This application represents a competitive renewal of a Mid-career Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24) for "Improving the Effectiveness of Obesity Management." The renewed award will provide the candidate 40% effort for each of the next 5 years to further his mentoring of postdoctoral researchers and junior faculty and to continue his research to improve the treatment of obesity. Postdoctoral researchers will be provided intensive, individual clinical and research training and will have the opportunity to collaborate on the candidate's current NIH-funded studies. The first is a multi-site randomized controlled trial (N = 390) to improve the management of obesity in primary care practice, with treatment delivered by primary care physicians and medical assistants (UO1-HL087072). This award was secured with pilot data collected during the original K24 award. The second trial is the Look AHEAD study that is assessing the long-term health consequences of intentional weight loss and increased physical activity in overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes (U01-DK57135). A third study is investigating whether binge eating disorder (BED) impairs weight loss in persons who undergo bariatric surgery (R01-DK069662). The candidate will support postdoctoral researchers in initiating their own investigations and mentor them through the stages from formulating a suitable question to publishing their results. He will similarly facilitate the research of junior faculty who are supported by Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Awards (K23) and similar mechanisms. All trainees will be encouraged to take advantage of training opportunities provided by the University's new Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism, as well as other labs on campus that address obesity and its co-morbidities. The renewed award also will support the candidate's efforts to conduct two pilot studies that use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study changes in neural activation that may occur following bariatric surgery. The effects of BED will be examined, as will those of two different surgeries.
Renewal of the K24 award will provide the candidate time and effort to mentor postdoctoral researchers and junior faculty concerning the causes and consequences of obesity, as well as the prevention and treatment of this condition. The award also will support the candidate's efforts to examine potential changes in appetite centers in the brain that may occur after weight loss surgery.
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