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Mary N.R. Lesser


Scientist, educator, athlete, wife, mom and adventure lover

About me

Pronouns: She | Her | Hers

Mary N.R. Lesser is a dietitian who provides comprehensive nutritional care for children in both the hospital and clinic. After assessing her patients' growth and nutritional intake in the context of their medical conditions, she recommends evidence-based therapeutic diets to help manage their conditions and support their overall health. She works closely with her patients and their families to develop strategies and create individualized meal-planning guidelines for balanced diets that meet nutritional needs and support growth goals. As part of UCSF's pediatric blood and marrow transplant team, she offers medical nutrition therapy for children receiving transplants. She also leads the Bay Area's only pediatric sports nutrition program, which provides young athletes with education and support for optimizing nutrition to improve performance and maintain good health.

In research, Lesser focuses on the developmental origins of health and disease. She specifically investigates the nutritional environment during early development – before birth and during infancy and the first part of childhood – to observe whether there are persistent effects that may increase or decrease the risk of chronic disease later in life.

After earning a bachelor's degree in clinical nutrition at the University of California, Davis, Lesser earned a master's degree in nutrition from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. She completed a dietetic internship at the Frances Stern Nutrition Center at Tufts Medical Center. After earning her doctorate in nutritional biology, concentrating on developmental nutrition, at UC Davis, she worked for a time at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute. Lesser also works at the University of California, Berkeley in the Department of Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology.

Nutrition has been my field for 20 years! The best part of my job is helping others achieve their nutrition and athletic goals.

Where I see patients (3)

    Smell the roses

    Wander outside into our Butterfly Garden in Oakland and our healing gardens at Mission Bay.

    Please check with your health insurance plan regarding coverage for this type of care. Not all providers at UCSF are covered by every insurance plan.