University of Minnesota

Stanley Garn, PhD

1922 — 2007

Professor Garn was professor emeritus of anthropology at the College for Literature, Science and Arts and Professor of Nutrition at the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan, having joined the faculty in 1968 with retirement in 1993. He receives our attention primarily for his pioneering work with Menard Gertler and Paul White on the characteristics of coronary disease in younger men and for his seminal work in nutrition and body composition.

Dr. Garn was educated at Harvard University with an AB in 1942, AM in 1947, and PhD in 1948. After a period in Chemical Warfare during World War II he worked as a fellow in cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he said he “was at the right place at the right time; it was wonderful” to work with cardiologists on the first studies of youthful coronary disease. He is best known among anthropologists for his work at the Fels Research Institute and the University of Michigan on racial differences among human populations, based on cranio-facial determinants and the amount of genes and their gradation made before the advent of DNA analysis.

Garn also studied the effects of over-nutrition and under-nutrition and concluded that genetics forms a major component in determining a person’s tendency for obesity but socio-economic factors are also significant. Based on a study of age and cholesterol levels, he concluded early that people between the ages of 30 and 50 have a rising serum cholesterol level which contributes to increased risk for coronary artery disease. He was also a pioneer in relating dietary differences to bone loss. (HB)


University of Michigan. The Center for Human Growth and Development. ‘Stanley M. Garn, Ph.D’.

Wikipedia contributors.2006.‘Stanley Marion Garn’. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, [Accessed 2 January 2007].

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