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Joyce M. Merkel, M.S., R.D., Science and Health Communications Consultant (Contractor)

Joyce M. Merkel, M.S., R.D., joined ODS in 2008 as a Scientific and Health Communications Consultant. In this role, she contributes to a variety of health communications efforts including overseeing ODS social media and responding to inquiries from consumers and health professionals about dietary supplements. Ms. Merkel also provides comprehensive literature searches and expert assistance with publication of peer-reviewed journal articles to ODS scientific staff.  She oversees and provides annual updates for the ODS PubMed Dietary Supplement Subset.

Before becoming a consultant, Ms. Merkel was a nutrition information specialist for the Food and Nutrition Information Center at the National Agricultural Library of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), working on the Nutrition.gov website and with the Food Safety Information Center. Prior to working at USDA, she was an Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University in Minnesota and a nutrition specialist for the North Dakota State University Extension Service.  She has experience as a hospital clinical dietitian and consultant dietitian, and served as a Medicare/Medicaid healthcare facilities surveyor for the North Dakota State Department of Health.

Ms. Merkel is a registered dietitian and member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She received her M.S. in food and nutrition from North Dakota State University and performed doctoral work in nutrition science at Syracuse University. Her M.S. thesis focused on dietary supplement use by young mothers.