Mark J. Manary, MD
Mark J. Manary, MD, the Helene B. Roberson Professor of Pediatrics and a highly regarded pediatric emergency medicine physician, is being honored for his research on malnutrition in children.
His early professional experiences in missionary medicine — in Tanzania and at an Indian reservation in South Dakota — set the course for Manary’s career. In both locations, he witnessed firsthand the health problems poverty imposes on children.
Throughout his career, Manary has returned to Africa, including two years as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Malawi College of Medicine. His studies established peanut butter as a practical, high-quality food that effectively combats malnutrition; he developed a ready-to-use, peanut butter-based therapeutic food that is saving millions of children’s lives in Africa and beyond and is now the World Health Organization’s gold standard for treatment of malnutrition.
Manary is the director of Global Harvest Alliance, a joint venture of St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Washington University and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center that is focused on developing native foods to combat malnutrition in the world’s poorest countries. Currently the group is working on a genetically engineered, nutrient-fortified cassava plant. With Washington University colleagues, he is also collaborating on research funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation looking at the role of gut microbes in nutritional status. Manary remains a dedicated and compassionate physician and colleague, as well as a respected educator and mentor of medical students and residents.
Manary earned his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1977 and his medical degree from Washington University in 1982. He completed postgraduate training in pediatrics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and joined the Washington University faculty in 1989. Since 1994, he has been a senior lecturer at the University of Malawi College of Medicine.