Texas Tech University

Nationally Known Experts Available To Discuss Obesity, Related Conditions

Heidi Toth

May 4, 2015

Experts are available to discuss obesity and the disease’s causes, treatments and relationships with other conditions.

Numerous experts from Texas Tech University's Department of Nutritional Sciences are available to discuss obesity and the disease's causes, treatments and relationships with other conditions.

Dr. Nikhil Dhurandhar, chairman, Department of Nutritional Sciences, (806) 834-6446 or nikhil.dhurandhar@ttu.edu

Dr. Dhurandhar is the chairman of the Department of Nutritional Sciences and president of The Obesity Society, a premier professional organization of obesity researchers from North America. He researches a human adenovirus that causes obesity, yet improves some metabolic factors. This research could lead to a vaccine to prevent a subset of obesity as well as novel anti-diabetic treatments. In addition, he has a strong interest in the treatment of obesity. He has a medical degree and a doctorate in biochemistry and, among many honors and many publications, was awarded the 2015 American Society for Nutrition's Osborne and Mendel Award, which recognizes recent outstanding basic research accomplishments in nutrition.

Jamie Cooper, assistant professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, (806) 834-5570 or jamie.a.cooper@ttu.edu

Cooper researches obesity with a focus on metabolism, energy balance and the role of hunger and satiety hormones in the body. She is particularly interested in how exercise and different types of dietary fats influence metabolism and satiety. She teaches courses in nutrition, exercise, sports supplements and the unique circumstances of sports nutrition. She also is a triathlete who wrote a book, “The Complete Nutrition Guide for Triathletes: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide to Proper Nutrition for Sprint, Olympic, Half Ironman and Ironman Distances” and is a member of The Obesity Society and the American College of Sports Medicine. She also is chairwoman of the Audit Committee and a member of both the Finance Committee and the Opening Session Task Force Committee for The Obesity Society.

Naima Moustaid-Moussa, director, Obesity Research Cluster, Department of Nutritional Sciences, (806) 834-7946 or naima.moustaid-moussa@ttu.edu

Moustaid-Moussa researches the relationship between hormones, body weight and adiposity; the role of fat cells in inflammation and the links between obesity and insulin resistance obesity and breast cancer. She teaches courses in nutritional biochemistry, research methods and metabolism and chronic diseases with an emphasis on obesity and diabetes. She is the founding director of Texas Tech's Obesity Research Cluster, an interdisciplinary effort to further clinical and community research related to the treatment and prevention of obesity, and a fellow in The Obesity Society and the American Heart Association. Moustaid-Moussa received the American Society for Nutrition's 2015 Pfizer Consumer Healthcare Nutritional Sciences Award, which recognizes significant investigative contributions to the understanding of human nutrition, and the 2012 Outstanding Investigator Award from ASN's Nutrient-Gene Interactions Research Interest Section.

Martin Binks, associate professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, (806) 834-4434 or m.binks@ttu.edu

Binks leads the Behavioral Medicine & Translational Research Lab and is director of the Nutrition & Metabolic Health Initiative at Texas Tech. His expertise spans a breadth of clinical and translational research topics and issues in public health related to obesity including: behavioral, pharmacologic and surgical obesity treatment; barriers to treatment adherence (nutrition and physical activity); obesity and comorbidities; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); pain and sleep in obesity; sickle cell disease; health disparities; and neuroscience related to obesity. He is a fellow, chairs the development committee and is secretary-treasurer of The Obesity Society; he also holds membership in a number of other national and international obesity and nutrition associations and is an editorial board member for the International Journal of Obesity and Obesity Science and Practice. He is a recipient of The Obesity Society's Atkinson Stern Award for Distinguished Public Service in Obesity.

John Dawson, assistant professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, (806) 834-7615 or john.a.dawson@ttu.edu

Dawson is a biostatistician with expertise in statistical analysis, design of experiments, analysis and interpretation of expression and sequence data, cancer and obesity research and general statistical consulting. He researches the proper measurement of nutritional outcomes, especially outcomes that are primarily obtained via self-report. Dawson was a finalist for the 2013 Ethan Sims Young Investigator Award at The Obesity Society's Annual Scientific Meeting at Obesity Week, which recognizes excellence in research by a young investigator.

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