By Dr. Tassos C. Kyriakides

The proposed Institute will serve as the interface and catalyst between US and global entities working in olives, olive oil and other products of the olive tree. It will facilitate and coordinate the rigorous study, robust research and creative interdisciplinary activities and education. Through academic, public and industry partnerships, the institute will foster the investigation and dissemination of evidence-based best practices and guidelines pertaining both to sustainable olive and olive oil production and usage, and their downstream health benefits. The integration of culinary and cultural elements in the institute’s activities will assure broad relevance for the industry and the public.  This effort is being led by:

Vasilis Vasiliou, PhD
Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology
Chair, Department of Environmental Health Sciences

Tassos C. Kyriakides, PhD
Yale Center for Analytical Sciences
Yale School of Public Health

  • Leading innovative research and activities in olives and olive oil
  • Providing quantitative and other support for the design and planning of olive/olive-oil related public health projects, including but not restricted to proposal development
  • Collaborating in and disseminating the work of global partners in relevant, practical methods in sustainable olive production, processing and by-products utilization
  • Providing a forum to develop and disseminate consensus-driven guidelines and best                 practices in olive and olive oil related activities

The institute will foster substantial growth in olive/olive oil/olive tree products research in domestic and/or global settings through five area-specific, well-organized core groups:

  1. Analytical & Regulatory Chemistry and Sensory Science
  2. Nutrition and Health Sciences
  3. Agronomy, Agriculture, Extraction Process and Planetary Sustainability
  4. Gastronomy and Culture
  5. Policy and Economics

A Stakeholder core group consisting of Industry, Associations and Entrepreneurship will be cross-cutting in these core groups and will also include a market sector economics/financial perspective. Proposed initiatives undertaken by the institute will be multi, inter and intra-disciplinary and will involve members/entities in any and all of the core groups.

Embracing the Yale School of Public Health concept of ‘Innovation through Collaboration’, we invited individuals and entities from olive-oil producing countries. The response has been incredible and individuals, academic institutes and organizations are participating in the institute’s workgroups/core groups as they are being formed. All will be contributing to the institute’s governance structure. As this initiative has been unfolding, we have been creating partnerships with groups in other olive-producing countries, including but not limited to, the US and Australia.

Further, the institute will facilitate coordination of efforts to create unified and consistent messages and campaigns based on evidence, that at the same time take into account the sensitivities of both the industry and other organisations working with EVOO. The honest exchange of ideas and approaches in a collaborative environment will foster partnership and cooperation, with the ultimate goal the promotion and introduction of sustainable worldwide EVOO use.

The approach is that a truly collective approach to problem-solving facilitated by the institute will be beneficial for all involved in the activities of the institute; the hope and vision is that this will lead to positive downstream impact.

The proposed Yale Olive Sciences and Health Institute will be collaborating with entities across the globe.