Center Leadership

Sarah Booth

Sarah Booth, PhD
Center Director
Senior Scientist

Dr. Sarah Booth is Director of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (HNRCA) and Senior Scientist and also leads all research projects focused on diet and the aging brain and sensory systems. The mission of the HNRCA, one of the largest research centers in the world studying nutrition and its relationship to healthy aging and physical activity, is to promote healthy and active aging based on research focused on nutrition and physical activity choices that encourage vitality. It is one of six human nutrition research centers supported by the United States Department of Agriculture and one of six Clinical Centers supporting the NIH’s Nutrition for Precision Health initiative.

Dr. Booth is a professor in the Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition Program at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. She is also Vice President elect for the American Society of Nutrition and a member of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee.

Dr. Booth is also an international leader in vitamin K research. She and her team recently were the first to examine Vitamin D levels in the brain and discovered that low levels of vitamins D and K are associated with cognitive decline. She developed the methodology for measuring vitamin K forms in a variety of food matrices and her research team continues to generate vitamin K food composition data that are incorporated into national nutrient databases. Dr. Booth has received multiple awards in recognition of her research, the most recent being the American Society of Nutrition (ASN) E.V. McCollum Award for a Senior Investigator.

Steven Mello

Steven Mello
Executive Administrative Director

Steven Mello leads the financial, administrative, and operational functions at the HNRCA and serves as a key liaison to both the central university and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. Prior to joining the HNRCA, he was the practice lead for strategic planning, executive leadership, and organizational development at Wooster Square Consulting. Steven partnered with Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations in health care, finance, higher education, and the performing arts to develop and execute on strategy, to lead organizational change management processes, and to create data-driven decision models. Earlier in his career, he worked at Yale School of Management and Columbia Business School in senior leadership positions working on strategy, innovation, operational efficiency, and growth.

Headshot of Jose

Jose Ordovas
Senior Scientific Advisor

Jose Ordovas, senior scientist and lead for the Nutrition and Genomics team, also serves as senior scientific advisor to the Center Director and represents the HNRCA on the Tufts Research Council. Dr. Ordovas brings decades of scientific expertise to the role as a pioneer in the field of nutrigenomics. As Senior Sientific Adviser, he supports the community of investigators and fosters new and innovative avenues of nutrition and aging research.