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NIH Office of Dietary Supplements Appoints Nutrition Scientist

Monday, July 6, 1998
CONTACT: Bernadette M. Marriott, Ph.D.
Office of Dietary Supplements
(301) 435-2920

NIH Office of Dietary Supplements Appoints Nutrition Scientist

The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has appointed Rebecca Bortz Costello, Ph.D. as nutrition scientist. She brings to the ODS a special interest in the use of nutritional therapies for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease as well as an extensive background in the nutritional management of cardiovascular diseases.

Prior to joining the NIH Dr. Costello worked in private and other Government settings in clinical nutrition, research, teaching, and research policy capacities. She has worked with patients as a clinical nutrition specialist in private practice and through appointments at the Veterans Administration Medical Center and Washington Adventist Hospital. While with the Veterans Administration, Dr. Costello coordinated a series of clinical drug studies that investigated antianginals, antiarrhythmics and lipid lowering therapies for cardiovascular disease. In conjunction with her research position at the Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, Maryland, she evaluated a wide array of methods to assess and document the effects of magnesium supplements in patients with mild-to-moderate congestive heart failure. Her research publications and presentations have focused on the role of nutrition and drug therapy in the management of cardiovascular disease.

Most recently Dr. Costello worked in nutrition policy serving as Study Director with the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences. Her work focused on evaluating the nutritional adequacy and the use of nutritional supplements for sustaining and enhancing performance in military personnel. She was also involved in developing programs to assess the quality of clinical and nutrition care services and to examine the relationship between alcohol and overall diet. Dr. Costello has taught at the graduate and undergraduate levels at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Columbia Union College in Takoma Park.

Dr. Costello is a native of the Washington D.C. area. She received a masters degree in biology from The American University in Washington, D.C. and her doctorate in clinical nutrition from the University of Maryland at College Park. She holds professional memberships in the American Heart Association Epidemiology Council, American Dietetic Association, American College of Nutrition, and the American Institute of Nutrition.

The Office of Dietary Supplements was established at NIH in November 1995 as a result of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act passed by Congress in 1994. The goals of ODS are to explore more fully the potential role of dietary supplements as a significant part of the efforts of the United States to improve health care; promote scientific study of the benefits of dietary supplements in maintaining health and chronic disease; and conduct and coordinate scientific research within the National Institutes of Health relating to dietary supplements.