15, he was a member of the Dietary Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, being the first pediatrician member of that committee in 25 years. That committee advises the U.S. government for all of its nutrition programs. He has served as an adviser to international governments on nutrition policy, especially in Peru and Panama, where he has met with government leaders to help develop strategies to fight malnutrition. Abrams routinely interacts with underrepresented minority students in advocating for their role in scientific discovery and has been a mentor to many such students advancing in their scientific careers.
American Academy of Pediatrics
Chair, Committee on Nutrition, 2017-21
Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee
Samuel J. Fomon Nutrition Award
American Academy of Pediatrics, 2016