Dr. Lichtenstein is the Stanley N. Gershoff Professor of Nutrition Science and Policy in the Friedman School, and Director and Senior Scientist of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA), both at Tufts University. She holds secondary appointments as an Associated Faculty member in the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Center and Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. In 2005 Dr. Lichtenstein was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from the medical faculty of the University of Kuopio in Finland. Dr. Lichtenstein completed her undergraduate work at Cornell University, holds a masters degree from the Pennsylvania State University, and masters and doctoral degrees from Harvard University. She received her post-doctoral training in the field of lipid metabolism at the Cardiovascular Institute at Boston University School of Medicine.
At the HNRCA Dr. Lichtenstein’s research group focuses on assessing the interplay between diet and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Past and current work includes addressing issues related to trans fatty acids, soy protein and isoflavones, sterol/stanol esters, novel vegetable oils differing in fatty acid profile and glycemic index, in postmenopausal females and older males. Selected issues are investigated in animal models and cell systems with the aim of determining the mechanisms by which dietary factors alter cardiovascular disease risk. Additional work is focused on population basis studies to address the relationship between cholesterol homeostasis biomarkers and nutrient intake biomarkers, and cardiovascular disease risk; and on the application of systematic review methods to the field of nutrition.
Dr. Lichtenstein currently serves the Executive Editor of the Tufts Health and Nutrition Letter and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Lipid Research. She served on the 2000 and 2015 (vice-chair) Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committees of the USDA and HHS, and 2003 Dietary Reference Intake Macronutrient Panel of the Institute of Medicine. In 2006 she received the Robert H. Herman Memorial Award in Clinical Nutrition from the American Society for Nutrition and in 2007 the Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism. In 2008 Dr. Lichtenstein received the AHA’s Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Council Women’s Mentoring Award and in 2010 the Excellence in Dietary Guidance Award from the American Public Health Association. In 2016 she received the David Kritchevsky Career Achievement Award in Nutrition from the American Society for Nutrition and in 2017 Holman Career Achievement Award from the American Oil Chemist Society.
Dr. Lichtenstein is a member and was past-chair of the AHA Nutrition Committee. She served as the vice-chair of the Examination of Front-of-Package Nutrition Rating Systems and Symbols, member of the Sodium Intake in Populations Assessment of Evidence panels and is currently serving on the Dietary Reference Intake for Sodium and Potassium review panel for the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Lichtenstein served as vice-chair of the 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults and member of the AHA/ACC Guideline on Lifestyle Management to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk panels. She is currently a member of the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.