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First Short Course on Mathematical Sciences in Obesity Research

On-line Registration:    Closed   
Held On:    Mon 5/12/2014 - Fri 5/16/2014   
Location:    Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Birmingham
808 South 20th Street
Birmingham, AL  35205
(205) 933-9000 phone; (205) 933-0920 fax   
Organizing Committee:   
David Allison, PhD

University of Alabama at Birmingham      Kristi Crowe, PhD, RD, LD Diana Thomas, Ph.D.
Montclair State University   

  • Overview & Agenda
  • Speakers
  • Contact


The mathematical sciences including engineering, statistics, computer science, physics, econometrics, psychometrics, epidemiology, and mathematics qua mathematics are increasingly being applied to advance our understanding of the causes, consequences, and alleviation of obesity. These applications do not merely involve routine well-established approaches easily implemented in widely available commercial software. Rather, they increasingly involve computationally demanding tasks, use and in some cases development of novel analytic methods and software, new derivations, computer simulations, and unprecedented interdigitation of two or more existing techniques. Such advances at the interface of the mathematical sciences and obesity research require bilateral training and exposure for investigators in both disciplines. This course on the mathematical sciences in obesity research features some of the world’s finest scientists working in this domain to fill this unmet need by providing nine topic driven modules designed to bridge the disciplines.

Schedule of Events: [ PDF file]

Sample schedule of five day course. The four different sessions that comprise a module are identified by color codes (see right).
†Open problems represent unanswered questions in the field.
††Roundtable session will be used to develop projects through activities such as preparing and abstract or specific aims page    Module identification color codes   
Introduction to math method   
Application of method to obesity   
Hands-on interactive session   
Open problems†   

Time    Speaker    Topic    Video   
Monday 5-12-2014   
8:00 - 8:30    Diana Thomas, Montclair    Registration     
8:30 - 9:00    Diana Thomas/ David Allison, Montclair/UAB    Introductory Remarks    video    
9:00 - 9:45    Steven Heymsfield, PBRC    Overview of state of the field of obesity and mathematical sciences    video    
10:00 - 10:30    Edward Sazonov, Alabama, Tuscaloosa    Overview of career paths    video    
10:30 - 11:00    David Allison, UAB    Overview of funding approach at NIH and other federal granting agencies    video    
11:30 - 12:00    Diana Thomas, Montclair    Intro to project development approach    video    
12:00 - 1:00    Lunch   
Module 1: Outcomes in Obesity Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs)   
1:00 - 1:45    David Allison, UAB    Introduction to RCTs and their quantitative analysis    video    
1:45 - 2:45    Miguel Padilla, Old Dominion    Missing data in randomized clinical trials for weight loss    video    
3:00 - 3:30    Mark Beasley, UAB    Hands on demonstration: Software    video    
3:30 - 4:00    David Allison, UAB    Open problems in Obesity Related RCTs     
4:00 - 5:30    Moderated by Senior Researchers    Roundtable Session††     
Tuesday 5-13-2014   
Module 2: Modeling weight change using energy balance   
9:00 - 9:45    Kevin Hall, NIH    Introduction to Energy Balance Models    video    
10:00 - 10:45    Diana Thomas, Montclair    Energy Balance models for clinical interventions    video    
11:00 - 11:30    Corby Martin, PBRC    Hands on demonstration: Models delivered using smart phone technology     
11:30 - 12:00    Kevin Hall, NIH    Open problems    video    
12:00 - 1:00    Lunch   
Module 3: Modeling Obesity Prevalence   
1:00 - 1:45    Hassan Fathallah-Shaykh, UAB    Infectious disease model approach    video    
2:00 - 2:45    Marion Weedermann, Dominican    Dynamic Obesity Prevalence    video    
3:00 - 3:30    John Dawson, UAB    Propagation of Obesity Across Generations: Modeling Assortative Mating by Body Mass Index    video    
3:30 - 4:00    David Allison, UAB    Open problems     
4:00 - 5:30    Moderated by Senior Researchers    Roundtable Session††     
Wednesday 5-14-2014   
Module 4: Modeling Obesity and Economics   
9:00 - 9:45    Eric Finkelstein, Duke University    Overview    video    
10:00 - 10:45    Ross Hammond, Brookings Institution    Complex Systems Approaches to Obesity Etiology and Intervention     
11:00 - 11:30    Carolyn Salafia, Placental Analytics    Mathematics of the Placenta    video    
11:30 - 12:00    Eric Finkelstein, Duke University    Open problems     
12:00 - 1:00    Lunch   
Module 5: Modeling Pregnancy and Childhood Obesity   
1:00 - 1:45    Nancy Butte, Baylor    Overview of the state of the field    video    
2:00 - 2:45    Kevin Hall, NIH    Energy Balance Model of Childhood Growth and Obesity    video    
3:00 - 3:30    Carol Graham, Brookings Institution    How Well-Being Metrics Can Contribute to Understanding Obesity Norms and Variance    video    
3:30 - 4:00    Diana Thomas, Montclair State    A Dynamic Model Predicting Gestational Weight Gain    video    
4:15 - 5:30    Moderated by Senior Researchers    Roundtable Session††     
Thursday 5-15-2014   
Module 6: Sensor Models in Obesity   
9:00 - 9:45    Edward Sazonov, Alabama, Tuscaloosa    Overview of Career Paths    video    
10:00 - 10:45    Nancy Butte, Baylor    Predicting Energy Expenditure from Accelerometers    video    
11:00 - 11:30    Rob Brychta, NIH    Hands on demonstration
Guided discovery project    video    
11:30 - 12:00    Rob Brychta, NIH    Open problems     
12:00 - 1:00    Lunch   
Module 7: Applications of Imaging Models in Obesity   
1:00 - 1:45    Timothy Nagy, UAB    Overview of the field    video    
2:00 - 2:45    Dympna Gallagher, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt    Estimating organ size and metabolic rate from DXA and MRI    video    
3:00 - 3:30    Diana Thomas, Montclair State University    3D image rendering of placentas from obesity related pregnancy complications    video    
3:30 - 4:00    Brian Welch, Vanderbilt    Open problems    video    
4:15 - 5:30    Moderated by Senior Researchers    Roundtable Session††
Preparation for student presentations     
Friday 5-16-2014   
Module 8: Statistical Modeling in Genetics   
9:00 - 9:45    Hemant Tiwari, UAB    Genetic association analysis of 30 genes related to obesity in a European American population: Overview    video    
10:00 - 10:45    Gustavo de los Campos, UAB    Prediction of expected years of life using whole-genome markers    video    
11:00 - 11:30    Liming Liang, Harvard University    Effective adjustment of differential cell populations in epigenome-wide association studies     
11:30 - 12:00    Peter Kharchenko, Harvard University    Computational methods for sequencing assays    video    
12:00 - 1:00    Lunch   
1:00 - 1:45    Student Presentations     
2:00 - 2:45     
3:00 - 3:30     
3:30 - 4:00     
4:15 - 5:30     

Contact Information:

Logistics: Richard Sarver
UAB SOPH Dean's office
Office of Energetics & Nutrition Obesity Research Center
1700 University Boulevard, LHL 434
Birmingham AL 35294-0013
Phone: (205) 975-9169

We would like to thank our sponsors for their support: National Institutes of Health & Office of Energetics

Funded by

NIH Disclaimer:
This material is based upon work supported by the National Institutes of Health under Grant No. ( R25DK099080-01). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Institutes of Health.

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