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Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Christopher J. Lynch to direct Office of Nutrition Research
Christopher J. Lynch, Ph.D., has been named the new director of the Office of Nutrition Research (ONR) and chief of the Nutrition Research Branch within the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Lynch officially assumed his new roles on Feb. 21, 2016. NIDDK is part of the National Institutes of Health.
Lynch will facilitate nutrition research within NIDDK and — through ONR — across NIH, in part by forming and leading a trans-NIH strategic working group. He will also continue and extend ongoing efforts at NIDDK to collaborate widely to advance nutrition research.
“Dr. Lynch is a leader in the nutrition community and his expertise will be vital to guiding the NIH strategic plan for nutrition research,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “As NIH works to expand nutrition knowledge, Dr. Lynch’s understanding of the field will help identify information gaps and create a framework to support future discoveries to ultimately improve human health.”
NIH supports a broad range of nutrition research, including studies on the effects of nutrient and dietary intake on human growth and disease, genetic influences on human nutrition and metabolism and other scientific areas. ONR was established in August 2015 to help NIH develop a strategic plan to expand mission-specific nutrition research.
“Every day, we learn more about the links between diet and life-threatening diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, and how our gut microbiome may determine food preferences,” Lynch said. “These are exciting times for nutrition research and I’m delighted to help advance NIH-funded nutrition research.”
Lynch joins NIH after 27 years at Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, most recently serving as professor and vice chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology. His research focuses on how what we eat and drink influences processes leading to obesity and type 2 diabetes. He has also investigated the relationship between antipsychotic therapy and obesity and type 2 diabetes and how gastric bypass surgery changes metabolism. Lynch also led efforts to increase nutrition education in the medical school curriculum.
“Nutrition research is a key to increasing our understanding of the causes of many diseases studied by NIDDK, including diabetes, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, and others,” said NIDDK Director Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D. “With Dr. Lynch’s guidance, we hope to strengthen our research in nutrition, encourage innovative research through novel partnerships and help the public to better understand how nutrition influences their health.”
The NIDDK, a component of the NIH, conducts and supports research on diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutrition and obesity; and kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases. Spanning the full spectrum of medicine and afflicting people of all ages and ethnic groups, these diseases encompass some of the most common, severe and disabling conditions affecting Americans. For more information about the NIDDK and its programs, visit www.niddk.nih.gov.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
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