Obesity Initiative Award Winners

Obesity 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 

Obesity 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.

Obesity 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 generatae additional preliminary evidence to support his NIH grant resubmission related to Visceral Fat and Type 2 Diabetes-Related Carviovascular Disease in Youth.

Obesity 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.

Obesity 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.

Obesity 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.

Obesity 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.  

Obesity 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.

Equipment Awards

Obesity 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.

Statistical Consulting Awards

Obesity 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.

Obesity 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. 

Obesity 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.

Obesity 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.

Student Awards

Obesity 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?

Obesity 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

Obesity 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

Travel Awards

Obesity 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.

Obesity 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.