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Death of Devoted/Distinguished Alumna

Dr. Mary Frances PiccianoDr. Mary Frances Picciano ’70g, ’74g NUTR, former faculty member, passed away on Sunday, August 29, 2010. She was a senior nutrition research scientist with the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) and was director of the ODS Training and Career Development Program.

Before working at ODS, Picciano was a professor of nutrition at Penn State, where she worked alongside her husband, Dr. John Milner, who was head of the department at the time and is now chief of the Nutritional Science Research Group, Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute. Before working at Penn State, Picciano was professor of nutrition in medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also served from 2003 to 2007 on the board of the Nutrition and Dietetics Alumni Society.

In June 2010, Picciano received the American Society for Nutrition’s David Kritchevsky Outstanding Nutrition Career Award. She received numerous other awards for her research, including the Borden Award in Nutrition, the Lederle Award in Human Nutrition, and the March of Dimes Agnes Higgins Awards from national professional organizations. She is also the recipient of multiple awards from her home institutions for distinguished research achievements—the Paul A. Funk Recognition Award (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and the Evan G. and Helen G. Pattishall Outstanding Research Achievement Award (Penn State).

Picciano’s research dealt primarily with maternal, infant, and child nutrition. She has studied the dietary requirements for iron, folate, and selenium, and the bioavailability of these nutrients in reproducing women and their children. She authored over 100 papers and was co-author of a textbook, Human Nutrition.

Picciano is survived by her husband, John; her mother, Rose Picciano; her daughter, Kristina Milner; a son, Matthew Milner; and two brothers, Dante and Francis.

A memorial fund has been established to honor her life and significant personal and professional accomplishments. It will reside within the Department of Nutritional Sciences and its specific use will be guided by the family.

Individuals wishing to contribute to this endowment may direct their gifts to:

The Mary Frances Picciano Memorial Fund
C/O Development Office
College of Health and Human Development
201 Henderson Building
University Park, PA 16802

For assistance in making a contribution, please contact Maggie Crispell, director of development, at 814-865-1064 or Mary Frances’ family will receive notice of the names of all those making a gift in her honor.