Friday, June 21, 2019 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM EDT
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DCRI Morris Building 
200 Morris Street
Durham, NC 27701

Driving Directions 


  • Matthew Roe, MD, MHS
  • Professor of Medicine
  • Division of Cardiology
  • Sarah Armstrong, MD
  • Associate Professor
  • Pediatrics, Population Health Sciences, Family Medicine and Community Health
  • Duke Global Health Institute
  • Duke Center for Childhood Obesity Research

And the Duke Transdisciplinary Obesity Consortium


Duke School of Medicine

Duke Clinical Research Institute


Jennifer Rumbach 
Duke Clinical Research Institute 

Transforming Obesity Research at Duke 

A Campus Community Colloquium

Understanding and solving the complexities of obesity is one of the most pressing challenges facing the health of our generation.  Tackling this problem head-on will require all of us – patients, community members, clinicians, and researchers across the translational spectrum.  Rarely do we have the opportunity to intersect, yet experts across the spectrum of research at Duke are needed to address the causation, barriers in patient care, and treatment methods that influence obesity across the lifespan - from pre-conception through adulthood.

In response to this need, the Dean’s Interdisciplinary Colloquia is sponsoring a one-day interactive event to bring together patients, researchers, clinicians and other experts to advance the science of obesity prevention and treatment.  Come join us downtown at the new DCRI 200 Morris Building for an interactive and participatory colloquium that will foster new collaborations, bolster opportunities for meaningful obesity-related research, and transform our approach to obesity research at Duke.

The day will include the opportunity to:

  • Gain insights from a panel of patient participants who will share their lived experiences with obesity, as well as provide guidance on study design and potential outcomes that would motivate their participation in research studies.
  • Enjoy a lively faculty debate of two controversial topics in obesity research.
  • HOT OFF THE PRESS! Obtain a sneak preview of Durham Neighborhood Compass’ obesity maps, which will not be released digitally until late 2019.
  • Engage in a team science activity facilitated by the Duke CTSI Team Science Core where you will have the opportunity to brainstorm new approaches with researchers in diverse fields.
  • Develop a framework and use-case for fostering and embedding obesity-related research into routine practice across the Duke Health System and within the Durham community as an ideal learning health system model.


8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Welcome and Overview: Matthew Roe, MD, MHS, and Sarah Armstrong, MD


9:00 -9:45 a.m. Morning Keynote: Learning to Learn Together: How we can comprehensively address weight management across the entire health system: Joseph Rogers, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Duke University Hospital System 


9:45 – 10:45 a.m. Research Do’s and Don’ts: Patient Perspectives Panel: Sarah Armstrong, MD, and Jamie Roberts, MPH, MA - Facilitators

  • A diverse panel of patients will share their personal weight management experiences, and provide guidance to researchers on a variety of topics related to obesity research.


10:45-11:00 a.m. Break


11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Solution-Oriented Thinking: New tools we can use to close old knowledge gaps: Matthew Maciejewski, PhD - Moderator

  • Pamela Maxson, PhD: Neighborhood Compass Project – Leveraging Community Health Efforts to Inform Obesity Research Across Duke
  • David D’Allesio, MD: Translational Research Gaps for Obesity Research: Why Spectacular Gains in Pre-Clinical Science Have Not Advanced to Impact Clinical Care Delivery
  • Matthew Maciejewski, PhD: Impact of Population Health Analyses for Obesity Research
  • Sue Raffa, PhD: Approaches for Aligning Clinical Care Delivery and Research Objectives for Obesity Across Duke


12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch and Networking Opportunity


1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Diets, Drugs, or Surgery?  A debate over the most effective treatment approach for obesity: Keri Seymour and William Yancy – Moderators

Featuring Faculty Debators:

  • Eric Westman, MD:  Clearly, it’s the carbs! The carbohydrate-insulin model of obesity, and nutritional interventions with low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets.
  • Dana Portenier, MD: Seriously? It’s our set-point!  Dysregulation of the body’s set point for optimal weight, and how bariatric surgery re-sets that point.
  • Svati Shah, MD:  Geez, it’s our genetics!  Genomic and metabolomic pre-disposition for weight gain and using targeted “omics” treatments to personalize care.
  • Eliana Perrin, MD, MPH:  It’s prevention, period.  Since there are multifactorial causes of obesity and obesity is so difficult to treat, we need to concentrate our efforts on lifestyle and socioculturally-informed efforts to prevent the problem in the first place.


2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Where 1+1=3:  Using team science to solve complex problems: Kristine Glauber, PhD, and Jennifer Ingram, PhD - Moderators

  • Participants will learn principles of team science, then join small teams representing multiple perspectives to brainstorm approaches to addressing key questions in obesity research.


3:00 – 3:30 p.m.  Reports from Team Science Breakout Sessions


3:30 – 3:45 p.m. Break


3:45 – 4:15 p.m. Afternoon Keynote: Catalyzing an Integrated Platform and Infrastructure for Obesity Research Across Duke: Lesley Curtis, PhD, Chair and Professor, Department of Population Health Science, Interim Executive Director, Duke Clinical Research Institute


4:15 – 4:30 p.m. Wrap Up and Next Steps: Matthew Roe, MD, MHS, and Sarah Armstrong, MD

Registration closes June 9, 2019.