Photo of Ann M. Ferris, Ph.D., R.D.

Ann M. Ferris, Ph.D., R.D.

Professor Emerita of Medicine
Academic Office Location:
Center for Public Health and Health Policy
UConn Health
195 Farmington Avenue
Suite 2100
Farmington, CT 06032-6030
Phone: 860-463-6870

Ann M. Ferris, Ph.D., R.D.

For over 35 years, Ann Ferris led a team of researchers and educators dedicated to explaining, preventing, and treating the high occurrences of food related conditions, particularly childhood obesity and iron-deficiency anemia is underserved and poor families.  To be successful, programs developed by her group require both close collaborations with multiple public and private agencies and the maintenance of a continuous funding stream.  While she was head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences (1990-1995), the CT Department of Social Services requested that she start the CT SNAP-ED.  In 2004, the then President of UCONN, Philip Austin,  appointed her  as the co-lead in a university wide effort to expand UCONN’s commitment to public health and health care reform.  The later effort lead to the development of the Center for Public Health and Health Policy, a cross-university policy, research, and outreach center with 35 professional staff and faculty who lead initiatives in health information, health care reform, community transformation, health promotion, urban health, workforce development, and doctoral and inter-professional education.  She directed CPHHP until her retirement in 2015.  Now as an emerita professor in medicine and public health, she continues her work on childhood obesity prevention and increasing food access.  

B.S.Simmons College Nutrition
CertificateAmerican International CollegeCommunity Organization
M.S.University of MassachusettsFood Science & Nutrition
Ph.D.University of MassachusettsFood Science & Nutrition

Post-Graduate Training
Professional TrainingU.S. Department of AgricultureUSDA, ESCOP/ACOP Leadership Training Program

Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
AAUP University Service AwardAmerican Association of University Professors
Senior Faculty AwardGamma Sigma Delta
Phi Beta Kappa, Crown Zellerback Foundation ScholarPhi Kappa Phi

Dr. Ferris currently provides oversight to the Husky Nutrition service learning programs. While in the Department of Nutritional Sciences on the Storrs campus, she taught Nutritional Sciences 200, Nutrition and Development, a 100-student sophomore-level course (extensive use of web based resources, WebCT, experiential exercises, and cooperative learning used in the course), and Nutritional Sciences 314, Community Nutrition.

Name & DescriptionCategoryRoleTypeScopeStart YearEnd Year
Department of Medicine Search Committee Division Head, General Medicine Advisory CommitteeMemberUConn HealthUniversity2011
Nutrition Education Research Section Advisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational2011
HHS:HRSA, Maternal and Child Health Research Panel Research CommitteeMemberExternalNational20102010
Advances in Nutrition: An International Review JournalEditorial BoardMemberExternalNational2010
CT-Department of Public Health: Chronic Disease Prevention Advisory Committee for state planAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalState2010
City of Hartford, Hunger-free community grant planningAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalLocal2010
Cobb Institute/National Medical Association/University of Connecticut Planning GroupAdvisory CommitteeMemeberUConn-StorrsUniversity2009
Public Issues Council, Uconn Health Center School of MedicineAdvisory CommitteeMemberUConn HealthUniversity2009
School of Medicine Center Director Representative Advisory CommitteeDirector RepresentativeUConn HealthUniversity2009
Public Health Education Advisory CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeMemberUConn HealthUniversity2009
Hartford Promise: Children Succeeding and Achieving. Organizing Member of the Program and Member of the Steering and Grant Writing Committee. Advisory CommitteeCommittee memberExternalLocal2009
City of Hartford, Community Needs Assessment Planning CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalLocal2009
City of Hartford, Critical Health Factors Report GroupAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalLocal20092009
Urban Health Partnership, and PORT (T2) program groupAdvisory CommitteeDirectorUConn HealthUniversity2008
Synergy Planning GroupAdvisory CommitteeMemberUConn HealthUniversity20082009
Department of Community Medicine and Health Care, M.P.H. Advisory CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeMemberUConn HealthUniversity2008
Public Health Living Learning Community- Public Health House, Faculty Oversight Committee Advisory CommitteeChairUConn-StorrsUniversity2008
Nutrition Education Research InterestProfessional/Scientific OrganizationSection ChairExternalNational20082009
CT General Assembly, Commission on Health EquityAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalState2008
Hartford Childhood Obesity Coalition Advisory CommitteeMemberExternalLocal2008
City of Hartford, Healthy Habits Task ForceAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalLocal20082010
Executive Committee in the Center for Public Health and Health PolicyAdvisory CommitteeChairUConn-StorrsUniversity2007
Coordinating Committee (University-wide planning committee) in the Center for Public Health and Health PolicyAdvisory CommitteeCommittee MemberUConn-StorrsUniversity2007
Nutrition Education Research Interest, Executive Committee Professional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational20072010
Connecticut Childhood Obesity Data Task Force Advisory CommitteeMemberExternalState20072009
City of Hartford, City Match Planning GroupAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalLocal2007
Founding Director, Urban Health Partnership Professional/Scientific OrganizationDirectorExternalUniversity2006
Planning Committee for Community EngagementAdvisory CommitteeProgram Director UConn-StorrsUniversity20062008
Science and Human Rights, Executive Committee Advisory CommitteeMemberUConn-StorrsUniversity20062008
Urban Health PartnershipAdvisory CommitteeCoordinatorUConn-StorrsUniversity2005
Founding Co-Director, Center for Public Health and Health Policy, University of Connecticut Professional/Scientific OrganizationCo-DirectorExternalUniversity20042010
Founding Director, Doctoral Programs in Public Health, University of Connecticut Education CommitteeDirectorUConn HealthUniversity2004
Provost’s Commission on Women, Executive CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeCommittee memberUConn-StorrsUniversity20042008
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), Development CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeMemberUConn-StorrsUniversity20042007
City of Hartford: Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Advisory CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeInvited MemberExternalLocal2004
American Association of University Professors (AAUP), Awards Committee Advisory CommitteeMemberUConn-StorrsUniversity20032008
American Association of Nutritional Sciences, Executive CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational20032004
Public Health Academic CommitteeEducation CommitteeCo-ChairExternalUniversity20022009
USDA/NRI Integrated Obesity Program Study Section PanelStudy SectionMemberExternalNational20022004
American Association of Nutritional Sciences, Finance Committee Member, Steering Committee, Community and Public Health Research Interest SectionAdvisory CommitteeChairExternalNational20022003
City of Hartford, WIC Advisory CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalLocal20012007
Executive Committee (Elected) Advisory CommitteeMemberUConn-StorrsUniversity19982003
Phi Beta Kappa, Committee on Graduate Members in CourseAdvisory CommitteeChairUConn-StorrsUniversity19981998
Department of Nutritional ScienceAdvisory CommitteeSeminar CoordinatorUConn-StorrsUniversity19982002
USDA National Development Committee for Food Stamp Nutrition EducationAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational19982001
Special Admissions CommitteeEducation CommitteeMemberUConn HealthUniversity19981999
Enrollment CommitteeEducation CommitteeMemberUConn-StorrsUniversity19951999
Special Admissions CommitteeEducation CommitteeMemberUConn HealthUniversity19951996
Faculty RetirementAdvisory CommitteeMemberUConn-StorrsUniversity19951999
Department of Nutritional Science, Graduate Program CoordinatorEducation CommitteeCoordinatorUConn-StorrsUniversity19951996
Association of Nutrition Programs and Departments, Founding Executive Board and TreasurerProfessional/Scientific OrganizationBoard of DirectorsExternalNational19931996
University of Connecticut Senate (Elected)Advisory CommitteeMemberUConn-StorrsUniversity19932000
American Association of Nutritional Sciences, Association of Nutrition Programs and DepartmentsProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational19931996
Department of Nutritional Science, Department HeadEducation CommitteeDepartment HeadUConn-StorrsUniversity19901996
Regional Technical Research Committee, NE-172. Professional/Scientific OrganizationChairExternalNational19851988
Dietetics Curriculum, Courses and Curriculum SubcommitteeEducation CommitteeMemberUConn-StorrsUniversity19812007
American Dietetic Association. Registered (R407438)Professional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational
American Society of Nutritional SciencesProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational
Society for Nutrition EducationProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational
American Public Health Association Professional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational
Connecticut Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CICATS)Professional/Scientific OrganizationInvestigatorUConn-StorrsUniversity
Center Health Intervention and PreventionAdvisory CommitteeFaculty AffiliateUConn-StorrsUniversity
Center for Environmental Sciences and EngineeringAdvisory CommitteeFaculty AffiliateUConn-StorrsUniversity
Center for the Study for Child Health and CultureAdvisory CommitteeFaculty AffiliateUConn-StorrsUniversity
IRICH, Faculty Affiliate and Postdoctoral Advisory Committee for Milton Levin Advisory CommitteeCommittee memberUConn-StorrsUniversity
Center for Environmental HealthAdvisory CommitteeFaculty AffiliateUConn-StorrsUniversity
State of Connecticut, Resources CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeChairExternalState
Founding member of organizing board of A Better Chance, Longmeadow, MA Professional/Scientific OrganizationFounding member ExternalLocal
State of Connecticut, Data CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalState

For over 20 years Dr. Ferris’s research team has been dedicated to explaining, preventing, and treating the high occurrence of food related conditions, particularly childhood obesity and iron-deficiency anemia in underserved and poor families. Participatory research models frame the work of this group with communities, family, and health care and social service providers. Although most of their past and currently funded work supports the need for community and family based interventions grounded in theoretical models of behavior change, sustainability of newly acquired food behavior skills requires a supportive environment. Consequently, in the last five years, the group added new lines of research in food systems, particularly food access in corner stores and shaping the environment to promote healthy food selection in parallel with our education based interventions.

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Postpartum management and lactation
    Ferris, A.M. and E.A. Reece. Diabetes in Pregnancy 1995 Jan;429-37
  • Peripartum management and lactation
    Ferris, A.M. and E.A. Reece Diabetes in Pregnancy: Principles and Practice 1988 Jan;623-633
  • Maternal Factors Affecting Lactation
    Allen, L.H., A.M. Ferris, and G.H. Pelto. Human Lactation 2, Maternal and Environmental Factors 1986 Jan;51-60
  • Nutrition and taste and smell deficits; a risk factor or an adjustment
    Ferris, A.M., J.L. Schlitzer, and M.J. Schierberl. Clinical Measurement of Taste and Smell 1986 Jan;264 278
  • Alpha tocopher¬ol, total lipid and linoleic acid contents of human milk at 2, 6, 12, and 16 weeks
    Lammi-Keefe, C.J., R.G. Jensen, R.M. Clark, and A.M. Ferris. Composition and Physiological Properties of Human Milk 1985 Jan;241 245
  • Methods for the measurement of milk volume intake of the breast-fed infant
    Woolridge, M.W., N. Butte, K.G. Dewey, A.M. Ferris, C. Garza, and R.P. Keller Human Lactation, Milk Components, and Methodologies 1985 Jan;5-21
  • Sampling milk for energy content
    Garza, C., M.W. Woolridge, N.F. Butte, A.M. Ferris, and C. Casey Human Lactation, Milk Components, and Methodologies 1985 Jan;115-120
  • Popular issues in pediatric nutrition as the basis for a structured graduate seminar.
    Ferris, A.M. Directory of Teaching Innovations in Biology 1981 Jan;1985
  • Effect of modification of fluid intake in the puerperium on serum prolactin levels and lactation.
    Horowitz, M; Higgins, G D; Graham, J J; Berriman, H; Harding, P E The Medical journal of Australia 1980 Nov;2(11):625-6


  • At-home sweetened beverage consumption in minority, low-income children and caretakers.
    Ferris, A.M., D.B. Wakefield, S. Wei, FASEB J. 2012 Jan;
  • Latino and African-American parents of preschool children differ in their feeding practices.
    Quesada, C., K.R. Lora, D.B. Wakefield, A.M. Ferris FASEB J. 2011 Jan;25781.26
  • Parental perception of child’s weight affects child’s feeding practices.
    Lora, K. R., C. Quesada, D.B. Wakefield, A.M. Ferris. FASEB J. 2011 Jan;2599.3
  • An information-motivation-behavioral skills model for child sweetened beverage consumption. (Abstract 678)
    Goodell, L.S., K.R. Amico, M.B. Pierce, and A.M. Ferris FASEB J 2008 Jan;
  • Body image perceptions, motivations, and models to achieve desired body size among overweight black preadolescent girls.
    Sawyer, V., M. B. Pierce, and A.M. Ferris FASEB J. 2007 Jan;21359.7
  • Selection of beverages for young children: The decision process of low resource urban parents.
    Drake R.E., M.B. Pierce, L.S. Goodell, and A.M. Ferris FASEB J. 2007 Jan;21671.16
  • The WHO’s child growth standards increase prevalence of overweight among young children compared to CDC’s growth chart.
    Goodell L.S., D.B. Wakefield,, and A.M. Ferris FASEB J. 2007 Jan;21828.8
  • Black, overweight, preadolescent girls from inner-city, low resource families desire a smaller body-size to improve peer interactions and physical abilities.
    Pierce M.B., V. Sawyer, and A.M. Ferris J Am Diet Assoc 2006 Jan;106(Suppl 2):A40
  • Parental perceptions of preschool overweight: a qualitative examination.
    Goodell L.S., M.B. Pierce, C.M. Bravo, and A.M. Ferris FASEB J. 2006 Jan;20(4):A128
  • Household participation in food benefit programs differentially affects iron status indicators in low-income preschoolers.
    Crowell, R.E., A.M. Ferris, R.J. Wood, and D. Wakefield FASEB J 2005 Jan;19(5):967.7
  • Low knowledge of dietary iron sources among low-income caretakers of young children.
    Pierce M.B. and A.M. Ferris FASEB J. 2005 Jan;19(4):A1177
  • High juice drink consumption of low-income, inner city preschool children in Hartford CT negatively impacts diet quality. (Abstr. 501.3)
    Pierce M.B., J. L. Weinstein, V. Phillips, M. Arsenault, and A.M. Ferris FASEB J. 2004 Jan;18(5):A768
  • Iron deficiency is complicate by infection in low-income preschoolers.
    Crowell, R.E., R. J. Wood, D. Wakefield, and A.M. Ferris FASEB J. 2004 Jan;18(5):359.13
  • Low iron bioavailability, low heme iron, and poor nutrient density in diets of children of low-income families residing in Hartford, CT
    Weinstein JL, Phillips V, Pierce MB, Crowell RE, Ferris AM FASEB J 2003 Jan;17(4):A728
  • Targeting hard-to-reach populations: application of a community-based approach. (Abstr. 269.3)
    Crowell R.E., Pierce M.B., and A. M. Ferris FASEB J. 2003 Jan;17(4):A375
  • Iron deficiency complicated by inflammation among poor preschoolers in Hartford, CT.
    Ferris, AM. , Crowell R., Rosales F. FASEB J. 2002 Jan;
  • Undergraduate program (CUP) and community program collaborate for service-learning.
    Poehlitz, M., V. Duffy, and A.M. Ferris. J. Amer. Diet. Assoc. 2002 Jan;102A-58’
  • Association of food stamps with diagnosis of anemia in inner-city preschoolers from Hartford, CT. (Abstr. 761.3)
    Ferris, A.M., J.L. Peranick, M.B. Pierce, R. Pérez-Escamilla, and G. Burke. FASEB J. 2001 Jan;15A1000
  • Collaborative development of the Foodlinks bilingual website for food stamp recipients.
    Beeman, S.J. A.M. Ferris, C.C. Cantor, S.L. Schadt. M.J. Belyea, and S. Giovenale. J. Amer. Diet. Assoc. 2000 Jan;100A-51
  • Impact of beverage consumption on the diet quality of young children in Hartford, CT.
    Peranick, J.L., M.B. Pierce, R. Perez-Escamilla, and A.M. Ferris J. Amer. Diet. Assoc. 2000 Jan;100 A-57
  • Influence of food stamps on the nutritional status of inner-city preschoolers from Hartford, CT. (Abstr 506.4)
    Perez-Escamilla, R. A.M. Ferris, L. Drake, L. Haldeman, J. Peranick, M. Campbell, D. Moran, Y.K. Peng, G. Burke, and B. Bernstein. FASEB J. 2000 Jan;14A370
  • Portion sizes consumed by inner-city Puerto-Rican preschoolers living in Hartford, CT. (Abstr370.4)
    Ferris, A. M J. Peranick, M. Pierce, R. Perez-Escamilla, R. J. de Leon, A. Bermudez-Millan, and R. Grajeda. FASEB J. 2000 Jan;14A534
  • Primary care provider views of anemia in a high-risk population.
    Crowell, R.E., M.B. Pierce, and A.M. Ferris J. Amer. Diet. Assoc. 2000 Jan;100 A-13
  • The influence of self perceived nutrition problems and social integration on diet quality.
    Pierce, M., N. Sheehan, and A. M. Ferris. Proc. Exp. Biology. 1999 Jan;
  • A closer examination of the relationship between children's weight status and the food and physical activity environment.
    Ohri-Vachaspati, Punam; Lloyd, Kristen; Delia, Derek; Tulloch, David; Yedidia, Michael J Preventive medicine 1999 Jan;57(3):162-7
  • Anemia among 18 to 36 month year-old children in Hartford, CT.
    Moran, D., A.M. Ferris, M. Campbell, R. Crowell, R. Pérez-Escamilla, H. Slivka, G. Burke, C. Orkin, B. Bernstein, and P. Joyce. Proc. Exp. Biology. 1999 Jan;A698
  • Impact of breast pumping on lactogenesis-II following Cesarean section.
    Chapman D., S. Young, A.M. Ferris, M. McLaren, C. Lammi-Keefe, and R. Pérez-Escamilla. Proc. Exp. Biology. 1999 Jan;
  • Protocols for anemia management among inner-city clinicians: a qualitative study.
    Crowell, R., M. Pierce, S. Russell, and A.M. Ferris. Proc. Soc. Nutr. Educ. 1999 Jan;

Conference Papers

  • Evaluating Parental Perceptions of University Students as Agents of Education. Abstract nr 248953.
    Ferris A 2011 Jan;
  • Evaluating Parental Perceptions of University Students as Agents of Education. Abstract nr 7.
    Ferris A 2011 Jan;
  • Evaluating the Role of Teachers Beyond Gatekeeping in School-Based Health Interventions. Abstract nr 9.
    Ferris A 2011 Jan;
  • How food lighting can change adolescent healthful choices of food.
    Ferris A 2011 Jan;
  • Effectiveness of an IMB-based intervention for reducing sweetened beverage consumption in pre-school children.
    Ferris A 2010 Jan;
  • Effectiveness of an IMB-based intervention for reducing sweetened beverage consumption in pre-school children.
    Ferris A 2009 Jan;
  • Mass mailings to food stamp recipients: less bang for the buck.
    Ferris A 2006 Jan;
  • Culturally-linked prevention practices and remedies for anemia are employed by low-income caretakers of young children in Hartford, CT.
    Ferris A 2003 Jan;
  • Inner city families and service providers differ relative to understanding of and approach to early childhood anemia.
    Ferris A 2003 Jan;
  • Taking it to the streets: ethonography's role in nutrition education.
    Ferris A 2003 Jan;
  • Collaborative development of the Foodlinks website for food stamp recipients.
    Ferris A 2001 Jan;
  • Food stamp recipients and nutrition educators differ with respect to development of the Foodlinks website.
    Ferris A 2001 Jan;
  • Husky Nutrition - Using a needs assessment to facilitate community and institutional change.
    Ferris A 2001 Jan;
  • Management of a regional FNP program for the elderly: An innovative partnership for value added nutrition programming.
    Ferris A 2001 Jan;
  • Service learning in FSNEP programs.
    Ferris A 2001 Jan;
  • The role of home based activities in influencing children's vegetable preference.
    Ferris A 2001 Jan;
  • An interdisciplinary approach to assessing anemia as a marker of public health in a low income, urban population.
    Ferris A 2000 Jan;
  • Inherent complexities in the identification and management of anemia in a low-income urban population.
    Ferris A 2000 Jan;
  • Influence of food stamps on the nutritional status of inner-city preschoolers from Hartford, CT who receive WIC benefits
    Peréz-Escamilla R, Ferris AM, Drake L, Haldeman L, Peranick J, Campbell M, Moran D, Peng Y, Burke G, Bernstein B 1999 Jan;
  • The Connecticut Family Nutrition Program for infants, toddlers, and children (FNP-IT): A local nutrition education program coalition that works.
    Ferris A 1999 Jan;


  • Cholesterol levels in lactating women.
    Jensen, R.G., A.M. Ferris, and C.J. Lammi-Keefe J. Amer. Med. Assoc. 1990 Jan;2622092-2093
  • Hypocholesterolemic human milk.
    Jensen, R G; Ferris, A M; Lammi-Keefe, C J; Stewart, C A; DelSavio, G C Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition 1990 Jan;10(1):148-50


  • Poor diet quality, obesity, and food insecurity prevalent among Hartford Latino preschoolers.
    Pérez-Escamilla, R., D. Himmelgreen, and A.M. Ferris American Anthropology Association Newsletter 1997 Jan;