Dean Beth Mayer-Davis, Ph.D.

Beth Mayer-Davis, dean of The UNC Graduate School


Elizabeth “Beth” Mayer-Davis, Ph.D., RD, is the dean of The Graduate School and the Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor of Nutrition and Medicine. She has focused her career on diabetes, including the epidemiology and natural history of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children and adults. Throughout her career, Dean Beth Mayer-Davis has mentored numerous graduate students. She is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and ensuring that our graduate students have access to professional development and mental health and well-being tools to support them during their time at Carolina.

Dean Mayer-Davis believes that graduate students are emblematic of innovation made fundamental and are capable and prepared to address humanity’s greatest challenges. Simply put, graduate students are pivotal to how Carolina powers its economic and research engine—reaching all areas of our state through research, teaching, and public service. Under her leadership, The Graduate School supports graduate students and champions graduate education in our state.

Formerly the chair of the Department of Nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, she also co-directs the Nutrition Obesity Research Center. An accomplished scholar, she is the principal investigator for the Carolina site of the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study, and she serves as the national co-chairperson for a large multi-center study. She has served on the University’s Faculty Executive Committee for several years. Dean Mayer-Davis serves as principal investigator for a National Institutes of Health Nutrition for Precision Health Consortium initiative and has received additional funding from the NIH to promote diversity in nutrition, obesity, and diabetes research. She is active in the American Diabetes Association and was the 2011 president for Health Care and Education for the Association.

Dean Mayer-Davis was recently appointed to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee by the Secretary of the USDA and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She has also served as an appointee of President Obama on the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion and Integrative and Public Health.


Ph.D., Epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley, 1992
Master of public health (with honors), University of Colorado School of Medicine, 1986
B.S., Dietetics, University of Tennessee, 1980

Key publications

  1. Corbin KD, *Igudesman D, Addala A, Casu A, Crandell J, Kosorok MR, Maahs DM, Pokaprakarn T, Pratley RE, Souris KJ, Thomas JM, Zaharieva DP, Mayer-Davis EJ; ACT1ON Consortium. Design of the Advancing Care for Type 1 Diabetes and Obesity Network energy metabolism and sequential multiple assignment randomized trial nutrition pilot studies: An integrated approach to develop weight management solutions for individuals with type 1 diabetes. Contemp Clin Trials. 2022 Apr 20;117:106765. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2022.106765. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35460915.
  2. Mayer-Davis EJ, Maahs DM, Seid M, Crandell J, Bishop FK, Driscoll KA, Hunter CM, Kichler JC, Standiford D, Thomas JM. Efficacy of the Flexible Lifestyles Empowering Change intervention on metabolic and psychosocial outcomes in adolescents with type 1 diabetes (FLEX): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet Child Adolesc Health. 2018;2(9):635-646.
  3. *Kahkoska AR, Shay CM, Crandell J, Dabelea D, Imperatore G, Lawrence JM, Liese AD, Pihoker C, Reboussin BA, Agarwal S, Tooze JA, Wagenknecht LE, *Zhong VW, Mayer-Davis EJ. Association of Race and Ethnicity with Glycemic Control and Hemoglobin A1c Levels in Youth With Type 1 Diabetes. JAMA Netw Open. 2018 Sep 7;1(5):e181851. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.1851. PMCID: PMC6203341.
  4. Corbin KD, Driscoll KA, Pratley RE, Smith SR, Maahs DM, Mayer-Davis EJ; Advancing Care for Type 1 Diabetes and Obesity Network (ACT1ON). Obesity in Type 1 Diabetes: Pathophysiology, Clinical Impact and Mechanisms. Endocr Rev. 2018 Oct; 35 (9): 629-633. Epub 2018 Jul 27. PMID: 3006012
  5. Mayer-Davis EJ, Lawrence JM, Dabelea D, Divers J, Isom S, Dolan L, Imperatore G, Linder B, Marcovina S, Pettitt DJ, Pihoker C, Saydah S, Wagenknecht L; SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study. Incidence Trends of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Among Youths, 2002-2012. N Engl J Med. 2017 Apr 13;376(15):1419-1429. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1610187. PMCID: PMC5592722.
  6. *Kahkoska AR, Adair LA, Aiello AE, Burger KS, Buse JB, Crandell J, Maahs DM, Nguyen CT, Kosorok MR, Mayer-Davis EJ. Identification of Clinically Relevant Dysglycemia Phenotypes Based on Continuous Glucose Monitoring Data from Youth with Type 1 Diabetes and Elevated Hemoglobin A1c. Pediatr Diabetes. 2019 Aug;20(5):556-566. doi: 10.1111/pedi.12856. Epub 2019 Apr 29. PMCID: PMC6625874.
  7. Dabelea D, Mayer-Davis EJ, Saydah S, Imperatore G, Linder B, Divers J, Bell R, Badaru A, Talton JW, Crume T, Liese AD, Merchant AT, Lawrence JM, Reynolds K, Dolan L, Liu LL, Hamman RF; SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study. Prevalence of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Among Children and Adolescents from 2001 to 2009. JAMA. 2014 May 7;311(17):1778-86. doi: 10.1001/jama.2014.3201. PMCID: PMC4368900.
  8. Mayer-Davis EJ, Bell RA, Dabelea D, D'Agostino R Jr, Imperatore G, Lawrence JM, Liu L, Marcovina S; SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study Group. The Many Faces of Diabetes in American Youth: Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes in Five Race and Ethnic Populations: The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study. Diabetes Care. 2009 Mar;32 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):S99-101. doi: 10.2337/dc09-S201. PMCID: PMC2647691.
  9. Mayer-Davis EJ, *D’Antonio AM, *Smith SM, Kirkner G, *Levin Martin S, Parra-Medina D, Schultz R. Pounds Off with Empowerment (POWER): A Clinical Trial of Weight Management Strategies for Black and White Adults with Diabetes Who Live in Medically Underserved Rural Communities. Am J Public Health. 2004 October; 94: 1736-1742. PMCID: PMC1448527.
  10. Mayer-Davis EJ, Sparks KC, Hirst K, Costacou T, Lovejoy JC, Regensteiner JG, Hoskin MA, Kriska AM, Bray GA, Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. Dietary Intake in the Diabetes Prevention Program: Baseline and 1-year Post Randomization. Ann Epidemiol. 2004 Nov;14(10):763-72. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2004.02.004. PMID: 15573453.

National Library of Medicine records: Elizabeth Mayer-Davis