Obesity Research Initiative Award Winners

OBESITY RESEARCH INITIATIVE AWARD WINNERS

Obesity Research Initiative Fall 2021 Resubmission Grant

Joseph Kindler PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences received $6,000  funding  from the Obesity Initiative and $4,000 from his department  in support of his  research Defining the “Gut-Bone Axis” in Youth: A Pilot and Feasibility Study 

Joseph Kindler PhD, Assistant Professor

Obesity Research Initiative Fall 2020 Resubmission Grant

Krzysztof Czaja, DVM, Ph.D. Associate Professor in Veterinary Biosciences and Diagnostic Imaging received $7,500  funding  from the Obesity Initiative and $1,500 from his department and $1,500 from the UGA Office of Research in support of his  efforts to generatae additional preliminary evidence to support his NIH grant resubmission related to testing the central hypothesis that diet-driven microbiota dysbiosis is sufficient to remodel the vagal afferent component of gut-brain axis, induce microglia activation in the hindbrain and promote obesity.

Krzysztof Czaja, DVM, Ph.D. Associate Professor

Obesity Research Initiative Fall 2020 Resubmission Grant

Joseph Kindler PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition received $7,500  funding  from the Obesity Initiative and $1,500 from his department and $1,500 from the UGA Office of Research, in support of his  efforts to generate additional preliminary evidence to support his NIH grant resubmission related to Visceral Fat and Type 2 Diabetes-Related Cardiovascular Disease in Youth.

Joseph Kindler PhD, Assistant Professor

Obesity Research Initiative Fall 2019 Resubmission Grant

Chad Paton PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition and Department of Food Science and Technology  received $9,000  funding  from the Obesity Initiative and $750 from each of his departments and $1,500 from the UGA Office of Research in support of his  efforts to generate additional preliminary evidence to support his project: Metabolic, nutritional, and genetic regulation of PYY in the intestinal L-cell.

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Obesity Research Initiative Fall 2019 Resubmission Grant

Don Harn PhD, Professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine received $9,000  funding  from the Obesity Initiative and $1,250 from his department and $1,250 from the UGA Office of Research in support of his  efforts to generatae additional preliminary evidence to support his project: Identification of Cellular Receptros for Human Milk Oligosaccharide (HMO) Conjugates on Macrophages, Adipocytes, and Hepatocytes.

Don Harn PhD, Professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases

Obesity Research Initiative Fall 2022 Seed Grant

 Dr. Emily Noble and her research group’s seed grant proposal, “Adolescent obesogenic Western Diet consumption and the development of trait impulsivity”, has been awarded the total amount budgeted in the proposal of $10,000. The research group consists of: Emily Noble, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Dr. Jarrod Call, Associate Professor, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, and Dr. Eugene Douglass, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences

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Obesity Research Initiative Fall 2021 Seed Grant

 Dr. Emily Noble and her research group’s seed grant proposal, “Discovering the role and regulation of neuronal ciliary length in obesity/energy balance”, has been awarded the total amount budgeted in the proposal of $10,000. The research group consists of: Emily Noble, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Dr. Jonathan Eggenschwiler, Associate Professor, Department of Genetics and Dr. Karl Lechtreck, Associate Professor, Department of Cellular Biology.

Dr. Emily Noble

Obesity Research Initiative Fall 2021 Seed Grant

Dr. Chad Paton and his research group’s seed grant proposal, “Suppression of mitochondrial maturation through free fatty acid-mediated miRNA expression”, has also been awarded the total amount budgeted in the proposal of $10,000. The research group is Dr. Chad Paton, Associate Professor, Department of Food Science & Technology, Dr. Jarrod A. Call, Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology, and Dr. Arthur Grider, Associate Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences.

CHAD_PATON-2

Obesity Research Initiative Spring 2021 Seed Grant

Dr. Emily Noble and her research group’s proposal, Diet induced neuronal and mitochondrial network remodeling as a mechanism for dysregulated appetite in obesity,  was selected for funding this year.  They have been awarded the total amount budgeted in the proposal of $12,854.00. The funds include matching funds of $1,500 from the Department of Foods and Nutrition and $1,500 from the UGA Office of Research. The research group consists of: Emily Noble, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition, Jarrod Call, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Lohitash Karumbaiah, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Animal and Dairy Science.

Dr. Emily Noble

Obesity Research Initiative Spring 2020 Equipment Grant

Dr. Jennifer Gay,  Associate Professor in Health Promotion & Behavior, Institute of Gerontology received  funding  from the Obesity Initiative for Radio Frequency Identification Equipment to be used as a novel measure of workplace physical activity.

Dr. Jennifer Gay, Associate Professor in Health Promotion & Behavior

Obesity Research Initiative Spring 2023 Statistical Consulting Service Award

Janelle Gunn, PhD Candidate in Health Policy and Management received funding for Statistical Consulting Services related  to her  work s on data collected on the topic of sugar content in baby and toddler foods before and after the Nutrition Facts Label revised regulations. Findings from the study will inform food policies related to baby and toddler foods.

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Obesity Research Initiative Spring 2023 Statistical Consulting Service Award

Analisa Arroyo, Associate Professor of Communication Studies received funding for Statistical Consulting Services related  to her  work in collaboration with colleagues in the School of Social Work to analyze risk factors that may contribute to the development of overweight/obesity in individuals and to identify potential health disparities for those with overweight/obesity due to stigmatization and discrimination due to body size.

Professor Analisa Arroyo

Obesity Research Initiative Spring 2023 Statistical Consulting Service Award

Wang Shin Lei, PhD student in Dr. Joseph Kindler’s Nutrition and Skeletal Health lab in the Department of Nutritional Sciences received funding for Statistical Consulting Services to provide statistical support for a secondary analysis of data and biological specimens from a previously completed randomized, double-blinded, crossover trial involving adults with Cystic Fibrosis at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia/University of Pennsylvania.

Ann_Lei

Obesity Research Initiative Fall 2020 Statistical Consulting Service Award

Dr. Emma Laing,  Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition received funding for Statistical Consulting Services related  to her  work with colleagues on data they have collected on the topic of weight stigma among young adults. The research question requires a mixed-methods statistical approach with both qualitative and quantitative analyses.

Dr. Emma Laing, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition

Obesity Research Initiative Fall 2020 Statistical Consulting Service Award

Chisolm Okoli, PhD student in the Department of Foods and Nutrition received  funding for Statistical Consulting Services related to her  dissertation research which focuses on e-learning training in healthy beverages to promote increased water consumption and decreased sugar sweetened beverage consumption in young children.

Chisolm Okoli, PhD student in the Department of Foods and Nutrition

Obesity Research Initiative Fall 2019 Statistical Consulting Service Award

Regis Pearson , PhD Student in the Department of Kineseology received  $500 funding for Statistical Consulting Services related to  work on his dissertation which focuses on a mixed-methods epidemiological approach to examine self-reported health, fitness,  and quality of life metrics in ‘masters’ CrossFit athletes, defined as 35+ yrs.

Regis-pearson

Obesity Research Initiative Fall 2019 Statistical Consulting Service Award

Dr. Ginnefer Cox, Assistant Professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition received $500 funding for Statistical Consulting Services related to her project that is utilizing sensory evaluation methodology to assess acceptability of two newly developed plant-based protein entrees to be served as a part of the National School Lunch Program.

Dr. Ginnefer Cox, Assistant Professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition

Obesity Research Initiative Fall 2022 Student Research Grant

PhD student, Leah Halls, Department of Nutritional Sciences  was awarded $2,500 for her research ” Assessing the ability of dihydrosterculic acid to activate PPARα in vitro.” Other members of her research group were PI, Dr. Chad Paton.

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Obesity Research Initiative Fall 2022 Student Research Grant

PhD Candidate M. Catherine Prater, Department of Nutritional Sciences  was awarded $2,500 for her research ” Modulation of inflammatory markers in adults at-risk for cardiovascular disease following diets rich in omega-6 polyunsaturated fat vs. monounsaturated fat” Other members of her research group were PI, Dr. Jamie Cooper, and Co-I Alexis Scheurell and Dr. Chad Paton.

Prater

Obesity Research Initiative Fall 2022 Student Research Grant

PhD Candidate Betsy Cogan, Department of Nutritional Sciences  was awarded $2,294 for her research “Effects of Sweet Taste Perception and Obesity on Pre-Ingestive Behaviors” Other members of her research group were PI, Dr. Jamie Cooper, and Co-I Dr. Michelle vanDellen  and Dr. Chad Paton.

Elizabeth Cogan

Obesity Research Initiative Fall 2022 Student Research Grant

PhD Candidate Julian Wright, Department of Psychology, was awarded $2,480 for her research “The Unhealthy Road taken by Someone Else: Interpersonal Excused to Justify Indulgent Food Consumption” Other members of her research group were PI, Dr. Michelle vanDellen, and Co-I Reese Giddens.

julian wright

Obesity Research Initiative Spring 2020 Student Oral Presentation Awards 1st Annual Obesity Initiative Research Symposium

PhD Candidate Josephine Bou Dagher was awarded $1,000 for first place for her oral presentation  Independent and combined effects of Bisphenol A and Diethylhexyl Phthalate on metabolic outcomes in Sprague-Dawley rats. 

PhD Candidate Carolina Cawthon was awarded $600 for her second place presentation Microglia depletion in the nodose ganglion prevents high-fat diet-induced hyperphagia in male Wistar rats.

PhD Candidate Liana Rodrigues was awarded $400 for her third place presentation  Do diet instructions impact weight outcomes during nut interventions?

PhD Candidate Josephine Bou Dagher

Obesity Research Initiative Spring 2020 Student Clinical, Behavior or Community Science Poster Presentation Awards 1st Annual Obesity Initiative Research Symposium

Regis Pearson 1st place, $500. Poster title: Impact of an aspartame-containing diet soft drink on postprandial metabolism

Catherine Prater 2nd place, $350. Poster title: Comparison of Blood Lipid Responses from Diets Enriched with Cottonseed Oil versus Olive Oil

Edward Green 3rd place, $150. Poster title: Enhanced Strength, Power, Work Capacity and Fatigue Resistance in High-Intensity Functional Training Athletes

Regis Pearson and guest

Obesity Research Initiative Spring 2020 Student Basic Science Poster Presentation Awards 1st Annual Obesity Initiative Research Symposium

Elizabeth Klingbeil 1st place, $500. Poster title: Manipulation of feeding patterns modulates microbiota composition, improves inflammatory tone and glucose tolerance, and maintains vagally-mediated satiety signaling

Wenyan Fu 2nd place,$350. Poster title: Transient p53 inhibition sensitizes aged white adipose tissue for beige adipocyte recruitment by blocking mitophagy

Jiyoung Kim 3rd place, $150. Poster title: Gut microbiota dysbiosis is sufficient to alter appetitive feeding behavior in rats

Elizabeth Klingbeil and Dr. Emily Noble

Obesity Research Initiative Spring 2023 Travel Awards

In spring 2023, the Obesity Research Initiative provided travel grants of up to $500 for graduate students and faculty to present their obesity related research this spring. PhD Candidates Mai Spaulding and Mary Catherine Prater, from the Department of Nutritional Sciences, each gave a poster presentation at the SE Regional CTSA. Graduate student Sanga Yun, Department of Kinesiology, will be giving a presentation at SHAPE America in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Joshua Baldwin, postdoctoral research associate in Grady College, will present his paper at the International Communication Association conference in Toronto Canada, in May, and PhD student Yu-Chen (Jenny) Lin, Department of Nutritional Sciences will present her research at the International conference on Diet and Activity Methods in Limerick, Ireland in June.

4 student travel grant winners spring 23

Obesity Research Initiative Fall 2022 Travel Awards

In fall 2022, the Obesity Researcg Initiative provided $500 travel grants for graduate students and faculty to present their obesity related research. Graduate student Mai Spaulding gave an oral presentation entitled “Impact of Early Life Food Insecurity on Neural Development and the Regulation of Eating Behaviors” at ObesityWeek®. Graduate student Elizabeth Cogan presented her poster “Pecan-Enriched Diet Improves Cholesterol Profiles and Vascular Function in Older Adults” and graduate student Catherine Prater presented her poster “Appetite Responses to Cottonseed Oil vs. Olive Oil Diet Enrichment in Adults With Dyslipidemia” at the same event. Chat Paton, PhD, Associate Professor in the departments of Food Science & Technology and Nutritional Sciences presented his poster, “A Cottonseed Oil Enriched Diet Improves Plasma and Liver Lipids in a Mouse Model of NAFLD” at ObesityWeek® as well.

5 student travel grant winners spring 23

Obesity Research Initiative Spring 2020 Travel Award

Dr. Claire de La Serre,  Associate Professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition received  funding in the amount of $500  from the Obesity Initiative for travel to the Swiss Winter Conference on Ingestive Behavior where she gave an oral presentation in February, 2020.

Dr. Claire de La Serre

Obesity Research Initiative Spring 2020 Travel Award

Luqi Shen,  a PhD studen in Epidemiology and Biostatistics was awarded funding in the amount of $500  from the Obesity Initiative for travel to the American Heart Association EPI Lifesytle 2020 Conference in Phoenix Arizona where she presented a poster in early March, 2020.

Luqi Shen, a PhD studen in Epidemiology and Biostatistics