Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has named Susan Hutson of Winston-Salem, N.C., head of the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise.

“Dr. Hutson brings us invaluable research and leadership experience that will strengthen the human nutrition, foods, and exercise department’s mission of translating new discoveries in nutrition from the laboratory to the public and vice versa,” said Sharron Quisenberry, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Susan’s strong record in forging partnerships with scientists from multiple disciplines and with hospital and industry collaborators is a tremendous asset for the college, and it will further strengthen the department’s leading position among its peers.”

In commenting on her vision for the department, Hutson, who started her position at Virginia Tech earlier this month, said, “I am excited about joining [the department]. We will continue the transformation of the department into a nationally recognized research-intensive department that fosters excellence and innovation in research, education, and Extension to improve the health of the citizens of Virginia and the nation. We will focus on prevention, healthy weight management, and partnering. I see the department taking a major role in the prevention and treatment of obesity and related chronic diseases by leading and partnering with the other departments and agencies. Partnering ensures a multidisciplinary approach to these complex health issues.”

Hutson most recently served as professor of biochemistry at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, where she also fulfilled numerous administrative roles with research and leadership responsibilities and mentored students and junior faculty.

Her research focus is in the areas of nutrition and nutrition-related disciplines and has been continuously funded by organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders, the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke, American Heart Association, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for more than 20 years. She is the author of more than 90 peer-reviewed publications and 13 book chapters and has been invited to give more than 40 presentations to university and professional audiences. Hutson is the chair-elect of the Nutritional Sciences Council and former chair of the Energy and Macronutrient Research Interest Section of the American Society of Nutrition, both the premier national nutrition organizations.

Before her tenure at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, she worked at The Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa., and the University of Tromsø in Norway. She received her undergraduate degree in molecular biology/chemistry from Vanderbilt University and her doctoral degree in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she conducted postdoctoral work in the Department of Nutrition. She was also awarded a doctorate of philosophy from the University of Tromsø, Norway.

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