Dr. Yanbin Dong, a geneticist and cardiologist exploring how factors like aging, genetics, diet and social determinants of health impact cardiovascular health and what can be done to better identify early signs of trouble and intervene, has been named director of the Georgia Prevention Institute at the Medical College of Georgia.
The 40-year old GPI was among the first in the nation established to conduct longitudinal studies exploring why children grow up to be adults with cardiovascular disease. Today the GPI has about a dozen faculty with expertise in the myriad of factors that contribute to sickness and health, including genetic epidemiologists, community outreach researchers, behavioral scientists as well as experts in health disparities and integrative vascular and exercise physiology.
“Bin Dong is an excellent collaborator and skilled investigator who brings people with diverse skill sets but common interests together to move knowledge forward about our state and nation’s number one killer, heart and cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. David Hess, MCG dean. “That skill set is a natural for ensuring that the GPI stays ahead of the curve in the pursuit of relevant, human-based studies that will enable a healthier future for all of us.”
Dong recently served as an at-large member on the Governing Committee of the Medical Nutrition Council of the American Society of Nutrition. He has served as vice chair of the Clinical and Integrative Diabetes and Obesity Study Section of the National Institutes of Health and as a standing member of the NIH’s Mechanisms of Emotion, Stress and Health, or MESH, Study Section.
At the GPI, Dong organizes and facilitates regular discussions to help individual investigators obtain external funding and he is a co-leader of the research program for a large NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award MCG is pursuing.
Dong’s current research funding includes a $3 million NIH grant to objectively assess whether cocoa supplements can help us age better.
He is a prolific educator who mentors and teaches undergraduate, nursing, medical and graduate students as well as residents and postdoctoral fellows.
Dong came to MCG and the GPI 20 years ago from St. George’s University of London where he was a lecturer on stroke genetics in the Clinical Neurosciences Department and manager of the Cerebrovascular Genetics Laboratory. Prior to that, he completed postdoctoral studies in diabetes and salt-sensitive hypertension at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital Medical School and St. George Medical School in the United Kingdom.