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|In Memoriam: Mario DiGirolamo, MD (1934-2019) and Judith S. Stern, ScD, RD (1943-2019)
Two of the founding members of The Obesity Society (TOS), both of whom were also past presidents, are being remembered for their outstanding accomplishments and contributions not only to the organization, but to the obesity field in general, after recently passing away. Past President Mario DiGirolamo, MD, died on Feb. 5, 2019. Past President Judith S. Stern, ScD, RD, died on May 8, 2019.
Born in Rome, Italy, DiGirolamo immigrated to the United States in 1962 to pursue a medical career at Columbia University in New York City. He later moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and joined the faculty at the Emory University School of Medicine in 1968. DiGirolamo’s career at Emory combined clinical care, teaching, and the challenges of basic and clinical research.
“Mario was a consummate physician scientist. His prescient insights and careful research helped put adipose tissue on the map of metabolically important tissues that were direct contributors that linked to obesity and related diseases,” said Susan K. Fried, PhD, professor of medicine at the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
Fried added that “Mario’s enthusiasm for the obesity field was clearly contagious and contributed—as I can testify, to his extraordinary success as a mentor—not only of obesity researchers, but also of North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) and TOS leaders.”
In 1985, DiGirolamo won the Society’s election becoming the second president of the organization. DiGirolamo and Stern both served as presidents of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity before it became The Obesity Society.
Stern served as the ninth president of the Society. “Judy was a wonderful person and a great friend,” said Richard Atkinson, MD, who was also a past president of TOS. He added that Stern was a great mentor to her students and fellows. Atkinson recalled when Stern joined him to form the American Obesity Association in 1995 because there was no advocacy group for the field of obesity. “She just marched right in” and started to promote changes, said Atkinson, noting “she always spoke for the underdog.” Stern volunteered her time to TOS in multiple ways, including as a charter member of the Advocacy Committee.
Stern, along with Atkinson, were honored by having the Atkinson-Stern Award for Distinguished Public Service named after them. This award recognizes an individual or organization whose work has significantly improved the lives of those affected by obesity, whether through research, public policy, patient care, or other means. This award was established by a donation from Thomas A. Wadden, PhD. The recipient receives a plaque and a $1,000 award.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Stern earned her doctor of science degree from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. After her early and highly successful career in the Hirsch Lab at Rockefeller University, she continued her research and mentored students as a professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of California, Davis. Among her many honors, Stern was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.
An expert on obesity, diet and nutrition, Stern published more than 275 research papers in professional journals. She also devoted considerable effort to clear communication of scientific findings to the public by writing for the popular press.
TOS is saddened at the loss of our colleagues and offers its deepest sympathy to their families and loved ones.
|The Obesity Society Participates in 26th European Congress on Obesity
More than 1,700 international delegates including The Obesity Society (TOS) participated in the 26th European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Glasgow, Scotland, April 28–May 1, 2019.
TOS President-elect Lee M. Kaplan, MD, PhD, FTOS, delivered the keynote address for the annual congress. He also participated in the ECO Media Master Class. TOS CEO Tony Comuzzie, PhD, FTOS, chaired two obesity sessions.
“EASO is delighted to have a strong presence from our U.S. colleagues, who were engaged in childhood obesity and adult management courses and sessions, policy and advocacy development, and media,” a spokesperson for the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) commented.
Congress attendees also had the opportunity to engage in multi-track sessions focused on obesity science and strategies for obesity prevention and management. Other events included training sessions for obesity medicine professionals and related healthcare providers.
The European Association for the Study of Obesity sponsored the event.
Read more about this year’s congress in articles organized by topic area and written by members of the media.
|7th Annual Obesity Journal Symposium Call for Papers Deadline is June 1, 2019
Investigators planning to submit an abstract for the 7th annual Obesity Journal Symposium have 31 days left to put the final touches on their work. Entries can be submitted through the journal's online manuscript submission system. All papers must be received for consideration by June 1, 2019. The winners will be announced this summer.
The Symposium will be held during the annual meeting of The Obesity Society (TOS) at ObesityWeek℠ Nov. 3-7, 2019, in Las Vegas, NV. The Symposium and the accompanying special section of Obesity are designed to showcase the journal’s top papers that provide important insights into preventing and treating obesity.
The authors of the winning papers will give oral presentations during the Symposium. A special section located in the front of the November 2019 issue of Obesity will be reserved for their work. The Symposium and the full published papers will be publicized to the obesity research community and the press.
The presenting authors will also receive complimentary ObesityWeek registration. In addition, for all submissions that are accepted by the journal but not chosen as winners, the journal is offering immediate online publication.
Investigators planning to submit an abstract for ObesityWeek are also encouraged to send their full paper for the Symposium in order to bring greater visibility to their work. In particular, papers discussing state-of-the art research on the mechanisms of energy balance, innovative clinical or translational studies that challenge current paradigms, and novel “proof of concept” papers are of special interest for this year’s event.
The full call for papers is available on the TOS website. Take time to read the winning papers from the 2018 competition on the Obesity journal website.
National Institutes of Health
|Early-Career Travel Awards Available for NIH Pediatric Body Composition Workshop
Early-stage investigators (ESIs) are encouraged to register for the Body Composition Measurements from Birth through 5 Years: Challenges, Gaps, and Existing & Emerging Technologies Workshop to be held on the campus of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from May 30–31, 2019, in Bethesda, Maryland. TOS President Steven B. Heymsfield, MD, FTOS, and TOS member Dympna Gallagher, EdD, will co-chair the workshop.
The aim of the workshop is to identify specific needs for research that will help fill existing knowledge gaps and to identify opportunities to improve measurement of body composition components in infants from birth through age 5 years, with a special focus on measures that can be used longitudinally and for evaluation of intervention studies.
Event organizers anticipate support will be available to cover allowable travel, lodging, and per diem expenses for a limited number of ESIs to attend this workshop. ESI attendees will be asked to participate in the workshop discussions and interactions as appropriate, and to give a presentation in the form of a poster on May 30, 2019.
Candidates will need to submit a 1-page abstract for the poster session topic along with a cover letter containing a brief justification explaining why the candidate feels the topic of the poster presentation would be relevant and contribute to the topic of the workshop. Event organizers anticipate accommodating up to 20 competitive poster presenters and their travel expenses.
The registration deadline is May 20, 2019.
National Institutes of Health
|NIH to Host Workshop on the Physiology of the Weight Reduced State
Preventing regain of lost weight is the most difficult challenge in the treatment of obesity. Various physiological adaptations occur that make maintaining weight loss difficult by reducing energy expenditure and increasing energy intake.
The overarching goal of this workshop is to explore the mechanisms and integrative physiology of adaptations in appetite, energy expenditure, and thermogenesis (metabolic adaptation) that occur in the weight reduced state and may oppose weight loss maintenance.
The workshop will include:
- Clinical experience with weight reduction and weight loss maintenance versus regain across interventions
- Factors opposing weight loss maintenance
- Factors affecting energy intake in the weight reduced state, including neural and endocrine regulation and the integration of homeostatic and hedonic pathways along with microbiome links
- Metabolic adaptation/adaptive thermogenesis and tissue-specific roles and mechanisms
- Strategies for understanding the physiology of the weight reduced state and improving weight loss maintenance
- Factors potentially responsible for physiological variability in weight maintenance versus regain
Rudolph L. Leibel, MD, Columbia University
Kevin D. Hall, PhD, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Mary Evans, PhD, NIDDK
Maren Laughlin, PhD, NIDDK
Christopher J. Lynch, PhD, NIDDK
Stavroula K. Osganian, MD, ScD, MPH, NIDDK
Susan Z. Yanovski, MD, NIDDK
The registration deadline is May 25, 2019.
National Institutes of Health
|Final NIH Lecture on the Gut Microbiome Scheduled for June 2019
“Microbes in Our Gut: Emerging Insights on Health and Disease” is the theme of a series of lectures in Spring 2019.
The human microbiome is the community of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi that naturally live in and on our bodies. These talks have focused on specific components of the gut microbiome, and natural products of interest produced by these organisms that might confer health benefits. Natural products and their potential effects on health promotion and various clinical conditions are a priority research area for the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Gut health, what affects it, and its potential connections with wellness and illness are of interest to NCCIH and the public as well.
The series is taking place on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, and will be streamed live and archived on NIH Videocast (videocast.nih.gov) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/nih.nccih). The presentations are part of NCCIH's Integrative Medicine Research Lecture Series. Admission is free to the public.
Videocast: Watch these NCCIH lectures online! Go to “Today's Events” at https://videocast.nih.gov/.
Bacteria Get on Your Nerves: How Bugs Modulate Pain and Immunity
Speaker: Isaac Chiu, PhD
Assistant Professor of Immunology
Department of Immunology
Harvard Medical School
Date: June 10, 2019 11:00 a.m. ET
Location: Lipsett Amphitheater, NIH Clinical Center, NIH campus, Bethesda, MD
Video: Watch this Live at NIH Videocast
Chiu's research focus is uncovering interactions between the nervous system, the immune system, and microbes, in health and disease. Ultimately, Chiu’s goal is to leverage knowledge to develop novel treatment approaches for chronic pain and inflammatory diseases. Among his discoveries, Chiu has found that bacteria directly interact with sensory neurons to modulate pain, and that neurons signal to the immune system to modulate bacterial survival and inflammation.
|8th Annual Your Weight Matters Convention and EXPO
Don’t forget to register and access early-bird registration rates by May 31, 2019 for the 8th Annual Your Weight Matters (YWM) Convention & EXPO scheduled for Aug. 1–3, 2019, at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina in Tampa, FL. Advanced and on-site registration rates are also available. Pricing information can be found here. The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) is sponsoring the event.
The YWM2019 experience and agenda was created with you in mind—your goals, challenges and your health journey. The convention will offer:
Interested attendees can read session descriptions and learn more by viewing the YWM2019 conference program and schedule.
- Real Experts—Top-notch weight and health education presented by the nation’s leading physicians, researchers, scientists, and other industry experts.
- Real People—Meet people invested in their health and who care about the issues surrounding obesity and weight.
- Real Support—Whether from a speaker who is also a health care provider to the new friend you met chatting before a session, YWM2019 is a welcoming, safe place to seek education and support.
The OAC was able to secure a discounted hotel room rate of $145 per night (single/double occupancy) for the conference. After you register for the conference, reserve your hotel room.
The OAC will offer up to 18 Continuing Education (CE) credits for nurses and some healthcare professionals. For attendees seeking CE credits, a higher registration rate will be charged.
We strongly encourage health professionals to check their eligibility prior to registering to earn CE Credits at the convention. To determine your eligibility, contact Taylor College at 1-800-743-4006 and reference the Your Weight Matters Convention & EXPO.
Read more and register for the conference.
|Advanced Therapies for Pediatric Obesity Oct. 4, 2019
University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital
PRESENTED BY: Center for Pediatric Obesity Medicine (CPOM)
Claudia Fox, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, CPOM Co-Director
Aaron S. Kelly, PhD, Associate Professor, CPOM Co-Director, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota
Advanced Therapies for Pediatric Obesity (ATPO) is a workshop with a focus on youth with severe obesity who are often unable to lose a clinically-meaningful amount of weight with lifestyle modification alone. Pharmacological therapies are emerging as a recognized adjunctive strategy to address this otherwise recalcitrant disease, yet no guidelines currently exist for the responsible clinical use of obesity pharmacotherapy in the pediatric patient.
This workshop is offered as a Continuing Education designated activity with up to 6.75 AMA PRA Category1 Credits™. ATPO invites healthcare providers, researchers, and others interested in the clinical management of pediatric obesity while utilizing case studies, lectures and group discussions.
Following completion of this activity, attendees will be better able to utilize pharmacotherapy for pediatric obesity in a safe and responsible fashion, identify biological targets of obesity treatments, and identify the mechanisms of action and outcomes of current FDA-approved and off-label medications for the treatment of obesity in adults and youth. Workshop enrollment is limited.
For more information or to register, visit http://www.z.umn.edu/PedsObesity
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