Clegg leading Clinical Nutrition in School of Health Professions

By Lin Lofley

Dr. Deborah Clegg, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, has been named Chair of Clinical Nutrition in the UT Southwestern School of Health Professions.

Dr. Deborah Clegg
Dr. Deborah Clegg

Dr. Clegg, who began her duties as Chair on Oct. 1, started in health care as a clinical dietitian before earning an advanced degree and beginning a career in basic science. She succeeds Dr. Scott Grundy, Professor of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition.

“We have a great program here, with Dr. Jo Ann Carson as Program Director and our faculty of 10, including myself,” she said. “We have 16 new students entering the two-year program every year, and our graduates are passing their registration exam at a rate of about 95 percent. That success rate is, of course, the true test of the program.”

Dr. Grundy said: “We are very fortunate to have Dr. Clegg as the new Chair. She is highly qualified as a registered dietitian and has headed dietitian programs before coming to UT Southwestern. In addition, she is a Ph.D., and her research in endocrinology and metabolism is outstanding. That is the reason she was recruited to UT Southwestern in the first place.”

Dr. Clegg, whose research focuses on the role of sex hormones and their impact on metabolism and energy homeostasis, graduated from Oregon State University before earning graduate degrees from Boston University and the University of Georgia. In the late 1990s, she led a Master’s Degree and Dietetic Internship program in the Department of Nutrition at Emory University.

“One of my goals is to enhance the research component in the Master of Clinical Nutrition program,” she said. “We want to fully integrate School of Health Professions and medical students into our efforts in Clinical Nutrition.”

Dr. Raul Caetano, Dean of the health professions school and Professor of Health Care Sciences, said, “We’re excited to have Dr. Clegg lead the program. She’s no stranger to our school, and as a National Institutes of Health-funded researcher she has every qualification to be an outstanding chair.”

Dr. Clegg said she wants to continue to integrate programs and disciplines to stay atop medical education trends while building on the leadership Dr. Grundy provided through the years.

“Dr. Grundy has been an outstanding mentor and director of the current program,” she said, “and his shoes will be extremely difficult to fill. I have looked up to him my entire academic life.

“He is an outstanding researcher and has been one of the most important figures in setting the stage and championing the importance of nutrition in medical health care.”

Dr. Grundy holds the Distinguished Chair in Clinical Nutrition.