Currently, Dr. Gettys is Director of the Pennington Center of Biomedical Research Excellence, a NIH Center grant that is devoted to development of scientific infrastructure and mentoring junior faculty to independent NIH funding. He holds adjunct appointments in departments of Nutrition and Kinesiology at LSU and in Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at LSU HSC in New Orleans. He also holds a faculty appointment in the Joint Program in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism between Pennington and the LSUHSC-NO.
Dr. Gettys earned a Ph.D. in Nutrition from Clemson University in 1984, with a focus on the endocrine control of growth and nutrient partitioning between fat and protein. He and Dr. Peter M. Burrows developed a mathematical model to estimate how food intake was partitioned between energy expenditure and tissue deposition in growing animals.
Thereafter, Dr. Gettys undertook postdoctoral training in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Vanderbilt University, in the laboratory of Dr. Jackie Corbin with the goal to develop skills in cellular and molecular signal transduction. Dr. Corbin is an expert in the area of cAMP-dependent protein kinase and phosphodiesterases.
Dr. Gettys was recruited to join the laboratory of Dr. Ian Taylor at Duke Medical Center in 1987, and within two years, he received his first R01 funding from NIH to examine compromised signaling in adipocytes from rodent models of obesity. The findings from this work contributed to our basic understanding of intracellular signaling mechanisms involving cAMP in adipose tissue, and how compromised expression or function of signaling components within this pathway contribute to various pathologies associated with the development of obesity. Dr. Gettys moved to the Medical University of South Carolina in 1993, as Associate Professor of Medicine and was promoted to Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2000, before his move to Pennington in 2001.
Dr. Gettys has a record of continuous funding from NIH, ADA, USDA and private foundations. He has published 110 refereed papers and 10 book chapters. Dr. Gettys has a strong record of mentoring high school students, college undergraduates, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty. Perhaps the most significant impact of his work will accrue from mentoring the next generation of scientists.