Speakers

Karen W. Andrews, B.S., manages the Dietary Supplement Ingredient Database (DSID) research program, a joint project of the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS)/National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The DSID provides estimated levels of ingredients in dietary supplement (DS) products sold in the United States (https://dsid.usda.nih.gov). These statistically predicted estimates are based on the chemical analysis of nationally representative DS and may differ from labeled amounts. Epidemiological studies of nutrient intake and health that include DS currently use the manufacturer’s label information. The DSID is a tool that can be used to estimate intakes from DS more accurately. Ms. Andrews is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Society for Nutrition, and AOAC International. Previously she was an analytical research chemist for Texaco, Inc., and W. R. Grace and Co., where she focused on the carbohydrate fractions of foods. She received her B.S. in chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University.

Regan Bailey, Ph.D., R.D., is a registered dietitian and a professor in the Department of Nutrition Science at Purdue University. She also directs the Indiana Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Purdue Diet Assessment Center. Previously she was a nutritional epidemiologist and the director of career development and outreach at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). The focus of research in the Bailey lab is to improve the methods of measuring nutritional status to optimize health. She utilizes nationally representative survey data to characterize the American dietary landscape; to identify the optimal methods for assessment of biomarkers of nutritional status; and, importantly, to understand how dietary intakes relate to health outcomes. Dr. Bailey’s work has identified differences in nutritional exposures by gender, race, ethnicity, age, and income, suggesting the need for population-specific interventions and public health policy for interventions and policies. She is the author of more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific publications and has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine for her research contributions. She received her M.S. in food and nutrition from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, her Ph.D. in nutrition science and gerontology from The Pennsylvania State University, and her M.P.H in epidemiology and public health from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at ODS.

LaVerne Brown, Ph.D., is a program director at the Office of Dietary Supplements, where she is interested in research that explores the impact of dietary supplement use on resilience and health in diverse populations. As chair of the Trans-NIH Resilience working group, her work focuses on elucidating mediators of resilience to help gain a better understanding of how adaptations to environmental and biological stressors may impact nutrient status and overall health status in individuals. Dr. Brown first joined ODS as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellow in August 2016. In this role, she led a project to explore the vitamin D paradox in Black Americans. A 2017 forum on the topic, which she organized in collaboration with the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institute on Aging, and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, provided insight into the state of the science with respect to key knowledge gaps impacting vitamin D status and bone health. Previously she was an associate professor of medicinal and organic chemistry. Her research interests included the isolation and chemical characterization of active molecules from natural products as well as the design and synthesis of novel small molecules to better understand the role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in neurological disorders. She received her B.S. in chemistry from Old Dominion University and her Ph.D. in organic/natural products chemistry from Virginia Commonwealth University and completed postdoctoral training in medicinal chemistry at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. 

Dr. Nadja B. Cech is the Patricia A. Sullivan Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She supervises a dynamic research group engaged in developing novel mass spectrometry metabolomics approaches to solve challenging problems in natural products research. A major focus of this work is developing novel methodologies to identify combinations of molecules that interact to achieve biological effects (additivity, synergy, or antagonism). Dr. Cech is the recipient of the 2011 Jack L. Beal Award from the Journal of Natural Products and the 2017 Thomas Norwood Award for Undergraduate Research Mentorship. She is a principal investigator for the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)- and Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS)-funded Center for High Content Functional Annotation of Natural Products, the co-director of the Analytical Core for the Center of Excellence for Natural Product Drug Interaction, and the co-director of the Medicinal Chemistry Collaborative.

Emily Y. Chew, M.D., is the director of the Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications and the chief of the Clinical Trials Branch at the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) National Eye Institute (NEI). She is a board-certified ophthalmologist who specializes in medical retina. She designed and conducted the Age-related Eye Diseases Study (AREDS), which was a randomized clinical trial of oral supplementation with antioxidant vitamins and zinc with copper for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the United States and the developed world. In a subsequent clinical trial, the AREDS2, lutein/zeaxanthin and omega3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) were evaluated as additional therapies for AMD. Dr. Chew is the editor in chief of Ophthalmology Science. She received her M.D. from the University of Toronto; completed her residency in ophthalmology at the University of Toronto; and completed her medical retina fellowships at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Nijmegen.

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., was appointed the 16th director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate. He was sworn in on August 17, 2009. In 2017, President Donald Trump asked him to continue to serve as the NIH director. President Joe Biden did the same in 2021. Dr. Collins is the only Presidentially appointed NIH director to serve more than one administration. In this role, he oversees the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world, spanning the spectrum from basic to clinical research. Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book. He served as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at NIH from 1993 to 2008. He is an elected member of both the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007, and received the National Medal of Science in 2009. In 2020, he was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (United Kingdom) and was named the 50th winner of the Templeton Prize, which celebrates scientific and spiritual curiosity. He received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Yale University and his M.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

Cindy D. Davis, Ph.D., is the national program leader for the Program in Human Nutrition conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Agricultural Research Service. In this role, she helps direct the scientific program for 6 Human Nutrition Research Centers. Prior to joining USDA, she was the director of grants and extramural activities in the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), where she actively engaged and encouraged partnerships with other National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutes and Centers to develop a portfolio that advances both nutritional and botanical dietary supplement research for optimizing public health. She also is actively involved in a number of government working groups focused on the microbiome, including being a co-founder and co-chair of the Joint Agency Microbiome Working Group (NIH, Food and Drug Administration [FDA], National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST] and USDA). Before coming to ODS, she was a program director in the Nutritional Sciences Research Group at the National Cancer Institute. In 2000, she received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and was named the USDA Early Career Scientist. She has published more than 135 peer-reviewed journal articles and 11 invited book chapters. She is a supplement editor for the Journal of Nutrition, assistant editor for Nutrition Reviews, and a member of the editorial board for Advances in Nutrition. She received her B.S. with honors in nutritional sciences from Cornell University and her Ph.D. in nutrition with a minor in human cancer biology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She completed her postdoctoral training at the Laboratory of Experimental Carcinogenesis at the National Cancer Institute. 

Steven DeKosky, M.D., is the Aerts-Cosper Professor of Alzheimer’s Research at the University of Florida College of Medicine and the deputy director of the McKnight Brain Institute, the associate director of the 1Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and a professor of neurology and neuroscience at the University of Florida. Previously he was the vice president and dean of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, physician-in-chief of the University of Virginia Health System, adjunct professor of neurology at the University of Pittsburgh, and visiting professor of biomedical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania. His basic research centers on structural and neurochemical changes in human brain in aging and dementia and effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI). His clinical/translational research is in understanding the cognitive and behavioral decline, genetics, neuroimaging, and treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). He directed an 8-year NIH-funded national multicenter trial to assess whether ginkgo biloba could prevent or delay onset of dementia in normal elderly adults, the first large study of prevention of dementia/AD. He authored, with Bennet Omalu, the first reports of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in American football players and was principal investigator of the program project grant studying the clinical application of the breakthrough amyloid-imaging agent Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB). Dr. DeKosky has served on and led numerous NIH review and advisory committees, was a member of the FDA Peripheral and Central Nervous System (PCNS) Drugs Advisory Committee, and still serves as a PCNS Committee advisor. He has served the National Advisory Council of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (now the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health) and the NIH’s Council of Councils (The Director’s Council). He was a member of the Alzheimer’s Association Board of Directors and chaired the Association’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Council (MSAC). He is a former member of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) Board of Directors and is now a member of the ADI Medical and Scientific Advisory Panel. He received his M.D. from the University of Florida College of Medicine.

Patricia A. Deuster, Ph.D., M.P.H., FACSM, CNS, is a professor in the Department of Military and Emergency Medicine and the chief science officer for the Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP), which is a Defense Center of Excellence for Human Performance Optimization, at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) in Bethesda, Maryland. Visit CHAMP’s websites: Human Performance Resources by CHAMP (hprc-online.org) and Operation Supplement Safety (OPSS.org). She chairs the Department of Defense (DoD) Dietary Supplement Subcommittee; is a member of the DoD Food and Nutrition Subcommittee; and serves on the Veterans Affairs (VA)/DoD Health Executive Committee Women’s Health Work Group, the DoD Nutrition Committee, and various federal working groups. She has conducted research in sports, warrior nutrition, and human performance for more than 35 years. Dr. Deuster is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine; a certified nutrition specialist; and has more than 300 peer-reviewed papers, numerous book chapters, and books relating to human performance with a focus on health, nutrition, dietary supplements, and total force fitness. She is a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit and received the Special Operations Medical Researcher Award from the Special Operations Medical Association in 2014 and the Distinguished Service Award in 2021. She received her A.B. in mathematics and computer science and her M.A. in education and physical education from the College of William and Mary, her Ph.D. in nutritional sciences and physiology from the University of Maryland, and her M.P.H. with an emphasis in public health and epidemiology from USU.

Abby G. Ershow, Sc.D., R.D., FAHA, is a senior nutrition scientist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). Previously she was an extramural program director in nutrition at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and a staff fellow in the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). She also completed a detail assignment as a visiting analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. A registered and Maryland-licensed dietitian, she is a member of the American Society for Nutrition and the American Chemical Society and is an elected Fellow of the American Heart Association. She is the author or co-author of 9 book chapters and more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and monographs. She also was a coordinating editor for the only full-length text on conducting controlled diet studies in humans. Dr. Ershow’s areas of interest include maternal and child health, cardiovascular nutrition, exercise physiology, preventive medicine, vascular biology, public health, nutritional epidemiology, nutrition and developmental disabilities, food chemistry, and metrics for evaluation of program effectiveness. A recent focus is assessment of iodine status and databases on the iodine content of foods and dietary supplements. Other longstanding interest areas include heart failure, diabetes, obesity, peripheral arterial disease, chronic kidney disease, and the use of biomedical engineering approaches to address nutrition research issues. She has expertise with interagency agreements and other collaborative funding mechanisms. She received her a B.A. in biological sciences (physiology) from Cornell University; her Sc.D. in nutrition, physiology, and biostatistics from the Harvard School of Public Health; and her Certificate in Public Leadership from the Brookings Institution. She also received certificates in strategic planning and performance measure development from the Balanced Scorecard Institute.

Jaime J. Gahche, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a nutritional epidemiologist in the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) Population Studies Program. Her work focuses on assessing the use of dietary supplements in the United States and investigating the role of dietary supplements in disease prevention and health promotion, using data from health surveys and epidemiologic studies. Prior to joining ODS, Dr. Gahche worked as a nutritional epidemiologist in the Division of National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Center for Health Statistics. She directed the effort to collect and process dietary supplement data collected in NHANES from 2005 to 2016. During that time, she also worked closely with colleagues at ODS to characterize dietary supplement usage in the U.S. population. She received her B.S. in nutritional sciences from Cornell University, her M.P.H. from The George Washington University, and her Ph.D. in nutrition from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Carol Haggans, M.S., R.D., is a scientific and health communications consultant with the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In this role, she handles a variety of health communications activities including writing and updating the ODS dietary supplement fact sheets and the consumer-focused e-newsletter, The Scoop. She also leads the ODS public inquiry program and researches and responds to inquiries from consumers, health professionals, and the media about dietary supplements. In addition, Ms. Haggans is a member of the NIH Nutrition Education Subcommittee, a group that reviews federally developed nutrition education materials written for the public to ensure consistency with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. She is a member of the American Society for Nutrition and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She received her M.S. in nutrition from the University of Minnesota, where she conducted clinical research on the effects of flaxseed consumption on estrogen metabolism and breast cancer risk. Prior to that, she worked in the information technology field as a manufacturing and technical service engineer after receiving her B.S. in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Adam J. Kuszak, Ph.D., is a health scientist administrator in the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) and the director of the ODS Analytical Methods and Reference Materials (AMRM) Program. Through AMRM, he works with stakeholders involved in research, industry, and regulatory affairs to support scientific resource development and promote biomedical research on the mechanisms and health effects of dietary supplements and natural products. In addition, he provides scientific expertise and analyses to facilitate ODS initiative development, program management, strategic planning, and evaluation. Dr. Kuszak’s primary research interests are elucidating the mechanisms of action and effects on cellular signaling networks of natural products and drugs and their chemical and biological characterization. He received his B.S. in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Michigan. He completed his postdoctoral training at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and joined the ODS as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellow in 2014.

JoAnn E. Manson, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., is a professor of medicine and the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women’s Health at Harvard Medical School, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH). She is a physician epidemiologist, endocrinologist, and principal investigator (PI) or co-PI of several research studies, including the Women’s Health Initiative Clinical Center in Boston, the cardiovascular component of the Nurses’ Health Study, the VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL), the COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS), and the VItamin D for COVID-19 (VIVID) trial. Her primary research interests include randomized clinical prevention trials of nutritional and lifestyle factors related to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer; the role of endogenous and exogenous estrogens as determinants of chronic disease; and biomarker predictors of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Dr. Manson has received numerous honors, including the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Population Research Prize, the AHA’s Distinguished Scientist Award, the AHA’s Research Achievement Award, election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (National Academy of Medicine), membership in the Association of American Physicians (AAP), fellowship in American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Woman in Science Award from the American Medical Women’s Association, the Bernadine Healy Award for Visionary Leadership in Women’s Health, the Massachusetts Medical Society awards in both Public Health and Women’s Health Research, and the James D. Bruce Memorial Award for Distinguished Contributions in Preventive Medicine from the American College of Physicians. She has published more than 1,200 articles, is the author or editor of several books and textbooks, serves as editor in chief of Contemporary Clinical Trials, and is a past president of the North American Menopause Society. She is one of the most highly cited researchers in the world and was one of the physicians featured in the National Library of Medicine’s exhibition, History of American Women Physicians. She received her M.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and her M.P.H. and Dr.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health. 

Lori Minasian, M.D., FACP, a medical oncologist, is the deputy director of the Division of Cancer Prevention at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). She is a leader in NCI clinical trials, first leading the NCI’s Community Clinical Oncology Program (a community-based clinical trials program) for more than 15 years and then supporting a variety of the processes in the restructuring of the NCI’s clinical trials programs. She has facilitated the development of cancer prevention and symptom management clinical trials and the incorporation of patient-reported outcomes in cancer clinical trials. Dr. Minasian was the program director of the SELECT trial and was involved in all aspects of the design, development, and conduct of the trial. She facilitated the transition of the trial into a cohort for ongoing research; 20 years after the SELECT trial was conducted, the biospecimens and data remain a resource for investigators around the world. In addition to her administrative position, she participates in the NCI’s Women’s Malignancy Clinic seeing patients, supervising fellows, and participating in the development and implementation of clinical trials using novel agents. She received her M.D. from the George Washington University School of Medicine and completed a fellowship in medical oncology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Katie M. O’Brien, MSPH, Ph.D., is a staff scientist in the Epidemiology Branch of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), where she helps lead the Sister Study, a prospective cohort study designed to identify environmental and genetic risk factors for breast cancer. Within the study, her main interests include how environmental and hormone-related exposures are related to breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers. This includes several studies of the association between vitamin D and breast cancer. Her mission as a cancer epidemiologist is to identify genetic and environmental determinants of breast and other cancers. To date, her primary research focus has been on risk factors for breast cancer among African American or young women. She also has studied racial disparities in breast cancer survival, genetic risk factors for gastrointestinal stromal tumors, and epidemiological methods. As an independent researcher, Dr. O’Brien plans to study how genetic and epigenetic factors modify susceptibility to environmental exposures or specific cancer treatments and how cancer etiology differs by race and age. Her ultimate goal is to identify ways to prevent and effectively treat cancer, especially among individuals at high risk of cancer-related mortality. She received her MSPH and Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Elizabeth N. Pearce, M.D., is a professor of medicine in the Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition at Boston University School of Medicine. She also serves as the regional coordinator for North America for the Iodine Global Network. She is an associate editor for Thyroid and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism and has served on multiple editorial boards including those for Clinical EndocrinologyEndocrine Practice, Clinical Thyroidology, and Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. She was the 2018–2019 president of the American Thyroid Association and co-chaired the American Thyroid Association’s 2017 Thyroid in Pregnancy Guidelines Task Force. Her research interests include the sufficiency of dietary iodine in the United States, thyroid function in pregnancy, the thyroid effects of environmental perchlorate exposure, and the cardiovascular effects of subclinical thyroid dysfunction. Dr. Pearce was the 2011 recipient of the American Thyroid Association’s Van Meter Award for outstanding contributions to research on the thyroid gland and was the 2018 Women in Thyroidology Woman of the Year. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University, her M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and her M.S. in epidemiology from the Boston University School of Public Health. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and her fellowship in endocrinology at Boston University.

Leila G. Saldanha, Ph.D., R.D., FAND, is a part-time scientific consultant at the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She provides scientific expertise and support with the development of the Dietary Supplements Label Database (DSLD) and the Dietary Supplement Ingredient Database (DSID). The DSLD is a public use database that captures label-derived information from dietary supplement products offered for sale in the United States. She is actively involved in the modernization of the DSLD. Previously, Leila coordinated the modification of the LanguaL™ thesaurus to comply with U.S. dietary supplement labeling regulations for describing products in the DSLD. She coordinated the ad hoc Bioactive Food Components Federal Working Group that undertook defining bioactive components and exploring approaches to evaluating their significance in health promotion and disease prevention. She also played a lead role in the formation and implementation of the Dietary Supplements Analytical Methods and Reference Materials Program and coordinated publication of the Annual Bibliographies of Significant Advances in Dietary Supplement Research. Before providing consulting services to ODS, Dr. Saldanha was vice president of nutritional sciences for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a trade organization representing manufacturers and distributors of nonprescription medicines and dietary supplement products. She held several progressively responsible senior managerial roles during her 10-plus years at the Kellogg Company, including director of nutrition and scientific affairs for the AsiaPacific region based in Sydney, Australia. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) and an active professional member of AND and the American Society for Nutrition. She has authored and co-authored numerous publications. She received her undergraduate training in Bombay, now Mumbai, India, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in food and nutrition from Kansas State University. 

Claus Schneider, Ph.D., is a professor of pharmacology at Vanderbilt University Medical School. His research interest is in the enzymatic and nonenzymatic formation of bioactive lipid mediators and in understanding the mechanisms of action of bioactive dietary compounds, with a special focus on curcumin. In a National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)-funded project, Dr. Schneider determined the products and mechanism of degradation of curcumin, culminating in the hypothesis that curcumin acts as a pro-drug and that bioactivity, in part, is mediated by its degradation products. Current research in the lab focuses on the structural and functional characterization of eicosanoids that are formed by a biosynthetic crossover of 5-lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase-2. Dr. Schneider is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry and an associate editor for Free Radical Research. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in food chemistry from the University of Wuerzburg, Germany, and completed his postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Dr. Alan Brash at Vanderbilt University.  

Howard D. Sesso, Sc.D., M.P.H., FAHA, is an associate epidemiologist in the Divisions of Preventive Medicine and Aging at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and an associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He also is the associate director of the Division of Preventive Medicine, the director of nutrition research, and the co-director of hypertension research at BWH. He is an expert in the design, methodology, and conduct of randomized clinical trials and epidemiologic studies, focusing on vitamin and mineral supplements plus other lifestyle factors in the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension, obesity, cancer, and other aging-related outcomes. Dr. Sesso helps lead the Physicians’ Health Study, consisting of 2 separate completed clinical trials that have tested aspirin along with beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, and multivitamin supplements on cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases in 29,071 men with multiple blood collections and decades of follow-up. He also is testing vitamin D and fish oil supplements on 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure and hypertension risk in an ancillary study of the VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL) trial and is involved in other VITAL ancillary studies. Dr. Sesso is co-principal investigator of the COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS), an ongoing randomized, 2x2 factorial trial testing cocoa flavanol and multivitamin supplements in the prevention of CVD and cancer in 21,442 older women and men. He also has led completed and ongoing short-term trials of various dietary supplements on cardiometabolic outcomes and has published more than 300 papers to date. He received his M.P.H. from The George Washington University and his Sc.D. from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Barbara C. Sorkin, Ph.D., is the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consortium for Advancing Research on Botanicals and Other Natural Products (CARBON), a collaborative centers program focused on advancing the scientific base of knowledge about the chemistry and biological activities of botanicals and other natural products relevant to dietary supplements. Before moving to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), Dr. Sorkin administered an extramural research portfolio including healthy aging, cancer, and sleep and coordinated programs to enhance clinical and translational research on complementary and alternative medicine.at the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Prior to joining NIH, she was a faculty member at the Forsyth Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, and at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. She received her B.S. and M.S. from the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University and her Ph.D. from the Laboratory of Developmental and Molecular Biology at Rockefeller University. 

Amala Soumyanath, B.Pharm., Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Neurology at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). She also directs the Botanicals Enhancing Neurological and Functional Resilience in Aging (BENFRA) Botanical Dietary Supplements Research Center at OHSU. The BENFRA Center is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) and National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH); studies focus on the popular dietary supplements gotu kola (Centella asiatica) and ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). She also is co-director of an NCCIH-funded T32 grant for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research Training in Neuroscience and Stress. Dr. Soumyanath is primarily a pharmacognosist, and her research investigates the chemistry and biological properties of traditionally used botanicals. Goals of this work are to promote evidence-based use of complex botanical products in healthcare and to identify novel phytochemical leads for drug development. Her current research program examines botanicals with potential use in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, or for resilience to neurological decline in aging. She has received multiple federal grants for collaborative projects examining the botanical Centella asiatica through chemical analysis, preclinical models, translational studies, and early clinical trials. She has published widely on her studies on biologically active botanicals, co-authoring the popular Laboratory Handbook for the Fractionation of Natural Extracts and editing a volume on antidiabetic plants for the series Traditional Medicines for Modern Times. She received her B.Pharm. and Ph.D. from the University of London.

Christine Lewis Taylor, Ph.D., is the chair of the American Nutrition Society’s Committee on Advocacy and Science Policy. Previously she was a scientist at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 1986 to 2006. She was the director of the Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements in the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. In this capacity, she oversaw a staff of more than 50 scientists who were responsible for research, regulation, and enforcement related to nutrition issues and dietary supplements. During this time, she also was lead of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations–sponsored Codex Alimentarius Committee on Nutrition Labeling. From 2004 to 2006 FDA assigned her to the World Health Organization, where she worked on the topic of approaches for determining dietary supplement safety. Following her retirement from the agency, Dr. Taylor was named a Scholar in the Institute of Medicine at the National Academies in Washington, DC, where she was a study director for four projects including an evaluation of the process for setting dietary reference intakes, consensus recommendations for the standards for school lunch, identification of strategies for reducing sodium in the diet, and an evaluation of the recommended intakes for vitamin D and calcium. From 2011 to 2017, Dr. Taylor served as a contracting scientist for the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health, where she conducted research and was responsible for developing workshops and conferences targeted to a range of nutrition topics. 

Zhi-Hong Yang, Ph.D., is a research fellow at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). She is particularly interested in better understanding the mechanism for the interaction of various dietary fatty acids with chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and eye disease. Her work showed for the first time that consumption of fish oil enriched in omega-11 long-chain monounsaturated fatty acid protects against diet-induced atherosclerosis in various animal models and improves lipoprotein subclass profiles in human subjects. Dr. Yang also is the key pioneer investigator for investigating fish oil-derived omega-3 very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (VLCPUFA) and very long chain fatty acids (VLCFA)-deficient diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, Stargardt-like macular dystrophy (STDG3), and male infertility. In the United States, fish oils are the most used supplement; Dr Yang’s research provides an enhanced understanding on the effect of other component fatty acids beyond omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on health conditions and, thus, could lead to significant improvements in the formulation of fish oil supplements for optimizing health. As evidence of her scientific achievement, Dr. Yang published 27 high-impact papers and 6 patents. Moreover, she received the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) Research Scholars Program Grant in 2016 and 2020 and multiple conference awards, including the New Investigator Research Award from the American Oil Chemists’ Society in 2018. She received her Ph.D. in science from Keio University.

HHS ODS