Phinney has dedicated over four decades to studying diet, exercise, fatty acids and inflammation. He has designed and conducted clinical nutrition trials both academic and industrial settings. As one of the foremost experts on low-carbohydrate diets and nutritional ketosis.
He is also co-founder of Virta Health, which has developed the first clinically-proven treatment to reverse type 2 diabetes without medications or surgery. Furthermore, he has written several books on international leadership and cross-cultural biblical worldview.
Early Life and Education
Stephen Phinney was born with an undiagnosed learning disability, suffered poor health and endured various traumas as a child. For the first five years of his life he spent time living inside an oxygen tent or “bubble”, due to severe allergies related to food, touch and textures.
He is widely recognized for his expertise in carb-restricted and ketogenic diets, lipid metabolism and weight loss. Additionally, he has held academic appointments at Vermont, Minnesota and California Universities.
Phinney is the founder of IOM America, Identity Matters Worldview Institute, and IM Worldview Online School – three organizations which help others address cultural issues through biblical identity development. His grace-oriented solutions have proven particularly refreshing and comforting. Furthermore, his writings and media efforts advocate for family ministry ministry.
Steve Phinney has dedicated over four decades of research to diet and exercise research, insulin sensitivity, carbohydrate metabolism, essential fatty acid metabolic processes and inflammation. He is the author of four books and over 80 peer reviewed articles. Steve holds academic positions at Vermont, Minnesota and California at Davis.
He is co-founder and chief medical officer of Virta Health, the first clinically proven treatment to safely reverse type 2 diabetes. Additionally, he serves as professor of medicine at University of California Davis as well as sitting on its editorial board for The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
He made the leap into professional cycling in 2009 with Trek-Livestrong team and won three US National Time Trial Championships before suffering life-threatening injuries during a stage race crash in 2014.
Achievement and Honors
Honor a student who has engaged with communities beyond the College of the Holy Cross campus meaningfully and fostered an ethic of community engagement through an organization, event, project or campaign that rallies diverse campus stakeholders toward meeting a community need.
Steve Phinney is an internationally recognized expert on obesity, carb-restricted diets, ketogenic diets and essential fatty acid metabolism. He serves on the editorial board of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and has conducted over 25 years of clinical research into weight loss and health.
He is a tireless champion for Western, tirelessly working to secure funding for its students, departments, and programs. Through partnerships with donors he provides conference travel stipends enabling Western students to experience conferences that would otherwise be out of their reach without donor support.
Steve Phinney is one of the co-founders and former chief medical officers of Virta Health, which pioneered a noninvasive way to reverse type 2 diabetes without medications or surgery. Throughout his career he has studied diet, exercise, fatty acids and inflammation.
He has published over 87 peer-reviewed papers and four books, such as foundational works on low carb nutrition science and nutritional ketosis. Additionally, he has overseen multidisciplinary weight management programs as well as designed, completed, and published numerous clinical trials of dietary interventions.
Outside his professional career, he enjoys spending his free time with family and friends, restoring antiques, genealogy research, camping and traveling. Additionally, he volunteers in church ministry by offering practical tools necessary for transformational biblical worldview development – supporting family values in an anti-family society alongside his wife.
Phinney holds degrees from Stanford and MIT and is recognized as an authority on weight loss and nutritional ketosis. He has held academic posts at Vermont, Minnesota, California at Davis, Galileo Laboratories, Monsanto among others.
He has published over 80 papers and four books on diet, exercise and fatty acids relating to diet, weight control and ketogenic diets – leading him to be considered an innovator of such regimens.
Phinney has several lectures posted to the Low Carb Down Under YouTube channel, such as one where he discusses Plains Indians’ use of pemmican, which is made by mixing dried meat with hot fat, to transport calories across nutrient-deficient environments. Through his research into ketogenic diets he has helped many individuals lose weight and improve their health.