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Nancy Potischman, Ph.D., Director, Population Studies Program


Nancy Potischman, Ph.D., is a Nutritional Epidemiologist and Director of the Population Studies Program in the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. Through the program, Dr. Potischman focuses on the benefits and risks of dietary supplement use at various ages and issues related to food fortification. She works with large datasets, particularly the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), to evaluate dietary supplement usage, as well as characterizing the users and any associated health effects in the population. In addition, she fosters research on the assessment of biological measures of supplement exposure and measurement issues related to supplement ascertainment and laboratory assays.

Dr. Potischman’s research interests include nutritional epidemiology, dietary assessment methods and measurement error, dietary supplements, dietary patterns, nutrition screening, nutritional biomarkers, and population surveillance. Ongoing work involves testing the feasibility of a follow-up study of children and their mothers in China who participated in a study of folic acid intervention during pregnancy. She led an effort to evaluate dietary intakes, nutritional status, UV exposures, and physical activity in this feasibility study, and collaborates on a follow-up on the relationship of in utero exposure to folate to childhood cancers in this cohort. She is part of a team at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) developing and updating an automated self-administered 24-hour recall instrument (known as ASA24) and a working group on measurement errors related to dietary intakes and biomarkers.

Prior to joining ODS, Dr. Potischman worked in the field of nutritional epidemiology in the NCI Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences. From 1989 to 1999, she was involved in epidemiologic research, particularly of breast, endometrial, and cervical cancers, in the NCI Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics. For several years, she worked on a newborn screening program demonstrating the benefit of early diagnosis of hypothyroidism using newborn filter paper blood spots. Dr. Potischman received her B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts and Ph.D. in nutritional sciences from Cornell University.