January 7, 2020
Penny Gordon-Larsen, PhD, is a professor of nutrition and the associate dean for research at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.
Recently, she was appointed to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Advisory Council. Her term runs from 2019 to 2022, and she also is serving on the NIDDK Clinical Obesity Research Panel.
“Council members provide expertise to advise NIDDK in their pursuit of the most compelling science on the chronic diseases within the institute’s mission: diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic diseases; liver and other digestive diseases; nutritional disorders; obesity; kidney and urologic diseases; and hematologic diseases,” Gordon-Larsen says. “In particular, the council offers guidance to NIDDK on the research, training and dissemination of findings to meet its public health mission to improve people’s health and quality of life.”
Gordon-Larsen’s NIH-funded research portfolio focuses on individual-, household- and community-level susceptibility to obesity and its cardiometabolic consequences, and her work ranges from molecular and genetic to environmental and societal factors. Much of her research focuses on issues related to ethnicity, disparities and the development of obesity over the lifecycle, with attention to pathways linking environment and behavior to cardiometabolic risk.
She received the Eli Lilly Scientific Achievement Award from The Obesity Society in 2010 and served as president of the society in 2015. She also has served on the NIH Nutrition Research Thought Leaders Panel and as chair for the NIH Kidney, Nutrition, Obesity & Diabetes Study Section.
Gordon-Larsen’s newest collaborative research endeavor is the “Heterogeneity in Obesity Creativity Hub: Transdisciplinary Approaches for Precision Research and Treatment.”
“The Obesity Hub is a large collaborative project with 27 faculty members from 16 departments, six schools, and five centers and institutes across UNC,” she explains. “We are focused on understanding why two people who consume the same diets and exercise equally can have very different susceptibility to weight gain. Our aim is to develop treatment approaches that go far beyond the all too common ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.”
Contact the Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at firstname.lastname@example.org.