Dr. Hans-Rudolf Berthoud is the George H. Bray Professor of Neuroscience at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A leader in obesity research, Dr. Berthoud has been a pioneer in studying the neurobiology of nutrition. Dr. Berthoud’s major research interests include investigating interactions between the “metabolic” and “hedonic/cognitive” brain in the control of appetite, neural mechanisms involved in the coordination of energy intake with energy expenditure, pathways and specific functions of gut-brain communication, and central and peripheral autonomic nervous system pathways controlling energy expenditure. He is co-executive editor of Appetite and on the editorial board of a number of journals focusing on the physiology and pathophysiology of obesity and diabetes.
Dr. Nikhil V. Dhurandhar, is professor of “Infection and Obesity” and the John Henry Hernandez Endowed Professor in Health Promotion, at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA. He is the vice president of The Obesity Society for 2012-2013, and is in line to serve as president beginning in 2014. As a physician and nutritional biochemist, he has been involved with obesity treatment and research for 20 years. Dr. Dhurandhar coined the term “Infectobesity” – obesity of infectious origin. Dr. Dhurandhar et al were the first to identify adipogenic effects of an avian adenovirus (SMAM-1) and a human adenovirus (Ad36), and the first to report beneficial effects of Ad36, particularly on glucose metabolism. He believes that simple explanations for causes of obesity are inadequate and novel approaches are required for its effective management. Dr. Dhurandhar has received research funding from the NIH, American Diabetes Association, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other non-profit or commercial funding sources, has published over 90 scientific articles, and book chapters, and served as a mentor or advisor for several students and postdoctoral fellows.
Mikael Fogelholm has been the Professor in Public Health Nutrition at the Department of Food and Environmental Science, University of Helsinki, Finland, since August 2011. Before this he has, e.g., worked as the Director of the UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research, Tampere, Finland, and Director of Health Research Council, Academy of Finland. Prof. Fogelholm’s research interest has been directed towards understanding interactions between diet, physical activity and obesity. Earlier, he has also published methodological papers on body composition and physical activity assessment. He was the President of the Finnish Association for the Study on Obesity in 2002—2004, and the President of the European Congress on Obesity in Helsinki, 2003. Prof. Fogelholm is a member of the project group for the 2013 Nordic Nutrition Recommendations. He is also the Editor-in-Chief for Food and Nutrition Research journal.
Professor Berit Heitmann was educated as a dentist in 1987 at the Dental School in Copenhagen. She defended her Ph.D thesis at the Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen in February 1993. Between 1996-98 she was president of The Danish Association for the Study of Obesity. Since 2001 she has been Director for research, (and 2011-2012 acting Director) of the Institute of Preventive Medicine, at the Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospitals, a part of Copenhagen University Hospital, The Capital Region, Copenhagen. Since 2001 Berit Heitmann has been professor in nutritional epidemiology, at the National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark. Since 2011 also Honorary Professor Sydney University, The Boden Institute, Sydney. Professor Heitmann’s main areas of expertise include Diet and the determinants and consequences of obesity. She has supervised 30 PhD students (20 already with a defended thesis, and 10 in progress) and about 50 pre-graduates. Professor Heitmann has published almost 200 scientific peer-reviewed papers, approximately 20 reviews and a similar number of book chapters.
Andrew Hill is Professor of Medical Psychology and Head of the Division of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at Leeds University School of Medicine. Andrew gained his PhD at Leeds working with Professor John Blundell. Appointed to a lectureship in 1988, he spent 1997 as Visiting Fellow with Professor Ian Caterson at the Human Nutrition Unit, University of Sydney and 2011-12 as Visiting Professor. Andrew is a Chartered Psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He was Chairman of the UK Association for the Study of Obesity from 1999-2002 and is currently a member of the UK Department of Health’s Obesity Review Group. Over the last 25 years or so his research interests have ranged from human appetite control to the development of weight and shape concerns in children, and the variety of psychological issues inherent in obesity and eating disorders.
Professor J. Alfredo Martínez BPharm, PhD, RN, FRAP is the chairman of the Institute of Nutrition at the University of Navarra since 2002 Professor of Nutrition. Associate Director of I+D+i at INIA (Soria). Member of the Scientific Advisory Group for the 7th EU framework, ILSi, Académico Correspondiente Real Academia de Farmacia.(Royal Academy of Pharmacy, Spain), Secretary of the Federation of European Nutrition Societies (FENS 2003-2007), Spanish Federation of Nutrition, Food and Dietetics (president 2005-present).Member of the IUNS Council (2005-present). The research fields in which he has been involved for the last years include: Nutritional control of metabolism, Nutritional utilization of functional foods, evaluation of nutritional status in different populations, Nutrition and immunity, obesity: cell, animal and human intervention and epidemiological studies, consumer surveys and long-distance learning. Nutrigenomics. He has over 350 publications with ISBN and over 50 books and chapters. He has been invited to speak at over 100 lectures at both international and national level (selected forum), and been involved with over 40 funded projects. Industrial relevance: International nutrition, Food and agro industries and the Pharmaceutical industry.
Professor Brenda Penninx works at the department of psychiatry at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She has been involved in various Dutch and international longitudinal cohort and intervention studies and is currently leading the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety, a large study on psychosocial, biological and genetic risk factors of depression and anxiety disorders. One of her main research topic is describing and understanding the interaction of psychiatric disorders with somatic health outcomes. For this, she has obtained various research grants from the Dutch Scientific Organization, the European Union and the NIH. She has published over 450 international scientific articles (current H-index=65), and supervises over 25 PhD-students and postdocs.
Andrew Steptoe is British Heart Foundation’s Professor of Psychology in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London, where he is also Director of the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care. He graduated in Natural Sciences from Cambridge, and completed his doctorate at Oxford University. He was professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at St. George’s Hospital Medical School before moving to UCL in 2000. He is a past-president of the International Society of Behavioural Medicine and is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed articles and is author or editor of 18 books, most recently the Handbook of Behavioural Medicine (Springer, 2010), and Stress and Cardiovascular Disease (Springer, 2012). His main research interests are in psychosocial aspects of health, health behaviour, ageing, and psychobiology. He directs the Psychobiology Group at UCL and also coordinates the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA).
Prof. dr. M. S. Westerterp Plantenga is Professor of Food Intake Regulation in Humans at Maastricht University, Faculty of Health, Medicine, Life Sciences, Nutrim, The Netherlands. Her research focuses on energy-homeostasis and reward-homeostasis, in the perspective of regulation of body-weight and body-composition, in the context of obesity. At present she specifically addresses the role of quality sleep and circadian rhythms, while research on the role of the food reward and relevant brain-signaling, thermogenic ingredients and different proteins in the diet continues. She is a member of several editorial boards, scientific committees and used to be a member of the Faculty Board of the Faculty of Health, Medicine, and Life sciences of Maastricht University.
Prof Yajnik MD FRCP is a Consultant Physician, and Director, Diabetes Unit at King Edward Memorial Hospital, Pune since 1985. He heads the Pankunwar Firodia Day care Centre and the Kamalnayan Bajaj Diabetology Research Centre, and is an Associate Professor at the BJ Medical College, Pune. He is a visiting Fellow at the MRC Life course Epidemiology Unit at Southampton, UK and a Visiting University Professor at the Peninsula Medical School, Department of Molecular Medicine and Genetics at Exeter, UK. He was an advisor on the Population and Public Health Council of the Wellcome Trust (2009- 2011) and also sits on H3Africa Panel. Prof. Yajnik has put India on the international map in the field of diabetology and DOHAD (Developmental Origins of Health and Disease). He has published over 100 scientific papers, reviews and chapters in prestigious international journals, has extensively lectured in various international forums (DOHaD, ADA, EASD, ICO, ESPE, ICE etc), has been an advisor to multiple national and international bodies (Indian Council of Medical Research, Indian Department of Biotechnology, WHO, NIH and NICHD) and referred and edited for prestigious Journals. He has received many awards and honours in recognition of his outstanding contribution, including SGP Moses Oration of Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India, Association of Physicians of India, South Asian Society for study of Atherosclerosis, the most prestigious being the Hellmut Mehnert Award of the International Diabetes Federation in 2009 and the David Barker Medal 2011. Prof Yajnik’s research is continuously funded by the Wellcome Trust, London.