Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D.Father of Functional Medicine
Jeff Bland, Ph.D. is the founder of Big Bold Health, a company on a mission to transform the way people think about one of nature’s greatest innovations — the immune system. Through Big Bold Health, Jeff is advocating for the power of immuno-rejuvenation to enhance immunity at a global level, often through the rediscovery of ancient food crops and superfoods. To get there, Jeff is building a network of small farms and suppliers throughout the US that take a clear stance on regenerative agriculture, environmental stewardship, and planetary health.
Jeff’s career in health spans more than 40 years. A nutritional biochemist by training, he began in academia as a university professor, where he was profoundly influenced by a sabbatical spent working with two-time Nobel Laureate, Dr. Linus Pauling. Jeff then spent three decades in the nutritional products industry, where he served as the Chief Science Officer at Metagenics, and worked alongside other pioneers to establish standards for evidence-based formulations, quality ingredient sourcing, and ethical manufacturing practices that stand to this day.
A lifelong educator, Jeff has traveled the world many times over in his role as the “father of functional medicine.” In 1991, he and his wife, Susan, founded The Institute for Functional Medicine. This organization has grown to become the global leader in functional medicine education. Hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals have now participated in IFM programs, and this collective knowledge has positively impacted the lives of patients all over the world. In 2012, Jeff founded another educational nonprofit called the Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute. This organization has become well-known as the host of Jeff’s signature annual conference, the Thought Leaders Consortium.
Jeff is the author of The Disease Delusion: Conquering the Causes of Chronic Illness for a Healthier, Longer, and Happier Life, among countless additional books and research papers.
Connect with Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D.
What is your wellness philosophy?
I believe that every person has untapped potential for enhanced wellness. And you make this evident through function—physically, metabolically, cognitively, and behaviorally.
What brought you into wellness?
Since my youth, I have always been interested in why people get sick. I want to know what can be done to improve function and reduce the incidence of disease. This led me to the recognition that wellness is the positive face of health. It takes a different approach to that negative context of disease.
What does You. We. All. mean to you?
I have learned that each person is part of a vast network. Every human is connected to every other person, plant, and animal on the planet. The health of the individual really is dependent upon the health of the system.
What gets you up in the morning?
At 74 years of age, my day starts with the affirmation of the magic of life and the responsibility that we each have to make the most of this gift by giving back to our collective health.
What's your favorite ritual?
Moments in the woods, on the water, in the mountains, on the surfboard, riding a bike, reading the most recent medical or scientific journal, time with people I love and respect, thanking the universe for that which is good, learning something new each moment of the day.What’s your best piece of wellness advice?We each need to recognize the treasure that lies within our genome, and then maximize its potential through conscious and intentional commitment to habits that promote our wellness.