2012 Seminar Series

January 24, 2012

Traci Mann, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, UMN, presented a seminar for the Nutrition Graduate Seminar Series entitled Should Diets be Recommended for the Treatment of Obesity?”  It is possible to view the Graduate Seminar presentations live via UMConnect and a password is not needed. To view live, or see previous web casts anytime, simply enter as a guest via the UMConnect Web Seminar Recording link found on the Food Science & Nutrition website for each seminar and follow the prompts.

February 12, 2012

Douglas Mashek, PhD, Food Science and Nutrition, UMN, presented a talk as part of the Graduate Seminar Series presented by the Department of Food Science and Nutrition. The title of his talk was “New Insights into the Development and Consequences of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.” Dr. Mashek is a Participating Investigator with the Minnesota Obesity Center.

April 2, 2012

The National Public Health Week Film Festival was held April 2-6, 2012. Nutrition, human rights, AIDS, end-of-life decisions, and sexual health were the topics of this year's eighth annual festival, hosted by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Free public screening of "Farm to School: Growing Our Future" was on April 2, 2012. This event marked the film’s public premiere. Farm to School partnerships have flourished in Minnesota, providing a new market for farmers and fresh, local food for students. This documentary explores the economic advantages and remaining challenges for businesses, farms, schools and communities as we work together to improve our children’s health and education. The Minnesota Obesity Center is a supporting sponsor of the Film Festival. To view the film schedule, speakers and locations, go to: www.sph.umn.edu/filmfest

April 9, 2012

Center for Spirituality & Healing -- “Taking Charge of Your Health” lecture series started with Walter Willett, MD, PhD, on Monday, April 9, 2012, at 3 PM in Coffman Union Great Hall. Dr. Willett's talk, entitled "Diet and Health: A Progress Report," was an update on the latest science regarding diet and health and learn about the Healthy Eating Plate.

For the last 20 years, nutrition experts have advised us to reduce total fat intake and consume large amounts of carbohydrates. However, this advice is inconsistent with evidence indicating that unsaturated fats have beneficial metabolic effects and reduce risk of coronary heart disease. More recent research has also shown that the large majority of carbohydrates in highly-processed diets have adverse metabolic effects and increase risks of obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In an optimal diet, most calories should come from a balance of whole grains and plant oils, proteins from a mix of beans, nuts, fish, eggs, and poultry, along with plenty of vegetables and a few fruits. Important considerations include the role of dairy products, the interrelationships with physical activity and genetic variations, the implications of our food choices on environmental sustainability, and how we move from todayʼs pathological diet to a more optimal way of eating. This event was sponsored by the Center for Spirituality & Healing, the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Obesity Center.

April 17, 2012

Charles Mobbs, PhD, Mount Sanai School of Medicine. Professor of Neuroscience, Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine and Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease, presented “Hypothalamic Transcriptional Mechanisms Linking Blood Glucose, Diet-Induced Obesity and Lifespan” as part of the GRECC Seminar Series at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center.  During his visit, Dr. Mobbs met with lab groups from the VA Medical Center to discuss research findings, and had a luncheon with students and trainees over which they discussed research ideas and results.  This visit was co-sponsored by the GRECC Seminar Series on Aging and the Minnesota Obesity Center

May 3, 2012

Alessandro Bartolomucci, PhD, Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology, UMN, presented a talk entitled "Stress, Obesity and Diabetes: From Animal Models to Mechanisms and Treatments” at the Endocrine City-Wide Conference sponsored by the Division of Endocrinology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Bartolomucci is a Participating Investigator with the Minnesota Obesity Center.

May 14, 2012

Childhood Obesity Symposium: "Home-Based Parenting Interventions to Promote Child Health"
This symposium was a forum for discussion of research in the area of home-based parenting interventions for child health outcomes. Specific attention was given to interventions that addressed parenting skills around healthy eating, physical activity and screen time, and how these interventions affect changes in the home environment and child behavior outcomes. Invited speakers included:

David Olds, PhD, Director of the Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health (PRC), University of Colorado, Denver
Improving the Health of Mothers & Children with Home Visiting by Nurses: Exploring the Potential for Obesity Prevention

Laurie Miller Brotman, PhD, Director of the Center for Early Childhood Health and Development at the NYU Child Study Center
Early Childhood Family Intervention and Obesity Prevention among Low-income, Minority Youth

Abigail Gewirtz, PhD, LP, Family Social Science and the Institute of Child Development, UMN
Adaptation of an Empirically Supported Parent Training Program for Highly Stressed Families

Additional Discussants included:

Nancy E. Sherwood, PhD, HealthPartners Research Foundation and the Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, UMN

Simone A. French, PhD, Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, UMN and the Obesity Prevention Center

Both Drs. Sherwood and French serve as Co-Principal Investigators of the NET-Works study, the Minnesota Center for the Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Research program. This symposium was inspired by NET-Works, and made possible with funding from the University of Minnesota Prevention Center and the Minnesota Obesity Center. Click here to view the presentations.

May 20-22, 2012

The Whole Grain Summit  Whole Grains & Health: From Theory to Practice was a global summit which was held in Minneapolis, MN, in May 2012.  This conference was a collaborative effort among various sectors working with whole grains and food, from government to academia to industry. The latest scientific data on whole grains & health were examined and prioritized.  Additionally, this meeting reached beyond past Whole Grains Summits, with a special focus on successful business models, economic issues, and consumer insights that allow healthier whole grain options to be successful in the marketplace.  Invited moderators and panelists included: Sylvia Rowe, SR Strategy, Amy Klobuchar, United States Senator (invited), Roger Clemens, Institute of Food Technologists President , Sylvia Escott-Stump, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics President, Len Marquart, University of Minnesota and Grains for Health Foundation, Marc Manley, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Peter Erickson, General Mills, Allen S. Levine, CFANS, University of Minnesota, Robert Post, CNPP, USDA, Bill Stoufer, ConAgra Foods, Zachary Meyer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, James Galloway, Assistant U.S. Surgeon General, George Mensah, PepsiCo, Jim Hill, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.  The Minnesota Obesity Center supported the Whole Grain Summit at the Bronze sponsorship level.

June 13, 2012

Guido Frank, MD, Director of the Developmental Brain Research Program at the University of Colorado, presented "Brain Reward Processing and Disordered Eating" at Grand Rounds in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Medical School. This event was sponsored by the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Obesity Center.

June 20, 2012

Obesity Research Day ‘12
The Minnesota Obesity Center sponsored a day long program of current research findings in body weight management and obesity on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, held in the Johnson Great Room at the McNamara Alumni Center/Gateway Building. The program featured talks by nationally recognized obesity experts, with Minnesota Obesity Center Participating Investigators leading discussions following the presentations:

James E. Mitchell, MD, Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Fargo, North Dakota Recent Outcomes of Bariatric Surgery: Recent Data
Discussant: Scott J. Crow, MD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota
                    Kevin D. Hall, PhD, Laboratory of Biological Modeling, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health

The Calculus of Calories: Mathematical Models of Body Weight Dynamics
Discussant: Charles J. Billington, MD, Division of Endocrinology, VA Medical Center
                    Rudy L. Leibel, MD, Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, Columbia University

The Molecular Physiology of the Control of Body Weight: Why is it so Difficult to Sustain Weight Loss?
Discussant: Michael D. Jensen, MD, Endocrine Research Unit, Mayo Clinic

The purpose of Obesity Research Day is to present recent findings in obesity research. Attendees are researchers and their trainees from the institutions that comprise the Minnesota Obesity Center, and members from the community at large. This forum allows Minnesota Obesity Center Participants extended time to interact and to communicate with other investigators about shared research interests and potential collaborations. The event stimulates significant interest and is quite popular. It has helped to increase awareness of the Minnesota Obesity Center among the general public.  This event is sponsored by the Minnesota Obesity Center and the University of Minnesota/College of Food, Agricultural & Natural Resource Sciences.

September 4, 2012

James L. Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D., Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging, Mayo Clinic, presented a seminar entitled “Aging, Obesity, and Fat Tissue Cellular Senescence“ at the UMN’s Department of Chemistry.  Dr. Kirkland is a Participating Investigator with the Minnesota Obesity Center.

October 1 & 2, 2012

2012 Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Symposium and Food Summit:  “Minnesota Leaders in Food and Health," was co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota’s Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.  The agenda focused on cutting-edge research on food and health on the first day, with applications for the community on the second day.   The Keynote address was Priorities and Challenges for Food and Health Research: Directions of the USDA Extramural Grant Programs presented by Sonny Ramaswamy, Ph.D., Director, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).  Other speakers presented on the following topics:

Dietary Cancer-Preventive Compounds  Stephen Hecht, Ph.D., Wallin Professor of Cancer Prevention, U of MN Masonic Cancer Center

Production Issues and Variability of Dietary Chemopreventive Compounds  Vince Fritz, Ph.D., Department of Horticultural Science, U of MN

Bee Health: Why Should We Care?  Marla Spivak, Ph.D., McKnight Distinguished University Professor, Department of Entomology, U of MN

Bee Products and Human Health  Linda Halcon, Ph.D., Population Health and Systems Cooperative, School of Nursing, U of MN

Current Issues in Food Safety: Bringing the Best Science to the Discussion  Michael Osterholm, Ph.D., M.P.H., Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), U of MN

Is Organic Produce Unsafe? Where's the Evidence?  Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, Ph.D., Department of Food Science and Nutrition, U of MN

Why We Can't Stop Eating: Biological Drivers of Food Intake  Allen Levine, Ph.D., Director of the Minnesota Obesity Center and Dean, College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences, U of MN

How the Food Environment Contributes to Obesity  Simone French, Ph.D., Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, U of MN

Panel Discussion:  Current Priorities and Future Directions in Research on Food and Health

Closing Remarks:  Mindy S. Kurzer, Ph.D., Director, Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute, U of MN

The Minnesota Obesity Center provided support for this symposium at the Donor level.

November 15, 2012

Randy Seeley, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati, presented a talk as part of the Integrative Biology and Physiology (IBP) Stress Physiology Center seminar series entitled “Bariatric Surgery, It's Not What You Think It Is. Molecular Targets for Surgical Intervention for Obesity and Diabetes."  Dr. Seeley visited with investigators from the Minnesota Obesity Center during his two-day visit to the University of Minnesota.  This event was presented by the IBP Stress Physiology Center and was co-sponsored by the Minnesota Obesity Center.

November 29, 2012

Aaron S. Kelly, Ph.D., Division of Pediatric Epidemiology and Clinical Research, UMN, presented a talk entitled "The Role of Pharmacotherapy in the Treatment of Severe Pediatric Obesity” at the Endocrine City-Wide Conference sponsored by the Division of Endocrinology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Kelly is a Participating Investigator with the Minnesota Obesity Center.