The Department of Nutrition

School of Health and Human Sciences

Helen Shaw

Helen A. Shaw, Ph.D., R.D.

Emeritus Dean of the School of Human Environmental Sciences
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1969
R.D., 1969
L.D.N. (North Carolina), 1992

Research Interest Areas

Amino Acid Requirements and Metabolism with Emphasis on Histidine; Nitrogen Metabolism; Zinc Bioavailability; Zinc and Copper Interactions; Protein and Energy Interactions.

Selected Publications

  • Cho, E. S., Anderson, H. L., Wixom, R. L., Hanson, K. C. & Krause, G. F. (1984) Long-term effect of low histidine intake in men. J. Nutr. 114: 369-384.
  • Festa, M. D., Anderson, H. L., Dowdy, R. P. & Ellersieck, M. R. (1985) Effect of zinc intake on copper excretion and retention in men. Amer. J. Clin. Nutr. 41: 285-292.
  • Turnlund, J. R., Keyes, W. R., Anderson, H. L. & Accord, L. L. (1989) Copper absorption and retention in young men at three levels of dietary copper using the stable isotope 65Cu. Amer. J. Clin. Nutr. 49: 870-878.
  • Anderson-Shaw, H. A. Nutrient requirements of the guinea pig. In: Nutrient Requirements of Laboratory Animals, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., (1995), pp. 103-124.
  • Shaw, H.A., Failla, M.L., Cave, K.D., Hopkins, R.G. & Park. K. (1997) Histidine and protein metabolism in human liver cells (HepG2). FASEB J. 11: A367 (#2125).

Dr. Helen Anderson Shaw’s 41-year professional career began in 1959 and culminated in 2000 when she retired as Dean of the School of Human Environmental Sciences at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Her career was devoted to promoting education and research in dietetics, nutrition, and human environmental sciences as a dietitian in clinical and administrative settings, as a university professor, as a department chairperson, and as a dean. She has served in leadership roles in professional and community organizations, on special assignments with the universities she served, and at the local and regional levels with the Agricultural Experiment Station.

In 1989, Helen began her position as department chairperson at UNCG and researcher in the North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station, North Carolina State University. Helen’s responsibilities included administering the department, teaching graduate courses, and conducting research on histidine, zinc and protein metabolism using rats and human cells in culture. Her major administrative assignment was to guide the complete renovation of the department facilities, including designing the research laboratories to accommodate cutting edge investigations in nutrition, and to hire faculty who would attract grants and graduate students to carry out this research. Additionally, she led a revision of the curriculum to reflect a stronger emphasis on the science of nutrition, while continuing and enhancing the undergraduate and graduate programs in dietetics and community nutrition.

In late 1994, Helen became Dean of the School of Human Environmental Sciences. The School was composed of five departments: Clothing and Textiles; Human Development and Family Studies; Interior Design; Food, Nutrition, and Food Service Management; and Social Work. She was also appointed Assistant Director for HES research in the Agricultural Experiment Station at NC State University. During the next six years, the School grew in undergraduate and graduate student enrollment, ballooned in outside research grant support, and advanced in recognition for research and community programs in all five departmental disciplines. Endowed support for the School and its programs increased to $5.2 million. The endowment allowed the School to grant over $150,000 in scholarships each year, support research, fund faculty travel to national and international conferences, bestow annual faculty teaching and research awards, and finance special programs.

In August of 2000, Dr. Shaw retired as Dean. Helen’s post-retirement honors and accomplishments are numerous. Dr. Helen Anderson Shaw has been an outstanding nutrition educator, researcher, and administrator, as well as supporter of the professions of nutrition and human environmental sciences. She has had a lasting influence on numerous former graduate students who have contributed in research and teaching in several university programs, as well as in academic, industry and government nutrition programs. Dr. Shaw remarked, “My beginnings in Home Economics at UK provided the underpinnings and passion for the field that sustained me throughout my professional career and culminated in the leadership of a Human Environmental Sciences unit in North Carolina. I am both proud of my UK beginnings and grateful for the solid foundation and professional attitude of ‘giving back’ that I received. Dr. Shaw established the Helen A. Shaw Undergraduate Scholarship in Nutrition at UNCG in 2003.