University of Washington School of Public Health

UW SPH News: Barb Bruemmer

Barb Bruemmer


Dr. Barb Bruemmer's driving interest has always been nutrition. The West Seattle native attended college in California and majored in home economics, which at the time was the only degree with a nutrition component. She returned to Seattle in the early 80s to work on her master's degree in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Washington -- just as the undergraduate program was being cut.

Barb worked full-time at the Clinical Division of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center as a Research Dietician and Nutrition Analyst while concurrently earning her PhD in Epidemiology in 1993.

Dr. Bruemmer returned to her alma mater as a Senior Lecturer in the School's Department of Epidemiology. Her courses include Nutrition and Chronic Disease, Nutrition and Acute Care, and Food Safety and Health. She also serves in the House of Delegates for the American Dietetic Association and has been a consultant to the Washington State Department of Health. She believes it is important to promote best quality practice in nutrition while finding ways to contribute to the community.

Today, there is intense interest in nutrition as our country faces an obesity epidemic, and the links between diet and disease are more apparent. Dr. Bruemmer sees tremendous career opportunities for students who choose nutritional sciences as a major. She has been working hard to facilitate the return of the undergraduate program at UW. One of the first classes she taught for undergraduates, Nutrition for Today, has seen its enrollment swell from about 120 to over 500 students.

"The time is right," she says, "to bring the undergraduate program back. People are recognizing how important nutrition is -- there is high student as well as community interest."

When Barb is not working to promote nutrition, she enjoys kayaking and creating watercolor art. She just finished the piece that she will use for her holiday card this year.

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