Gerald Combs

Gerald F. Combs, Jr., PhD

Research/Areas of Interest:

Fundamental studies with cultured cells and animal models to human metabolic and clinical investigations with strong interests in micronutrient functions, diet and cancer prevention and sustainable food systems


  • PhD, Nutritional Biochemistry, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY


Dr. Gerald Combs, Jr. is Senior Scientist on the Nutritional Immunology Team at the HNRCA. He is interested in micronutrient functions, diet, and cancer prevention and how agriculture, food production, and human health are linked. He has published over 320 articles of original research and reviews, as well as 14 books; and has given more than 370 invited lectures. Dr. Combs demonstrated the anti-cancer effects of selenium in a human trial, described endemic rickets in Bangladesh, and completed the first comprehensive study of a community food system in a low-income country, among other research achievements. He also devised a rapid method for determining selenium in grains, and conducted the first studies of the genetic determinants of selenium metabolism in humans. Dr. Combs is currently researching the safe and effective delivery of supplemental iron. He is a Professor of Nutrition emeritus at Cornell University, and was Director of the USDA Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center for 13 years. He has served as adjunct, associate, and visiting professor at universities across the nation and world. Dr. Combs is a fellow of the American Society for Nutrition and has served on the editorial boards of high impact journals, such as Journal of Nutrition, as well as numerous expert panels and international conference organizing committees.