The University of Florida’s Obesity Research Alliance (ORA) wrapped up a successful first year for its annual seminar series, bringing to campus a variety of renowned obesity researchers to discuss findings, exchange ideas, and keep UF’s diverse, multidisciplinary community of obesity researchers informed about current topics and trends.
“We were very pleased with the outstanding caliber of speakers and the broad range of topics we were able to bring to UF during the first year of this seminar series,” said Michelle Cardel, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Health Outcomes and Policy and one of the founding members of the alliance. “We had an excellent turnout of faculty, students and staff from all over campus, and the greatest benefit has been the increase in collaborations of UF obesity scientists across campus and with the seminar speakers, resulting in increased grants and scientific publications submitted together.”
Established in 2016, UF’s ORA serves as an interdisciplinary umbrella to foster a multidisciplinary approach to basic, clinical, and translational obesity research across disciplines on UF’s campus. Other founding members are Janet Silverstein, M.D., professor and chief of pediatric endocrinology in the College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics, and David Janicke, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology in the College of Public Health and Health Professions.
The seminar series was sponsored by the Department of Health Outcomes and Policy, UF’s Institute for Child Health Policy, the OneFlorida Clinical Research Consortium, the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the UF Diabetes Institute.
Speakers for the 2016-17 ORA seminar series included David Allison, Ph.D., endowed professor and director of the NIH-funded Nutrition and Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham; Michael Goran, Ph.D., director of the University of Southern California’s (USC’s) Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute; Barbara Hansen, Ph.D., director of the Obesity, Diabetes and Aging Research Center at the University of South Florida in Tampa; Corby Martin, Ph.D., director of the Ingestive Behavior Laboratory at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center; and Vasiliki Michopoulos, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. Links to the entire series of seminars are available below.
Obesity is a disease that can impact an individual’s physical, social, emotional, and financial health. Thus, there is a great deal of research on UF’s campus in a variety of disciplines. Cardel said one of the alliance’s main objectives is to facilitate collaboration and sharing among obesity researchers across the UF campus, bringing together various disciplines and diverse experiences to enrich and expand our strategies for combatting obesity. Additionally, the ORA seeks to provide mentoring and opportunities to early-career investigators, including a trainee luncheon with all speakers.
The ORA currently has 56 members consisting of faculty, staff and trainees in several colleges, institutes, centers and departments, including IFAS and the Colleges of Medicine; Nursing; Public Health and Health Professions; Health and Human Performance; and the Departments of Health Outcomes and Policy; Clinical and Health Psychology; Endocrinology; Food Science and Human Nutrition; Pediatrics; Aging and Geriatrics; Epidemiology; Behavioral Science and Community Health; Food and Resource Economics; Health Services Research, Management and Policy; Gastroenterology; and Health Education and Behavior.
Plans for the 2017-18 series of ORA seminars are already underway and include the following speakers:
- Carmen Isasi, M.D., Ph.D., at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York (Tuesday, October 24)
- Meghan Butryn, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Drexel University in Philadelphia (Tuesday, December 5)
- Anthony Comuzzie, Ph.D., FTOS, Executive Director of The Obesity Society (Tuesday, January 23)
For more information about upcoming speakers or to learn more about the UF Obesity Research Alliance, contact Darci Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone with an interest in obesity research is welcome to join.
UF ORA 2016-17 Seminar Series
Click on the links below to view each speaker’s presentation. PLEASE NOTE: For optimal streaming, please use the most recent version of Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari web browsers. The current hosting system is not compatible with Google Chrome.
David Allison, Ph.D., endowed professor and director of the NIH-funded Nutrition and Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama, Birmingham: “Obesity, Energetics, & Longevity: Social, Experimental, Evolutionary, & Epidemiologic Perspectives” (May 16, 2017) https://mediasite.video.ufl.edu/Mediasite/Play/5170563596b54430b732b433495b82111d
Michael Goran, Ph.D., director of the University of Southern California’s (USC’s) Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute: “Secondhand Sugars: Role of Dietary Sugars in the Early Development of Obesity and Metabolic Risk” (March 7, 2017) https://mediasite.video.ufl.edu/Mediasite/Play/7bfcc6a3c3b84a88b59304ee611d79271d
Barbara Hansen, Ph.D., director of the Obesity, Diabetes and Aging Research Center at the University of South Florida, Tampa: “A Longitudinal Study of Obesity & Type II Diabetes: Lessons Regarding the New Dietary & Obesity Guidelines” (September 20, 2016) https://mediasite.video.ufl.edu/Mediasite/Play/b7d64c08cbe14c31b20db32fef7452df1d
Corby Martin, Ph.D., director of the Ingestive Behavior Laboratory at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center: “Attempts to Address the Fundamental Flaw in Obesity Research with New (and Old) Technology” (December 6, 2016) https://mediasite.video.ufl.edu/Mediasite/Play/d8763b235958428f81c3f71760553d821d
Vasiliki Michopoulos, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine: “Effects of Obesogenic Dietary Environment & Adverse Psychosocial Experience on Food Intake & the Brain in Non-Human Primates” (June 20, 2017) https://mediasite.video.ufl.edu/Mediasite/Play/09fd6a6203134337bed630c835ac3a301d