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Oregon State University names new Linus Pauling Institute director

Emily Ho in research lab

Emily Ho, the leader of Oregon State University’s Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health and an internationally recognized expert in the study of nutrients and chronic disease, has been named the next endowed chair and director of the university’s Linus Pauling Institute.

Emily has been a principal investigator at the institute since 2005 and on the faculty of OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences since 2003. She will start in her new position July 1.

“Dr. Ho is a respected and trusted member of the LPI community and brings her vision, experience and passion about health to her new role at the institute, which strives to help people feel better and live longer,” says Irem Tumer, the university’s interim vice president for research.

“It is also significant to note that Dr. Ho will be first woman to hold the endowed chair and director position in the LPI’s history.”

Emily earned a PhD in human nutrition at The Ohio State University after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in nutrition sciences from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. She has been director of the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health since 2012 and became a full professor in Oregon State’s School of Biological & Population Health Sciences the following year.

“The Linus Pauling Institute has transformed the field of nutrition with its cutting-edge research on how dietary components work together to impact human health,” Emily says. “I am honored to have been part of this transformation as a member of the institute for the last 17 years, including 15 as a principal investigator. I am excited to serve as the new endowed chair and director, to lead the LPI in its next chapter, and to continue making an impact by providing revolutionizing strategies to help individuals across the nation and the world achieve optimal health.”

The position that Emily will fill is “a critical role for the future of the institute in establishing Oregon State University as a leader in health sciences,” says Irem, to whom Emily will report.

“Dr. Ho will lead a dynamic LPI research program and a proactive philanthropic effort, and guide strategic promotion of the institute,” Irem says. “She will expand collaborative research programs among LPI investigators and also among programs, centers and institutes with complementary interests. Through these efforts, she’ll grow and diversify the research funding base for the Linus Pauling Institute.”

OSU alumnus and two-time Nobel laureate Linus Pauling founded the institute in 1973 to conduct research into how vitamins and other micronutrients might improve the public’s health. It has been based at Oregon State since 1996.

Research programs at the institute investigate the role vitamins, minerals, and chemicals from plants play in human aging, immune function and chronic disease. Their goal is to understand the mechanisms by which components of our diet and/or dietary supplements may affect disease progression and to evaluate their usefulness in disease prevention.

Emily will succeed Richard van Breemen, who will step down June 30.