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April 5, 2012

Contact: Suzanne Phelan

Cal Poly Professor Appointed to National Institutes of Health Review Team

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Cal Poly Kinesiology Professor Suzanne Phelan has been named as a member of a national team of scientists charged with evaluating diabetes- or obesity-related grant proposals submitted to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The NIH is the medical research agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Phelan was invited to serve on the Clinical and Integrative Diabetes and Obesity Study Section, an arm of the NIH’s Center for Scientific Review (CSR) in Bethesda, Md.

Phelan will serve a four-year term starting in July. The team reviews grant applications submitted to the NIH and then makes funding recommendations to the advisory council or board overseeing that area of research.

Phelan’s research focus is pregnancy-related weight gain and obesity. In 2011, the NIH awarded her $6.4 million in grant funding for two studies that focus on combating obesity during and after pregnancy. She is launching the studies with the help of research assistants in Cal Poly’s Science through Translational Research in Diet and Exercise (STRIDE) center.

Team members are selected based on their achievements in their scientific fields. They must have a demonstrated history of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors. 

“Service on a study section also requires mature judgment and objectivity as well as the ability to work effectively in a group, qualities we believe Dr. Phelan will bring to this important task,” said Richard Nakamura, acting director of the CSR. “Her service represents a major commitment of professional time and energy as well as a unique opportunity to contribute to the national biomedical research effort.”

J. Kevin Taylor, chair of the Cal Poly Kinesiology Department, said Phelan’s appointment is well deserved. “Though this means she will have a new commitment added to her professional duties, the chance to review the latest research proposals and interact with scientists from across the nation will give her much to bring back to the department and our students.”

For more information about Phelan and her research, visit: or

For more information on STRIDE, go to:

For more information about Cal Poly’s Kinesiology Department, go to:

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