Professor Marissa Cloutier
Marissa Cloutier, instructor in biology and nutrition, grew up with an appreciation for health and well being.
As a descendent of one of the original settlers of the California Central Valley, Cloutier’s fondest childhood memories are of her family’s farmhouse against the backdrop of their vast grape vineyards.
Cloutier particularly loved watching her grandmother tend to her garden while she talked about the benefits of good nutrition, exercise, and of simply being outdoors. Those influences were instrumental in Cloutier’s decision to pursue a career in nutrition and in communicating the health message that was embodied by those who influenced her most.
After her clinical training at a primary teaching hospital of the Harvard University School of Medicine, she attended Boston University to further her studies in human nutrition and metabolism. While there, she was assigned a project that involved analyzing the health and nutrition data from epidemiological studies of the Mediterranean region. The intriguing information she unearthed in that project led her to become the lead author of “The Mediterranean Diet,” a book that explores the power of a Mediterranean model of eating and living for health. The book, now in its second edition, is approaching sales of 250,000 copies.
Cloutier’s message to her students is that “you are what you eat.” Fusing nutritional science and her clinical insight with the general biology curriculum, her goal is to enhance her student’s awareness and appreciation of their own biology.
“If I can help my students extend their lives and help improve the lives of those around them,” says Cloutier, “then I’ve done my job.”