Barbara Howard

Barbara Howard, PhD, is a Senior Scientist and former President of MedStar Health Research Institute. She received her PhD in microbiology from the University of Pennsylvania and currently holds faculty appointments in the Department of Medicine at Georgetown University and the University of Maryland and in the Department of Biochemistry at Howard University. She was formerly the Associate Chief of the Phoenix Clinical Diabetes and Nutrition Section, NIDDK, of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Howard is a past Chair of the Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association and the Nutrition Study Section of the NIH and a former Vice-Chair of the American Heart Association Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism.

Dr. Howard has served as a member of the NIH Expert Panel on Obesity which developed national guidelines for the treatment and prevention of obesity. She also serves on the editorial boards for several scientific journals, including Diabetes Care, Atherosclerosis, and Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews.

Dr. Howard received the Bolton Corson Medal from the Franklin Institute for research on nutrition and atherosclerosis and the Special Recognition Award from the Arteriosclerosis Council of the American Heart Association. She was chosen as the Kelly West Lecturer by the American Diabetes Association in 2003.

Dr. Howard's research interests are in cardiovascular disease, particularly in relation to diabetes and its occurrence in diverse ethnic groups. She is well known for her research and leadership on such landmark projects as the Strong Heart Study, a multicenter study of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors in American Indians; GOCADAN, a study of the genetics of cardiovascular disease in Alaskan Eskimos; the Women's Health Initiative, a multicenter study of postmenopausal women and their health; and the SANDS study, a multicenter study examining lower targets for blood pressure and lipid control in patients with diabetes.

Research Interests

Dr. Howard's research interests include

  • Epidemiology
  • Diabetes and obesity
  • Lipoproteins
  • Health disparities
  • Cardiovascular disease and diabetes care in underserved populations
  • Genetics of cardiovascular disease

Learn more about Dr. Howard's work on the Strong Heart Study.

View Dr. Howard's publications on PubMed

  • Research Areas
  • Cardiovascular
  • Endocrine/Diabetes/Lipids