A new building is appearing next to the Institute of Medical Sciences at Foresterhill. This is the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health which has amalgamated with University of Aberdeen and is relocating from Bucksburn where it has stood for 100 years.
In 1913, John Boyd Orr arrived in Aberdeen to work in a new institute for research on animal nutrition. Unfortunately the conditions he had been promised did not materialise and he had to create the office from scratch. He managed to raise money, much of it from businessman John Quiller Rowett who gave his name to the new centre.
The Rowett Research Institute was set up to study animal nutrition but John Rowett wanted any discoveries about food and human health to be followed up as well. Thus Boyd Orr began his work into food and its effect on the population’s well being.
The Rowett Research Institute returned to its main interest in animal nutrition after World War II, when David Cuthbertson became Director. He made important discoveries about metabolic responses to injury or surgery and the food requirements of the body after such trauma.
Directors Sir Kenneth Blaxter and Professor Philip James continued the work but in the last 4 decades, society’s affluence replaced the problems arising from too little food to those of over abundance. Obesity and heart disease are the priorities for Director Professor Peter Morgan now.