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|In Memoriam: TOS Member and Award Winner John G. Kral, MD, PhD
TOS member and award winner John G. Kral, MD, PhD, affiliated with SUNY–Downstate Medical Center in New York for more than 30 years, unexpectedly succumbed to a brief and serious illness on June 19, 2019. Kral worked at SUNY–Downstate as professor of surgery, medicine, and molecular and cell biology.
A native of Sweden, Kral obtained his medical and doctorate degrees from the University of Gothenburg. He completed his residency in surgery at the same institution.
In 1980, Kral was recruited to St. Luke's Hospital Center, Columbia University, to develop a program of surgical metabolism and anti-obesity surgery. He is a charter member of NAASO — The Obesity Society.
Since 1988, Kral served as attending surgeon in the rank of professor of surgery at SUNY–Downstate. From 1988 to 1992, Kral served as director of surgery at Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, NY.
In 2012, Kral received the Friends of Albert (Mickey) Stunkard Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is designed to recognize people who, like Mickey Stunkard, have made a lifetime of outstanding contributions to the field of obesity in terms of scholarship, mentorship, and education.
Friends and colleagues added that Kral was a true surgeon scientist with tremendous contributions to the fields of surgical metabolism, including basic science studies on gastrointestinal hormones, adipose tissue, and lipid metabolism, and the neurobiology of the metabolic syndrome. "John was one of the most ethical individuals I have ever met, and also one of the few surgeon scientists with whom I had the pleasure to exchange ideas. He was a first-rate human being," said TOS Past President Allen Levine, PhD.
As a result of his academic accomplishments, Kral served as president of the New York State Society of Surgeons and Council Member of the New York Chapter of the American College of Surgeons. He was an active participant in the Columbia University Seminar on Appetitive Behavior, a venue visited by many TOS members, and his insightful contributions led to innovations in thinking and the stimulation of productive collaborations among fellow investigators.
Kral's prolific bibliography comprises 156 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 4 books, 88 book chapters and reviews, 88 editorials, journal letters and comments, and 229 published abstracts. He was co-investigator on many National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants, served as a reviewer in many NIH study sections, served as a member of NIH consensus conferences, and held at least one US patent.
In reflecting on his time with Kral, TOS President Steven B. Heymsfield, MD, FTOS, observed that "Kral had a deep love of his patients, the science of obesity, and a passion for TOS."
Above all, Kral was a kind and modest man, a highly esteemed colleague, a friend within the Department of Surgery, and a mentor to the next generation of surgeons. He was a spirited discussant who enjoyed challenging conventional wisdom, wrangling with colleagues over data interpretation, and putting the cats among the pigeons in any scholarly settings. He had a Puckish side to him and enjoyed the role of being an enfant terrible of the obesity community, yet always executed it with grace, professionalism, and collegiality.
Kral is survived by his loving wife, Marianne, and his sons Fred and Alex and their families.
Those wishing to make memorial gifts may donate to the nonprofit organization Caribbean Women's Health Association, Inc., in Brooklyn, NY, at http://cwha.org/donate/.
TOS is saddened by Kral's death and offers its sympathy to Kral's family and loved ones, and the Department of Surgery at SUNY–Downstate Medical Center.
|Less Than a Week Left to Apply for TOS Awards
Six days remain to submit nominations for The Obesity Society (TOS) awards. TOS awards promote, reward, and encourage research in the field of obesity. Each award recognizes specific research achievements and major contributions to the basic science, treatment, and prevention of obesity. Awards highlighting the careers and accomplishments of obesity researchers will be presented during TOS's 37th Annual Meeting held at ObesityWeek℠. ObesityWeek will be held Nov. 3–7, 2019, in Las Vegas, NV.
TOS encourages its members to identify the talented and exceptional people in the field of obesity who deserve to be recognized and awarded for work in their field.
Nominations will be reviewed by The Obesity Society's Awards Committee and the recipients will be announced later this summer.
All award nominations should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline to submit a nomination is Monday, July 29, 2019.
Atkinson-Stern Award for Distinguished Public Service
The George A. Bray Founders Award
The George A. Bray Master's Thesis Award
The George A. Bray Doctoral Dissertation Award
The TOPS Research Achievement Award
The Friends of Albert (Mickey) Stunkard Lifetime Achievement Award
Thomas A. Wadden Award for Distinguished Mentorship
Contact Regina Williams at email@example.com for more information.
TOS Pediatric Obesity Section
|Nomination Deadline July 26, 2019:
Oded Bar-Or Award for Excellence in Pediatric Obesity Research
The Pediatric Obesity Section of The Obesity Society (TOS) is accepting nominations for distinguished individuals to be considered for the 2019 Oded Bar-Or Award for Excellence in Pediatric Obesity Research.
Founded in 2007 by the Pediatric Obesity Section of TOS, The Bar-Or Award recognizes significant scientific contributions to basic and applied pediatric research that have resulted in major advances in understanding the etiology, treatment, and/or prevention of obesity.
Past recipients of this award include:
The Bar-Or Award is presented annually during the Pediatric Obesity Section meeting at ObesityWeek℠. The 37th Annual Meeting of The Obesity Society will be held at ObesityWeek Nov. 3–7, at Mandalay Bay, in Las Vegas, NV. The recipient will be invited to give the keynote speech during the Pediatric Obesity Section meeting on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019.
- 2018 – Denise Wilfley, PhD
- 2017 – Shiriki K. Kumanyika, PhD, MPH
- 2016 – Dianne Ward, EdD
- 2015 – David Ludwig, MD, PhD
- 2014 – Mary Story, PhD
- 2013 – Jack A. Yanovski, MD, PhD
- 2012 – Tom Robinson, MD, MPH
- 2011 – Nancy Butte, PhD
- 2010 – Leann L. Birch, PhD
- 2009 – Michael Goran, PhD and Melinda Southern, PhD
- 2008 – William H. Dietz, MD, PhD
- 2007 – Leonard Epstein, PhD
Nominees must be Fellows or regular members of The Obesity Society and members of the Pediatric Obesity Section in active status. North American and international residents are eligible. Nominate yourself or a colleague for the award. Please send your nominations to Shameeka Green at firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate in the subject line the name of the nominee.
To submit a nomination, the following information needs to be included in the email:
The nomination deadline has been extended to Friday, July 26, 2019.
- Photo of nominee
- The nominee's complete CV (including grant support)
- Statement (no more than 300 words). The statement may be edited by TOS staff for clarity and consistency to fit the space available for publication. The 300-word statement must have the following three categories:
- Background and experience
- Involvement with TOS
- Nominee's accomplishments
For more information, please send email to Shameeka Green at email@example.com.
|Apply Now — August Deadlines for TOS Grant Programs
The Obesity Society (TOS) is accepting Letters of Intent for grants.
The Early Career Research Grant is offered by The Obesity Society as a member service to foster and stimulate new research ideas in any area of investigation related to obesity. The grant targets early career investigators and post-doctoral trainees by funding proposals that demonstrate a high likelihood of resulting in new and innovative approaches in obesity research. Applicants may request up to $25,000 for a one-year period. The deadline to submit Letters of Intent is Monday, Aug. 19, 2019.
Another grant being offered is the WW Karen Miller-Kovach Research Grant. The grant will focus on the development of a scalable, behavioral weight-loss intervention that includes digital tools. This grant will be funded for $50,000 for a one-year period. The deadline to submit Letters of Intent is Monday, Aug. 12, 2019.
|Submit Late Breaking-Abstracts
Interested applicants have six days left to submit late-breaking abstracts for this year's ObesityWeek℠. Don't miss this chance to present research on basic science, prevention, and treatment at The 37th Annual Meeting of The Obesity Society at ObesityWeek. Selected abstracts will be presented at ObesityWeek, Nov. 5-7, 2019, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV.
Submit your abstract to one of the following tracks:
Track 1: Metabolism and Integrative Physiology
Track 2: Neuroscience
Track 3: Intervention and Clinical Studies
Track 4: Population Health
Track 6: Health Care Policy/Public Health Policy
The deadline for late-breaking abstract submission is Monday, July 29, 2019.
|Diabetes Expert to Serve as Keynote at ObesityWeek℠ 2019
TOS member William T. Cefalu, MD, will serve as the Keynote speaker at ObesityWeek℠ 2019. Cefalu will address attendees from 8:00am to 9:30am on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV. Cefalu is chief scientific, medical and mission officer of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), and president of the American Diabetes Association Research Foundation. Diabetes is the theme of this year's international conference.
In his role, Cefalu leads the ADA's Mission team, which is focused on efforts to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. During his nearly 35-year career as a physician caring for patients, a scientist and a healthcare expert, Cefalu has been an active leader within the ADA — as a physician member and most recently serving as the editor-in-chief of Diabetes Care, a peer-reviewed journal.
Prior to joining the ADA in February 2017, Cefalu was a professor at Louisiana State University's Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge. Cefalu also had research support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for more than 25 years and was the principal investigator for two NIH research centers.
On Aug. 18, 2019, Cefalu will become the new director of the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases at the NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Cefalu will be responsible for setting scientific priorities within a large and diverse program of basic and clinical research.
As part of the numerous opportunities at ObesityWeek℠, The Obesity Society (TOS) will partner with several peer organizations and government agencies to offer joint symposia. Members are encouraged to mark their calendars to attend these sessions scheduled for Nov. 3-7, 2019, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV.
|Joint Symposia at ObesityWeek℠ 2019
Check out a few of the joint symposia to be held on at ObesityWeek 2019!
Nov. 6, 2019: TOS/Academy Joint Symposia: Partnering for Obesity Treatment in Primary Care and Following Bariatric Surgery—Evidence-based Dietary and Lifestyle Practices for Health Care Providers
Nov. 7, 2019: TOS/OMA Joint Symposium: Nutritional Intervention in the Clinical Management of Diabetes
Nov. 7, 2019: TOS/ACSM Joint Symposium: Is "Sit Less" Sufficient for Obesity Prevention and Treatment? Contemporary Perspectives
Nov. 7, 2019: TOS/SBM Joint Symposium: Understanding Environmental Influences to Tailor Obesity Prevention and Treatment Efforts
Nov. 7, 2019: TOS/WOF Joint Symposium: Sugar—Natural and Pure or is Deadly?
View the conference schedule on the ObesityWeek website to learn more about joint symposia at ObesityWeek 2019.
|Research Studies in Obesity Attract Global Media Coverage
Top-tier, US-based media outlets such as ABC News, NBC News, TODAY.com, HealthDay, and international publications in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Belgium have expressed interest in two TOS press releases released online July 24, 2019. Both press releases discuss research studies in Obesity, the flagship journal of The Obesity Society.
One press release discusses how researchers have discovered that meal timing strategies such as intermittent fasting or eating earlier in the daytime appear to help people lose weight by lowering appetite rather than burning more calories. The study is the first to show how meal timing affects 24-hour energy metabolism when food intake and meal frequency are matched. Stories about this research aired on Good Morning America and on the TODAY show.
In the other press release, researchers explain that rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) are particularly high among African American and Hispanic adults, and underlie substantial health disparities observed in these populations. Limited published data are available on the specific components of effective lifestyle interventions for minority men and women with T2D or the individual behavioral weight control practices associated with successful weight control, leaving gaps in the scientific literature and a lack of guidance about how to tailor intervention approaches for these high-risk populations.
"The current research points to key lifestyle intervention program elements that are associated with successful, long-term, weight control in minority men and women, as well as specific behavioral strategies that could be emphasized within individual sub-groups to optimize weight loss outcomes," said one of the study's authors Delia West, PhD, of the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health in Columbia.
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