John E. French, PhD
Professor of Nutrition
Dr. French is Professor of Nutrition at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute, Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Kannapolis, NC and Adjunct Associate Professor, Center for Pharmacogenetics and Individualized Therapy, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, an international leader in the investigation of gene x environment interactions (GEI) using pre-clinical genetically-diverse and genetically-engineered mouse models to discover genetic and epigenetic variants associated with inter-individual differences in metabolism and disease. This research is intrinsic to investigation of the international epidemic of obesity and disease associated with nutrition and environmental exposures. His current research is focused on nutrition and exposome-related mechanisms of heritable and non-heritable causes of obesity and associated diseases (cancer, metabolic syndrome, insulin-resistance, type 2 diabetes, etc.). These pre-clinical mouse model studies are designed to aid development of targeted precision nutrition approaches to support intervention and prevention of nutrition and environmental exposure related diseases.
Prior to joining UNC-CH faculty, Dr. French was Chief, Host Susceptibility Branch, National Toxicology Program, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, NC. In his NIH intramural research career, he studied haplotype diversity panels of inbred mice and Diversity Outbred mice, derived from the incipient Collaborate Cross mice to investigate inter-individual differences resulting from nutrition deficiencies and chemical stressor induced toxicity and disease. He earned a B.S. in Zoology and Chemistry and a M.S. degree in physiology and immunology at Mississippi State University and a Ph.D. in Physiology and Cell Biology at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. He completed post-doctoral training in radiation biology at the NCI-NNMC program in Bethesda, MD before joining the NIH.