Linda S. Adair, Ph.D., is a professor of nutrition in the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Adair is a biological anthropologist interested in maternal and child nutrition. Her theoretical orientation comes from human biology, and she is interested in how human populations respond to nutritional stresses. She is currently working on a large-scale longitudinal survey of women and children in the Philippines. This work involves an exploration of patterns and determinants of growth from infancy through young adulthood; the long-term consequences of fetal and early child-growth patterns; the development of chronic disease risk factors in adolescents and young adults; and determinants of women’s nutritional status through the life cycle. She also collaborates with other Department of Nutrition faculty in the study of (1) gene–environment interactions as determinants of health and nutritional status; (2) feeding and parenting styles of African American parents and the growth of African American infants; and (3) factors affecting postpartum maternal-to-child transmission of HIV and maternal and child nutritional status in Malawi, as well as nutrition projects in rural South Africa and China. She teaches international nutrition, advanced methods of nutritional epidemiology, and the doctoral seminar. She received her B.S. in biological sciences in 1971 from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and her Ph.D. in biological anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980.
Andrea Baccarelli, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., is the Mark and Catherine Winkler Associate Professor of Environmental Epigenetics in the Department of Environmental Health and Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard
School of Public Health. His research focuses on identifying molecular and biological factors reflecting the impact of environmental exposures on cancer risk, with a particular interest in epigenetics. Epigenetic markers, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, and non-coding RNAs, modify chromatin structure and gene expression without changing the underlying DNA sequence. Unlike genetic mutations, which represent rare events with permanent consequences on genes, epigenetic changes are reversible and responsive to environmental influences. Using a highly quantitative pyrosequencing-based approach for DNA methylation analysis, Dr. Baccarelli has been examining the effects on DNA methylation of a variety of environmental carcinogens, including particulate air pollution, airborne benzene, metals, pesticides, dioxin-like compounds, and persistent organic pollutants, which are known to be relevant to cancer etiology.
Shari Barkin, M.D., M.S.H.S., is a professor of pediatrics and holds the William K. Warren Family Foundation Chair in Medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where she is also the director of the Division of General Pediatrics and the director of pediatric obesity research. The Barkin laboratory studies family-based, community-centered clinical interventions to improve health behaviors such as physical activity and nutrition in parent/young-child dyads. The lab is focused on changing early body mass index (BMI) trajectories in childhood to prevent childhood obesity and later related adult chronic conditions. The interventions developed and tested apply the ecologic model that considers the child in the context of his or her family, and the family in the context of its community, considering how to pragmatically transform scientific discovery into potentially sustainable interventions that can improve the public’s health. A theme of the lab is the dynamic interaction among genetics, behavior, and environment at sensitive periods of childhood development. The lab applies a wide variety of techniques to address these complex problems, including qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The lab considers objective biologic measurements (such as fat mass and BMI), genetic measurements (genetic allelic risk scores, epigenetics), social measurements (social networks), and behavioral measurements (actigraphy changes over time in both parents and children, use of existing built environment to sustain healthy lifestyle behavior changes). Dr. Barkin serves as the principal investigator of the Growing Right Onto Wellness (GROW) Trial, a 7-year randomized controlled trial to prevent childhood obesity that is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and she serves on the steering committee for the Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Research (COPTR) consortium of the National Institutes of Health. She is also in her second term on the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council’s Board of Children, Youth,
and Families. Dr. Barkin received her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati Medical College and completed a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Jamie B. Bussel, M.P.H., is a program officer in the area of childhood obesity and catalyzing demand for healthy practices and places with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She directs initiatives that foster multidisciplinary partnerships and systems-level change strategies to transform the health of people and places. She leads the childhood obesity work focused on halting obesity from pregnancy through a child’s fifth birthday. Previously, Ms. Bussel held research positions at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of the New Jersey School of Public Health and the University of Pennsylvania.
Antonio Convit, M.D., is the deputy director of the Nathan Kline Institute and a professor of psychiatry, medicine, and radiology at the New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Convit’s work focuses on understanding the impact of obesity-mediated metabolic disease on the brain. He also created the Banishing Obesity and Diabetes in Youth (BODY) Project, a public health program to help obese adolescents reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes and early cardiovascular disease. Dr. Convit is a native of Venezuela. He obtained his M.D. from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, and trained in psychiatry at the New York University Medical Center.
Jacob E. Friedman, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado, Denver. His primary focus is on understanding the role of early nutrition and the environment on molecular, endocrine, and epigenetic origins of childhood obesity and diabetes. This involved developing novel animal models of obesity (mouse, nonhuman primate) together with invasive human clinical investigation in vivo and in vitro, using human skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, and, more recently, umbilical-derived mesenchymal stem cells from infants born to obese women with and without gestational diabetes mellitus. Dr. Friedman is currently a principal investigator, a co–principal investigator, or a coinvestigator on multiple basic, clinical, and large-scale epidemiological studies of pregnancy and obesity and maternal–fetal outcomes that are funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Matthew Gillman, M.D., S.M., is a professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, a professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, and the director of the Obesity Prevention Program in the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute’s
Department of Population Medicine. His research interests include early life prevention of chronic disease, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and asthma; individual and policy-level interventions to prevent obesity and its consequences; and childhood cardiovascular risk factors. He directs Project Viva, a National Institutes of Health–funded cohort study of pregnant women and their offspring that focuses on effects of gestational diet and other factors on outcomes of pregnancy and childhood. Dr. Gillman also leads or participates in several other federally funded studies of diet, activity, obesity, and cardiovascular risk in children and adults. He has served in leadership roles in the U.S. National Children’s Study, the International Society for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, the American Heart Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee to Reexamine IOM Pregnancy Weight Guidelines. He is an active teacher of medical students and mentor to research trainees. Formerly a primary care internist and pediatrician, Dr. Gillman’s current clinical work is in preventive cardiology among children.
Kevin L. Grove, Ph.D., is a senior scientist in the Division of Diabetes, Obesity, & Metabolism and the Division of Reproductive & Developmental Sciences at the Oregon National Primate Research Center in Beaverton, Oregon. He is also the vice president of obesity research for Novo Nordisk in Seattle, Washington. In the past 20 years in Oregon, Dr. Grove has developed an internationally recognized research program focused on how poor pregnancy health and nutrition place offspring at a higher risk of metabolic and psychiatric diseases. His group also focuses on dietary and nutrient supplements that may prevent these health complications. Both of these programs extensively use nonhuman primate (NHP) models. Using these highly relevant and translational research models, Dr. Grove has built international collaborations to understand the critical aspects of malnutrition during pregnancy, including both consumption of Western-style diets and the impact of under-nutrition. Dr. Grove received his B.S. in the Department of Animal Science at Washington State University in 1990 and his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the same university in 1994. He did his postdoctoral work at the Institute of Clinical Research of Montreal.
Judith G. Hall, M.D., M.Sc., is a clinical geneticist and pediatrician. She is currently a professor emerita of pediatrics and medical genetics at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests are human congenital anomalies, including neural tube defects, the genetics of short stature, mechanisms of disease such as mosaicism and imprinting, the natural history of genetic disorders, the genetics of connective tissue disorders such
as arthrogryposis, and dwarfism and monozygotic twins. She has contributed in many leadership roles, including the presidency of the American Society of Human Genetics and the American Pediatrics Society. Dr. Hall has served on numerous national and international committees and boards and has received many honors for her scientific contributions and lifetime achievements. Among her publications are summary reviews and articles that are considered classics, having introduced aspects of the new genetics. Dr. Hall advocated for folic acid supplementation, pediatric physician resources, the development of specific disease health guidelines, and research on rare genetic disorders and natural history. She trained at Wellesley College, the University of Washington School of Medicine, and Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Sandra G. Hassink, M.D., F.A.A.P., is the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and chair of the AAP Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight advisory board and steering committee. In addition, she chairs the ethics committee at Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and cochairs the Delaware State ethics committee. She is a member of the institutional review board and has a master’s degree in pastoral care and counseling. Dr. Hassink is an author of the obesity prevention segment of the Expert Committee recommendations, senior editor of A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Obesity, author of Pediatric Obesity: Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment Strategies for Primary Care, and author of Clinical Guide to Pediatric Weight Management. She worked on the GLIDES project funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to embed the Expert Committee recommendation on obesity into the emergency health record at Nemours and is currently the principal investigator on an obesity cluster grant developing population health management systems for children with obesity. She has collaborated in basic research efforts to identify pathophysiologic mechanisms of obesity, centering on the role of leptin, and has lectured widely in the field of pediatric obesity.
Marie-France Hivert, M.D., M.M.Sc., is an assistant professor in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hivert is a clinical investigator with a primary focus on the etiology and primordial prevention of obesity and related comorbidities, particularly type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. Her interests also include fetal metabolic programming mechanisms and the integration of genetics, epigenetics, and environmental factors contributing to obesity and related disorders. She is currently involved in many international consortia investigating the genetic determinants of glycemic regulation during and outside of pregnancy. Dr. Hivert completed her clinical training as an endocrinologist in 2007
at the Université de Sherbrooke (Quebec, Canada). She was awarded a scholar research award from the Fonds de Recherche du Québec—Santé, a clinical scientist award from the Canadian Diabetes Association, and the New Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). From CIHR, she also received the Maud Menten New Principal Investigator Award from the Institute of Genetics in 2011. She has initiated her research in primary prevention by conducting a trial of lifestyle intervention to prevent weight gain in young adults, and her work led to upgrading the medical school curriculum at Université de Sherbrooke to allow better training in lifestyle counseling of future physicians. Related to this expertise, Dr. Hivert is involved in the Physical Activity Committee at the American Heart Association. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and her master’s degree in medical sciences in the Scholars in Clinical Sciences Program at Harvard Medical School.
Meredith A. J. Hullar, Ph.D., is a senior staff scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Her research interests include the role of the microbiome and diet in human health. Her research focuses on how the gut microbiome metabolizes dietary constituents and alters exposures that may influence health outcomes related to cancer. She uses a combination of dietary interventions and cross-sectional human population designs to study changes in the microbial community composition and functional genes associated with health outcomes. More specifically, she is interested in the role of the gut microbiome in obesity, how the metabolism of diet by microbiota may influence host epigenetics, and intermediary mechanisms of inflammation modulated by the gut microbiome. Dr. Hullar received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2000.
David Klurfeld, Ph.D., is the national program leader for human nutrition in the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). He has responsibility for the scientific direction of the intramural human nutrition research conducted by USDA laboratories. Prior to government service he was a professor in and the chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and before that was on the faculty of The Wistar Institute and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Klurfeld has published more than 185 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He was editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition for 6 years and is currently associate editor of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. He is a member of the National Institute for Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases Council.
Stephen Krawetz, Ph.D., is the Charlotte B. Failing Professor of Fetal Therapy and Diagnosis, the associate director of the C. S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development, and the director of the Center of Excellence: Paternal Impact of Toxicological Exposure at Wayne State University School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics. Dr. Krawetz is well recognized in the fields of reproductive genetics and bioinformatics. Using human spermatogenesis as a model system, his primary research focus is directed toward understanding the long-range genetic mechanisms that dictate cell fate. His laboratory continues to implement and develop state-of-the-art technologies to determine how RNA feeds back to the genome to modulate the system. The spermatozoal RNAs delivered at fertilization may provide an essential component in early paternal genome reprogramming, acting as genetic and epigenetic effectors. Dr. Krawetz received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Toronto in 1983 and trained with Gordon Dixon at the University of Calgary as an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research postdoctoral fellow.
Karen A. Lillycrop, Ph.D., is a professor of epigenetics in the Centre for Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom. Dr. Lillycrop’s research focuses on the effect of early life environment on the epigenome and long consequences for disease susceptibility. In collaboration with Dr. Graham Burdge (Faculty of Medicine), she showed for the first time that maternal nutritional constraint induces long-term epigenetic changes in the regulation of key metabolic genes leading to persistent changes in phenotype. She is a founding member of the Epigen consortium, an international consortium investigating the role of epigenetic processes in the developmental origins of disease.
William Nierman, Ph.D., is a professor in and the director of the Infectious Diseases Program at the J. Craig Venter Institute. He has extensive experience in infectious disease genomics, with particular expertise in genomic studies of bacterial and fungal pathogens. Dr. Nierman led the projects that resulted in the first genome sequences for the fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus and the select agent bacterial pathogen Burkholderia mallei. Infections by these pathogens are or can be initiated in the lungs after inhaling airborne particles containing the bacteria or fungal spores. He is studying the significance of the lung microbiome, biofilms, and antimicrobial resistance in the context of these diseases. He received his B.S. in chemistry from the U.S. Naval Academy and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.
Caroline Relton, P.G.C.E., Ph.D., is a professor of genetics and epigenetic epidemiology at Newcastle University and the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol. Her primary research interest is the application of epidemiological approaches to improve our understanding of the role that epigenetic patterns may play in health and development. Ongoing work in Dr. Relton’s laboratory includes projects focusing on the role of epigenetic variation in obesity, type 2 diabetes, and related comorbidities; the role of epigenetic variation in women’s health through the menopause; determinants of DNA methylation variation in infants and children; the identification of epigenetic biomarkers of cognitive function; the role of DNA methylation in the pathogenesis of lung cancer; and variation in epigenetic signatures during fetal development. Underpinning these projects is the methodological development of epidemiological tools to strengthen causal inference in the context of epigenetic studies.
Sarah S. Richardson, M.A., Ph.D., is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University. She is jointly appointed in the Department of the History of Science and the Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. A historian and philosopher of science, her research focuses on race and gender in the biosciences and on the social dimensions of scientific knowledge. Dr. Richardson’s research presses for scholarly reflection on the many developments under way in the present post-genomic moment. Her essay, “Maternal Bodies in the Post-genomic Order,” discussed the implications of a prominent post-genomic research stream that situates the maternal body as a central site of epigenetic programming and transmission and as a significant locus of medical and public health intervention.
Aryeh D. Stein, M.P.H., Ph.D., is a professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health of the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology. He is a member of the faculty of the Nutrition and Health Sciences program of the Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences in the Laney Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. In his research Dr. Stein uses critical periods of susceptibility to nutritional deficits and surfeits (such as war-induced famine or migration) to study the role of nutrition over the life course (prenatal, childhood, adulthood) on the development of adult chronic disease. He has secondary interests in the methods of dietary assessment and program evaluation. He is currently working with Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) and International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B in the design and implementation of a novel approach to program evaluation in Bangladesh; with the Consortium for Health Oriented Research in Transitional Societies (COHORTS) inves-
tigative team on the analysis of data from birth cohort studies in Brazil, Guatemala, India, the Philippines, and South Africa; with investigators from South Africa on the extension of the Birth to Twenty study to the next generation; and with the Young Lives investigators to study the consequences through adolescence of variation in growth in childhood.
Mark H. Vickers, M.Sc., Ph.D., is an associate professor and senior research fellow in the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland. Dr. Vickers’s research focus is on the effect of alterations in early life nutrition on the later health and well-being of offspring with a particular focus on the development of obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Dr. Vickers has established a number of preclinical models using the paradigm of altered early-life nutrition to examine the mechanistic basis of programming during critical periods of developmental plasticity. He also investigates the potential for the reversibility of developmental programming via both nutritional and pharmacologic interventions and was one of the first to show that developmental programming was potentially reversible with interventions in the early life period via the adipokine leptin. Dr. Vickers’s original work on developmental programming was named the most cited paper of the decade 2001–2011 in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism. He has published more than 90 peer-reviewed papers and 6 book chapters in the field of early life origins of adult disease and is on the editorial board of a number of journals in this area.
Robert Waterland, Ph.D., is an associate professor of pediatrics and molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine. His research is aimed at understanding how nutrition during prenatal and early postnatal development affects individual susceptibility to various adult-onset chronic diseases. Dr. Waterland’s group focuses on nutritional influences on developmental epigenetics as a likely mediating mechanism. The Waterland group is increasingly interested in whether a mother’s obesity and nutrition before and during pregnancy affect developmental epigenetics in the hypothalamus and, consequently, body weight regulation in her offspring.
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