MSU faculty designated fellow of national organization focused on aging

Author: Vanessa Beeson

David Buys

David Buys (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

A Mississippi State associate professor is being honored as a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America.

David Buys, associate professor in MSU's Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion and state health specialist with the MSU Extension Service, is one of 33 individuals approved by the GSA's board of directors for fellow status within the society. Fellows will be recognized at the GSA's annual scientific meeting to be held virtually on Nov. 5.

Being designated a GSA fellow is the highest class of membership, representing peer recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of gerontology. Buys, who as a gerontologist has focused much of his research on the intersection between nutrition and aging, is being recognized in the behavioral and social sciences section.

As a faculty member in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Buys focuses on nutrition and aging with an emphasis on vulnerable populations. His research was widely cited in a recent national debate on the efficacy of Meals on Wheels. Buys said the honor represents a culmination of more than a decade of aging-related teaching, research and outreach. He is the first Mississippian to gain fellow status within GSA.

"The older adult population is one for which I care deeply. I recognize that I am who I am as a person because of the influence of my grandparents and other older adults in my life. Both in my professional and personal life, being recognized as a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America is immensely gratifying, and I owe this recognition to my primary mentor in gerontology, Dr. Julie Locher, and those older adults who have gone before me—in particular my maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather," Buys said.

Buys has published more than 30 peer-reviewed manuscripts on the subject of aging and serves as associate editor of the Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics. His recent research efforts include projects supported by such public agencies as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the USDA. His public health practice efforts include implementing interventions to address other social and behavioral factors affecting the wellbeing of older adults such opioid misuse prevention and home safety.

Buys earned his bachelor's in sociology from Mississippi College, a sociology master's degree from Auburn University and his doctorate in medical sociology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Additional education completed at UAB included a Master of Science in Public Health in applied epidemiology and a postdoctoral fellowship. He also is certified in public health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners.

Will Evans, professor and head of the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, said Buys has been a champion of aging-related research and outreach at MSU.

"Dr. Buys has dedicated his career to the health and well-being of others and takes a special interest in healthy aging. His award of fellow status is well deserved and we are lucky to have him at our land grant university to teach future professionals and conduct meaningful outreach that will help improve the lives of older Americans across the nation and right here at home in Mississippi," Evans said.

For more information on the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, visit www.fsnhp.msstate.edu; for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, visit www.cals.msstate.edu. MSU Extension is online at www.extension.msstate.edu.

For more information on GSA, visit www.geron.org.

Date: 2020-07-14

Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion