2009 Seminar Series

February 25

Peter J. Roach, PhD, Director of the Center for Diabetes Research at Indiana University, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, presented the 10th Nelson D. Goldberg Lecture in Signal Transduction and Metabolism. His talk was entitled “Glycogen, an Old Dog with New Tricks? From Multisite Protein Phosphorylation to Glycogen Phosphorylation to Lafora Disease.” Dr. Roach is an internationally recognized scientist whose fundamental studies on glycogen metabolism have provided novel insights into the molecular mechanisms controlling energy metabolism and cellular homeostasis. This lecture was sponsored by the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, the Minnesota Obesity Center, and the Center for Diabetes Research.

April 22

Timothy Bartness PhD, Regents Professor of Biology, Georgia State University spoke on the topic "Bidirectional Communication Between Adipose Tissue and the Brain." This presentation was part of the MinnCRest Seminar Series and was supported in part by the Minnesota Obesity Center

April 29

Mehmood Khan, MD, Chief Scientific Officer, PepsiCo, presented a talk entitled “Cross-Fertilization Between Food, Pharma and the Healthcare Industry: a Corporate Physician's Perspective” and then presided over a Question & Answer session. The co-sponsors were the Minnesota Obesity Center, Medical Industry Leadership Institute, the Food Industry Center and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. At PepsiCo, Inc., Dr. Khan is responsible for guiding the company’s long-term research strategy and agenda for business opportunities. The talk pertained to Dr. Khan’s role in providing global leadership and support to division research and development groups in the areas of enterprise research planning, R&D portfolio management, next generation technologies, nutritional standards, food safety and regulation, and quality assurance.

May 8

Eric C. Westman, MD MHS, the Director of Lifestyle Medicine Clinic at Duke University Medical Center, presented a seminar entitled “The Science Behind Low-carbohydrate Diets.” This seminar was co-sponsored by the Minnesota Obesity Center and was part the Seminar Series sponsored by the UMN Nutrition Graduate Program.

May 19

Professor Johnathon Speakman from the Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, presented a seminar entitled "Have differences in physical activity driven the obesity epidemic?" During his visit, Dr. Speakman met with several investigators and graduate students to discuss research ideas and results. This visit was co-sponsored by Healthy Foods/Healthy Lives Institute, Minnesota Obesity Center and the Nutrition Graduate Program.

June 3

Kelly L. Klump, PhD, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University presented at Psychiatry Grand Rounds on the topic "Genetics of Disordered Eating." While here, Dr. Klump met with Center investigators to discuss research ideas and findings. This event was sponsored by the Minnesota Obesity Center with supporting funds from Sanofi/Aventis.

July 27

Stephen D. Phinney, MD, Professor Emeritus at the University of California-Davis presented a seminar entitled “Is Lipogenesis Important in Humans?” This seminar was a special event co-sponsored with the Department of Food Science and Nutrition.

September 21

Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives First Annual Symposium
Critical Issues in Research and Public Policy
The First Annual Symposium co-sponsored by the Minnesota Obesity Center took place on the University of Minnesota campus at Cowles Auditorium (Hubert H Humphrey Center) on September 21, 2009. Over 300 people were in attendance -- about 1/3 university faculty and staff and 1/3 students, mainly from the U of M Twin Cities, but also from 10 other universities. About 1/3 came in from outside the university, representing state and local public health and agriculture agencies, 6 public school districts, 3 health insurance companies, about 15 food companies, food commodity groups, farmers, master gardeners, food coops, chefs, health professionals, community organizations and non-profits, legislative staffers and legislators. Nationally and internationally renowned speakers presented state-of-the art science on four highly controversial topics related to the effects of food consumption on human health: food processing, consumption of organic foods, high fructose corn syrup, and antibiotic use in animals.

Barry M. Popkin, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Keynote: “New Dynamics of US and Global Shifts in Diet and Body Composition: The World is Fat

Eric Decker, University of Massachusetts, Amherst “The evolution of processed foods and opportunities for improving health
Discussant: David Wallinga, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
                    Phillip Minerich, Hormel Foods Corp.
Moderator: Theodore P. Labuza, UMN Food Science and Nutrition

Alyson Mitchell, University of California, Davis “Is organic food healthier?”
Discussant: Carl J. Rosen, UMN Soil, Water and Climate
                    Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, UMN Food Science and Nutrition
Moderator: Gary M. Gardner, UMN Horticultural Science

Panel Discussion (Sponsored by Sanofi/Aventis): “Diet vs Drugs for Obesity Treatment
Introduction: Allen S. Levine, UMN Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences
Panelists: George Bray, Allen S. Levine, Charles Billington, Barry Popkin
Moderator: Marilyn S. Nanney, UMN Family Medicine and Community Health

George A. Bray, Pennington Biomedical Research Center “Does consumption of high fructose corn syrup contribute to obesity and other health concerns?
Discussant: Howard Towle, UMN Biochemistry, Molec Biology & Biophysics
                    James M. Rippe, Director, Rippe Lifestyle Institute
Moderator: Charles J. Billington, UMN Dept of Medicine

Rebecca Irwin, Public Health Agency of Canada “Does antibiotic use in animals affect human health?
Discussant: Randall Singer, UMN Epidemiology
                    Satish C. Gupta, UMN Soil, Water and Climate
Moderator: Craig W. Hedberg, UMN Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health
Closing Remarks: Mindy S. Kurzer, Director of the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute

October 30

John Blundell, PhD, a physiological psychologist from University of Leeds, Institute of Psychological Sciences in Leeds, United Kingdom, presented the seminar “Exercise Makes You Fat.” The visiting scholar met individually with several Center investigators and students to discuss potential research collaborations. This event was co-sponsored by the Obesity Prevention Center and the Minnesota Obesity Center.