D. Lee Alekel joined the NIAMS in January 2015 as Program Director, overseeing a portfolio that includes research in bone biology, osteoporosis, and metabolic bone disorders, spanning basic/mechanistic and clinical studies. Since joining NIAMS, Dr. Alekel has participated in the Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity in Humans (MoTrPAC) consortium and serves as Program Director for the Clinical Centers involved in this $170M NIH Common Fund initiative, receiving a NIH Merit Award for MoTrPAC in 2015. In 2011, Dr. Alekel joined NIH as Program Director at the National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health (NCCIH, formerly NCCAM). Dr. Alekel spearheaded a trans-NIH effort for a Sleep/Pain Workshop (May 2014) and developed a summary, paving the way for a funding opportunity announcement. She twice received the NCCIH Director’s Merit Award for outstanding leadership of the Clinical Studies Working Group and for outstanding teamwork to develop the Clinical Research Toolbox.
Prior to joining NIH, Dr. Alekel was a professor of nutritional physiology and associate director of the Nutrition & Wellness Research Center at Iowa State University. Dr. Alekel has numerous peer-reviewed publications and provided over 80 invited talks internationally and nationally to professional audiences. Her areas of research included: soy isoflavones and bone, endometrial thickness, & menopausal symptoms; physical activity and bone/body composition; inflammatory markers and central adiposity; ethnicity and bone, CVD risk, & breast cancer risk; and iron status in women. Dr. Alekel received her Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences with an emphasis in statistics from the University of Illinois-Urbana, her M.S. in Human Nutrition with a physiology minor from The Pennsylvania State University, her B.S. in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University, and an internship in Clinical Dietetics at Kansas University Medical Center.