Ann Grandjean, Ed.D., national figure in nutrition, dies at 77

by Tom O'Connor, UNMC public relations | January 12, 2018

Image with caption: Ann Grandjean, Ed.D.

Ann Grandjean, Ed.D.

Ann Grandjean, Ed.D., one of the leading nutritionists in the country who provided her expertise to U.S. Olympic athletes, the University of Nebraska Athletic Department, and several professional teams, died Jan. 6 in Plano, Texas, after living with a significant neurocognitive disorder for several years. She was 77.

A native of Amarillo, Texas, Dr. Grandjean spent the majority of her career in Omaha working at the Center for Human Nutrition (CHN) from 1974 to 2009 and the International Center for Sports Nutrition (ICSN) from 1987 to 2009. She was associate director of the CHN (now called the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition) from 1976-1993 and director from 1993-2009. She served as the founding director of the ICSN from 1987-2009.

Both centers were housed on the campus of UNMC, which led to UNMC giving her faculty appointments in sports medicine and medical nutrition education.

Dr. Grandjean helped create an international reputation for herself and the CHN, especially through her work with the U.S. Olympics. She served as chief nutrition consultant to the U.S. Olympic Committee in 1978 and was its sole nutritionist until after the 1984 Olympic Games. She supervised the Nutrition Counseling Center at the U.S. Olympic Training Centers in Colorado Springs, Colo., Marquette, Mich., and Lake Placid, N.Y.

Her athletics research included a significant focus on hydration studies, and she also established an infant formula clinical trials unit at the CHN in 1985.

The ICSN became a sports nutrition clearinghouse that translated research on the implications of diets and performance into easy-to-understand print and audio-visual materials for athletes of all ages and levels, from amateur to professional.

The ICSN developed, implemented and evaluated nutrition programs used in the training and development of U.S. athletes, coaches, trainers and physicians. Dr. Grandjean oversaw the sports nutrition program for the University of Nebraska Athletic Department and several professional teams including the Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Flyers.

Dr. Grandjean conducted nutrition workshops for athletes, coaches and parents; developed a resource center and referral network to provide one-on-one help; and worked with youth athletes at developmental camps.

Following her retirement from the CHN in 2009, Dr. Grandjean worked with Glenda Woscyna, medical nutrition education program director at UNMC to develop and gain approval for a master's degree program with a medical nutrition emphasis. She continued her affiliation with the medical nutrition education program for three years before fully retiring in 2012 to move back to Texas in 2013 to be with her family.

"Ann was an accomplished researcher and educator, who made particularly significant contributions in sports nutrition and hydration," Woscyna said. "I worked with Ann for many years and have many terrific memories of projects, deadlines and travel. It was a treasure to have her join the UNMC faculty and help me develop the initial framework for the master's in medical nutrition."

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Carol Kolar
January 12, 2018 at 7:51 AM

Thank you for following up on Ann's death for this article. We could give you little to go on and you did a superb job for UNMC. Kudos.