Sherry Tanumihardjo manages a progressive research and outreach team at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison in the Department of Nutritional Sciences. She serves as the director of the Undergraduate Certificate in Global Health and is on the Advisory Board for the Global Health Institute at UW-Madison. She teaches both at the undergraduate and graduate level including international field experiences. In her research, she has three decades of experience with vitamin A and carotenoids. Her multidisciplinary research approach is enhanced by her broad educational background in chemistry (BS), biochemistry (MS), and nutrition (PhD). She has two main research focus including vitamin A assessment methodology and carotenoid bioavailability. Often the two overlap when investigating provitamin A carotenoids. Tanumihardjo has authored and co-authored over 100 research publications, chapters, and technical documents.
Her research group works with a number of animal models (i.e., gerbils, rats, pigs, and monkeys) to answer various questions on issues related to vitamin A toxicity and deficiency and carotenoid bioavailability. Moreover, the research outcomes are often applied to the human model. In that regard, her research team has conducted studies in humans in the United States, Indonesia, South Africa, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Zambia. She has acted as a consultant to many other studies throughout the world to assist with study design and appropriate standardization.
She is a strong advocate for the promotion of nutritionally enhanced staple foods, vegetables, and fruits to enhance overall health and general well-being. This has allowed her to be an invited speaker at approximately 200 domestic and international meetings. In addition to her on-going work with nutritionally enhanced staple crops, other research efforts include the interaction of anthocyanins in purple carrots with carotenoid uptake and clearance. Further, she has developed educational materials to enhance the intake of locally grown produce in the state of Wisconsin with special emphasis on vegetables and fruit. These research and outreach efforts have been recognized as an endowed chair at UW-Madison named the Friday Chair for Vegetable Processing Research awarded to Tanumihardjo in 2009.
She has chaired and co-chaired the Vitamin A and Carotenoid sessions at Experimental Biology over the years. She has served as chair of the Carotenoid Research Interaction Group (CARIG) Research Interest Section of the American Society of Nutrition (ASN) and has been on CARIG's steering committee since 2002. Her memberships to the former societies predating ASN (2005) date back to 1991 for the American Society of Nutritional Sciences and the American Society of Clinical Nutrition and to 1994 for the Society for International Nutrition Research. She has served on the Editorial Advisory Board for the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research since 2002, the Editorial Board for the Journal of Nutrition from 2005 to 2011, and for the Editorial Board for Advances in Nutrition since 2010. Other awards include membership on the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Nutrition since 2012, the G. Malcolm Trout visiting scholar award lectureship at Michigan State University in 2011, the Ruth Pike Lectureship Award at Pennsylvania State University in 2007, the Alex Malaspina ILSI Future Leader Award from 2004-2006, and the Dannon Leadership Institute Creative Leadership training in 2001.