Dr. 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., PhD. “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,” Dr. Lynch said. “These are exciting times for nutrition research and I’m delighted to help advance NIH-funded nutrition research.”
Dr. 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. Dr. 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.”