News Release

California Walnuts and American Heart Association announce first joint funding award

New special funding opportunity supports early career scientists

Business Announcement

Edelman Public Relations, Seattle

FOLSOM, Calif., January 5, 2021 - California Walnut Commission (CWC), a non-profit organization funded by mandatory assessments of the growers, is pleased to announce a new scientific and research initiative with the American Heart Association (AHA) to fund early career scientists interested in human clinical or epidemiological projects related to the health benefits of walnut consumption.

"The CWC is thrilled to provide special funding for this American Heart Association research initiative which mutually aligns with achieving our mission and strategic objective of studying the potential health benefits of walnuts, while also fostering the development of researcher careers," states Michelle Connelly, CEO of the Commission.

Since 1949, the AHA has invested more than $4.6 billion into research making them the largest not-for-profit funding source for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease research next to the federal government. The CWC has been supporting health research via a $20 million dollar cumulative investment since 1990.

"The opportunity to collaborate with the American Heart Association is the culmination of decades of research on walnuts and their effect on cardiovascular health. Our industry is proud to support this new research initiative," said Robert Driver, California Walnut Commission Chairperson. The CWC Health Research Program is dedicated to funding research in a credible and transparent manner that will improve understanding and expand knowledge about the effects of walnut consumption on public health outcomes. It is imperative to be at the scientific table sharing new research as related to dietary recommendations and cutting-edge biomarkers. The CWC continues to build the foremost body of comprehensive walnut nutrition health science based on previous scientific findings in areas including gut health, cancer, cognitive health, metabolic syndrome, body weight and composition, and heart health.


Proposal submissions for the Career Development Award will be accepted by the American Heart Association through February 16, 2021 with an awardee start date of July 1, 2021.

California Walnut Commission

The California Walnut Commission, established in 1987, is funded by mandatory assessments of the growers. The CWC represents over 4,800 growers and approximately 90 handlers (processors) of California walnuts in export market development activities and conducts health research. The CWC is an agency of the State of California that works in concurrence with the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

Non-Discrimination Statement

The CWC prohibits discrimination in all programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, marital/familial/parental status, religion, sexual orientation, political beliefs, reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance programs.

Persons with limited English proficiency or disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (translated materials, braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the CWC offices at (916) 932-7070.

To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at or write a letter with all information requested in the form and either send to USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, fax to (202) 690-7442, or email to CWC is an equal opportunity employer and provider.

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