Message from the Director

Reflections on another year working to eliminate chronic disease

Dr. ThornburgFor the Moore Institute, 2018 was a year of relationship building and laying the groundwork for future projects. Guiding us through our work has been our mission to reduce the prevalence of chronic disease in this generation and the next.
We've been gathering stories and information about nutrition work underway around the state since the Ford Family Foundation supported an intensive planning phase for Nutrition Oregon Campaign development in 2016-17. This year saw the development of the Core Collaborators Group, a small group representing organizations with missions that intersect with the work of the campaign. Their commitment is helping us identify common areas of interest where we can support one another to move this work forward. They've also helped us refine our strategy and vision for the campaign. We're already finding projects on which we can collaborate. We all realize that working jointly we can accomplish work that we could never do individually. 

 We've also deepened relationships with existing partners. Our work over the years with Familias en Acción led them to see the important role nutrition and toxic stress is playing in the changing health of Oregon Latinx. They are in the process of developing a curriculum, grounded in the tenets of Developmental Origins science, for Latinx families and we've been supporting them, introducing them to contacts around the state and cheering them on in any way we can. 

This year we introduced two new faces to the Moore Institute team. Bert Boyer, Ph.D. and Scarlett Hopkins, R.N., M.A., will be continuing their research into the role of changing diets among Native Alaskan Yup'ik tribes and sharing their vast wealth of community-based participatory research knowledge with us. We also had to say goodbye to our dear friend and founding benefactor, Charlee Moore, who died last month. She was an inspiring example of living your life according to your values and she will be missed. 

Thinking ahead, we've been planning a national conference on nutritional needs during pregnancy. The Vitamix Foundation is generously supporting the conference to be held in Washington, D.C. in May of 2019. We will be bringing together leading clinicians and scientists working in women's health. The planned result is a consensus statement agreeing on the most important factors providers need to know about the importance of nutrition during pregnancy in preventing poor outcomes for the mother and child, both at birth and throughout life. This conference will help reinforce the Moore Institute as a leading national voice in the importance of nutrition during the first 1,000 days. 

We're also planning a conference in Uzbekistan. After building initial interest with the Uzbekistan government in how the science of Developmental Origins could improve population health in a country still dealing with the repercussions from the dissolution of the Soviet Union, we applied for and received funding from USAID. The conference will bring international DOHaD scientists to Uzbekistan next fall to present on the topic to government and health officials. We are excited about the opportunity to influence the health of people who do not ordinarily exchange information with medical scientists in the west.  

None of this work would be possible without the dedication of our office staff, committee members partners and volunteers who work tirelessly to support the Moore Institute and its mission. I'm excited to see the results of our hard work unfurl over the coming years and look forward to sharing the results with you all soon. 


Kent L. Thornburg, Ph.D.
Director, OHSU Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness