James (Jim) Joseph, 66, director of the Neuroscience Laboratory at the Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University, died unexpectedly from complications following heart surgery on June 1.
Born in West Virginia, Joseph earned a B.S. in biology from Fairmont State College and an M.A. at West Virginia University. In 1976, he received a Ph.D. in behavioral neuroscience from the University of South Carolina, Columbia.
He then completed a postdoc at the National Institute on Aging’s Gerontology Research Center (GRC), in Baltimore, before going to work at Lederle Laboratories and the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute. Joseph then returned to GRC, working as a senior scientist until 1993, when he joined HNRCA.
Joseph’s career was devoted to studying the effects of polyphenolics in berries and the fatty acids in walnuts on brain health. Through his research, he found that diets supplemented with fruits, vegetables, and nuts could forestall or even reverse age-related declines in cognitive and motor function.
He authored or coauthored more than 260 scientific articles and two books, including “The Color Code: A Revolutionary Eating Plan for Optimum Health.” He received numerous awards for his research.
Joseph is survived by his wife, Marlene.