NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

NINR Director To Address Health Impacts of Where People Live

NINR director Dr. Shannon Zenk
New NINR director Dr. Shannon Zenk will deliver the 2020 Straus Lecture.

Dr. Shannon Zenk, the new director of NINR, will present “All Health Is Not Created Equal: Where You Live Matters” on Wednesday, Dec. 9, from noon to 1 p.m. Her talk (webcast only) is the 2020 Stephen E. Straus Distinguished Lecture in the Science of Complementary Therapies, which honors NCCIH’s founding director.  

There’s a saying that “you are what you eat,” but maybe it should be “you are where you eat.” Social and economic factors, such as where a person lives, powerfully influence health. Such factors affect one’s risk of exposure and susceptibility to many diseases and conditions, as well as various other health, functioning and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.

Zenk, a leading population health scientist and a registered nurse, will explore the science behind social determinants of health, discuss development of effective interventions to address health and health inequities and share how we can better understand what affects people’s health and drives health disparities. 

Her research focuses on social inequities and health with a goal of identifying effective, multilevel approaches to improve health and eliminate disparities. Zenk’s portfolio has included NIH-supported work examining urban food environments (including food deserts), community health solutions and veterans’ health. More about the NINR director is available at

To attend this virtual event, register at The lecture will be archived at It is supported by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health with a gift from Bernard and Barbro Osher. 

Individuals who need reasonable accommodation to participate should contact or the Federal Relay, 1-800-877-8339, by Dec. 2.

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