Professor Alan A Jackson

Professor of Human Nutrition within Medicine
Year Fellowship awarded: 
University of Southampton

Professor Alan Jackson was appointed to the first Chair in Human Nutrition in an undergraduate medical school in the UK in 1985. He trained in paediatrics before taking up a post caring for severely malnourished children and carrying out research to determine the adaptive mechanisms that come into play in that condition and need to be addressed for successful therapy. His work help determine the needs for energy, individual macronutrients and micronutrients which contributed directly to the development of the World Health Organization guidelines for the treatment and prevention of severe malnutrition. These underlying principles were applied to the care of malnourished hospitalised patients in the UK leading to the establishment of effective nutrition support teams and eventually the recognition of intestinal failure as a condition requiring fundamental capability in nutritional care. He established the Institute of Human Nutrition and structured training in nutrition for undergraduate and postgraduate health professionals. He was the foundation Chair of the government body for risk assessment, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. Currently he is Director of NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre for Nutrition. His research has covered all aspects of human nutrition, with a strong focus on the use of stable isotopes to determine body composition and functional capability at the level of individual tissues and the whole body. For many years, he collaborated closely with David Barker to lay the nutritional foundations and molecular basis of the early life origins of adult disease. He was instrumental in the formation of the Intercollegiate Group in Nutrition, now the Academy Nutrition Group of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. He was the foundation President and Chair of the Association for Nutrition, the modern regulatory body for the nutrition profession which accredits training, holds a register and has as its primary objective protection of the public.