A. Regulation of food intake
This interest group includes research aimed at better understanding the regulation of food intake and the dysregulation of food intake associated with obesity, weight gain and weight loss. This includes examining both physiologic and behavioral regulation of food intake from a molecular basis to examining animal models to human translational studies. This focus group should include investigators examining relevant neurotransmitters and peptides, sensory aspects of food intake such as visual, taste and olfactory cues, neuronal response to food-related stimuli, appetitive behaviors, and the responses to interventions such as peptides, nutrients, behavior modification, and surgery.
Leaders: Marc Cornier, M.D.
B. Weight management
This includes research aimed at intervention for preventing and treating obesity in clinical and community settings. The group is appropriate for researchers interested in the process of treatment via behavioral, pharmacological and surgical means and basic, clinical and population researchers interested in the impact of weight change on various outcome variables.
Leaders: Holly Wyatt, M.D., Allison Kempe, M.D., MPH.
C. Energy Metabolism in Health and Disease.
This group is interested in the role of dysregulated energy expenditure and nutrient metabolism in the etiology of obesity and its associated co-morbidities, including diabetes, vascular disease, heart disease, insulin resistance, and cancer. Metabolic dysregulation may contribute to or result from the development of disease, and their focus will be understanding how nutrients are differentially absorbed, transported, trafficked to different tissues, partitioned within tissues, stored, and converted to energy, in health and disease. Critical to this objective is the pursuit of state-of-the-art approaches to measuring metabolism at three levels of complexity (whole body, tissue specific, and cultured cells/mitochondria) and assessing the molecular mechanisms that underlie the response to metabolic stress.
Leaders: Dan Bessesen, M.D., Paul MacLean, Ph.D.
D. Obesity Pathophysiology and Disease: Applied Mechanisms with specific conditions of focus to include hypertension, vascular disease, cardiac disease, pulmonary complications (including obstructive sleep apnea, asthma, and pulmonary hypertension), fatty liver (NASH), renal complications, and vascular dementia and stroke.
Leaders: Rick Johnson, M.D. , Irene Schauer, M.D. , Robert Eckel, M.D.
E. Maternal/Developmental Origins of Obesity
Research in this interest group is focused on understanding the early genetic, nutritional, endocrine, and environmental influences on chronic pediatric obesity and its complications. This interest group will provide a framework for collaborative researchers utilizing human physiology, animal modeling, epidemiology, and genetics/epigenetics to find and develop novel approaches suitable for the prevention of chronic metabolic diseases that begin in fetal life and early infancy that affect child health over the lifespan.
Leaders: Jed Friedman, Ph.D.
F. Obesity cell biology
The scientific goal of researchers within this group is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating obesity and obesity related pathologies. The program goal is to advance understanding, prevention, and treatment of obesity through generation of new knowledge about the cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling adipose function, abnormal weight gain and metabolic dysregulation.
Leaders: James McManaman, Ph.D. , Dwight Klemm, Ph.D.