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10th Postgraduate Nutrition Symposium
The Genetics of ObesityPME logo

New research is emerging on the potential role of genetics in obesity. While behavioral aspects are an important component in developing obesity, scientists are working to understand what genetic variations predispose certain individuals to obesity, and what impact these factors have on metabolic function. Accordingly, having a better understanding of the genetics of obesity may lead to future personalized treatments for individuals with certain biological variations.

A panel of world-renowned physicians and researchers will present new research on the relationship between genetics and the onset of obesity-related pathologies. They will also explore whether certain dietary/nutritional components may prevent the development and progression of these complications.

Below are links to each of the presentations given at the 10th Postgraduate Nutrition Symposium The Genetics of Obesity live Symposium in Boston, MA on June 26, 2008. Each of the links will open the presentation in a new window. System Requirements: You will need Macromedia's Flash player to view these presentations.

W. Allan Walker, MD
Conrad Taff Professor of Nutrition
Professor of Pediatrics
Director, Division of Nutrition
Harvard Medical School

Keynote Address:
“Molecular Physiology of Weight Regulation”

Rudolph L. Leibel, MD
Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine
Head, Division of Molecular Genetics
Co-Director, Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center
Columbia University Medical Center

Session I – Monogenic and Polygenic Forms of Obesity in Humans

Moderator: Joel Hirschhorn, MD, PhD

“Overview of the Genetics of Obesity”
Joel Hirschhorn, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Genetics
Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Senior Associate Member and Co-director, Metabolism Initiative
Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

"Insights From Deep Resequencing in Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity”
Len Pennacchio, PhD
Senior Staff Scientist, Genomics Division Program Leader
Genetic Analysis & Genomic Technologies Programs
Joint Genome Institute

“Genetics and Biology of Bardet-Biedl Syndrome”
Nicholas Katsanis, PhD
Associate Professor, Institute of Genetic Medicine
Departments of Ophthalmology, Molecular Biology and Genetics
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

“Searching Genes for Obesity – Is Genomewide Association the Solution?”
Ruth Loos, PhD
Programme Leader (track)
MRC Epidemiology Unit
Institute of Metabolic Science
Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK

“Gene-diet Interactions in Obesity and Metabolic Diseases”
Frank Hu, MD, PhD
Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology
Department of Nutrition
Department of Epidemiology
Harvard School of Public Health

Roundtable Forum:
"Session I – Monogenic and Polygenic Forms of Obesity in Humans"

Session II - Genetics of Obesity in Animal Models

Moderator: Rudolph L. Leibel, MD, PhD

Streamson C. Chua, Jr., MD, PhD
Professor, Department of Medicine
Professor, Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

“Genetic and Functional Genomic Analysis of C. elegans Neuroendocrine Control of Fat Storage”
Gary Ruvkun, PhD
Professor, Department of Genetics
Harvard Medical School
Center for Computational and Integrative Medicine
Department of Molecular Biology
Massachusetts General Hospital
Smiches Research Center

“Gastrointestinal Regulation of Metabolic Function”
Lee M. Kaplan, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Director, MGH Weight Center
Associate Chief for Research, Gastroenterology
Massachusetts General Hospital

“Gene-environment Interactions in Rodent Models of Obesity”
Barry Levin, MD
Professor and Vice Chair,
Department of Neurology & Neurosciences
New Jersey Medical School and E. Orange NJ VA Medical Center

"Genetic Dissection of Neural Circuits Controlling Energy Homeostasis”
Brad Lowell, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Harvard Medical School

Roundtable Forum
"Genetics of Obesity: Implications for Individualized Medicine and Future Treatments"

Andrew Greenberg, MD
Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins
Professorship in Metabolism and Nutrition Scientist I and Director, Obesity and Metabolism Laboratory
Tufts University

Speaker Participants:
Rudolph L. Leibel, MD
Joel Hirschhorn, MD, PhD
Nicholas Katsanis, PhD
Ruth Loos, PhD
Lee M. Kaplan, MD, PhD
Frank Hu, MD, PhD
Streamson C. Chua, Jr., MD, PhD
Gary Ruvkun, PhD
Barry Levin, MD
Brad Lowell, MD, PhD

Program made possible by an Unrestricted Educational Grants from: sanofi-aventis USA, Inc., The Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness of The Coca-Cola Company, Campbell Soup Company, McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, A Johnson & Johnson Company, National Dairy Council, The Peanut Institute and The Conrad Taff Teaching Fund.


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