Messages from the ASMBS & TOS Presidents
Click the logos below to read the welcome message from the society’s president.
WELCOME TO OBESITYWEEK 2015
Welcome to the 32nd ASMBS Annual Meeting & the 3rd Annual ObesityWeek Event
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I want to welcome you to our third annual ObesityWeek here in beautiful Los Angeles. ObesityWeek 2015 is the largest gathering of health care professionals devoted to the care and understanding of the obese patient in the world. From surgeons to physicians to nurses to dieticians to psychologists to researchers to everyone who cares for patients with obesity, we are all bound together for that common purpose of alleviating these patients’ burden of disease. Together with our partner, The Obesity Society, we will continue to lead these efforts in collegial communion. ObesityWeek 2015 will take place at the LA Convention Center right next to the Staples Center, LA’s entertainment center. Come to California—where the first laparoscopic bariatric surgery was performed. Come see the past, present and future of bariatric surgery.
It is fitting and proper that we gather in Los Angeles. Known throughout the world for its beautiful beaches and Hollywood, Los Angeles provides a mirror to our efforts. On those golden beaches, there are always lifeguards. I am proud of my friends and colleagues who on a daily basis save lives in ways big and small. Hollywood is known as the “dream factory,” where films allow the world to have a different vision of life. My friends and colleagues allow our patients to fulfill their dreams for a better life, with better health, more energy, and all possibilities ahead of them.
I want to thank our program Chairs, Dr. Aurora Pryor and Michel Gagner, for assembling an outstanding program. 2015 promises to be our best annual American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery meeting to date. Following a record increase in abstracts, we have 55 oral abstracts and 273 poster presentations with 15 oral top poster presentations. We have 9 pre-conference courses for surgeons, 3 hands on labs, and 8 integrated health sessions including an MBSAQIP clinical reviewer course.
Reflecting our commitment as the stewards of care for the obese patient, we are offering courses on the intra-gastric balloon, sleeve gastrectomy, revisional surgery, endoscopy, integrating medical management, quality improvement and metabolic surgery. A new exciting feature for ASMBS 2015 is live surgery, providing an opportunity to see real-time experts in action- this is true reality TV! Los Angeles is a multi-cultural city with large Hispanic and Asian populations. Here again, ASMBS represents world around us with two special sessions: a Latin-American session devoted to innovation and Asian session dedicated to low BMI surgery.
Our top paper sessions reflect the latest and best in scholarship for bariatric surgery with three international presentations. You will hear about long-term, 10-year outcomes, cost-effectiveness of bariatric surgery, randomized-trials between different surgeries and medical vs. surgical interventions, revisional surgery, impact of the Affordable Care Act upon bariatric surgery, surgical skill predictors, a 3000 balloon clinical experience, a new procedure-less device, insights on weight loss and weight regain, joint disease improvement, anti-thrombotic management and more!
Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world. In this land of fame and celebrity, ASMBS will roll out the red carpet for you! Our joint welcome reception Tuesday night will be at the California Science Center- don’t miss the Space Shuttle Endeavor. Our world-famous AfterDark Party on Thursday will take place at the iconic Belasco Theater and you are guaranteed a VIP reception. I want to provide a special invitation to have you attend our Fellows of the ASMBS convocation also Thursday night right before the AfterDark Event. Become a Fellow of the ASMBS, receive your special tie or pendant and attend the premiere of the winner of the ASMBS Film Festival Contest, It Starts Now, on Thursday. All previous ASMBS presidents attending ObesityWeek will be present during the Fellows of the ASMBS convocation—don’t miss it and become a proud member of the ASMBS today. All LA meetings require awards and we will have our own Third Annual LEAD Award Luncheon provided by your ASMBS Foundation for your deserving ASMBS Recipients.
We have numerous note-worthy ObesityWeek 2015 keynote addresses including on Wednesday, November 4 the Public Health Keynote by Loel Solomon, PhD and the Basic Science Keynote on Friday, November 6 by Jan Nedergaard, PhD. On Thursday, our own ASMBS keynotes include the Mason Lecture delivered by Dr. Pierre Marceau, “Obesity as a Congenital Disease” and I will deliver my Presidential Address, “Second Chances.”
In conclusion, we have an outstanding ASMBS program at ObesityWeek 2015. This is your meeting and we need you in Los Angeles for fellowship, education, advocacy, and fun! I look forward to sharing with you our accomplishments in the past year and our plans for the future growth of our field.
With very best wishes,
John Magaña Morton, MD, MPH, FASMBS President, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
WELCOME TO OBESITYWEEK 2015
Welcome to the 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting of The Obesity Society & the 3rd Annual ObesityWeek Event
Welcome & Overview
I’m pleased to welcome you to ObesityWeek 2015 where you are joining over 5,000 attendees from around the world who share your passion for advancing the research, treatment and prevention of obesity. The program for this year’s Obesity Society Annual Meeting at ObesityWeek has quite a lot to offer over the next four days. You will be exposed to expert-presented, cutting-edge research, unmatched networking opportunities, presentations from the field’s leading experts, and much more. Arguably the most important event on the Society’s calendar, our Annual Meeting provides a unique opportunity for you to focus on what matters most to your career—whether basic science, clinical research and practice, surgical intervention, public policy or anything in between. Science of the highest quality is presented here at ObesityWeek.
Since the inception of our Annual Meeting 33 years ago, the scientific program has been a priority for TOS leadership and the 28 members of our Annual Program Committee who guide its development during the course of the year. The unmatched value experienced in this year’s sessions, forums, keynotes and research presentations is attributable to the hard work of the members of this Committee and, in particular, to the guidance, leadership and diligence of its chair Terry T. Huang, PhD, MPH, FTOS and co-chair Corby Martin, PhD, FTOS.
Learn more about TOS at our Member Services Booth
Outside of the change in the meeting location to sunny Los Angeles—away from the ice and snow of Boston in 2014—there are many new offerings for you to explore this year.
As you pass from the meeting rooms to the Exhibit Hall, you may notice that we’ve redesigned our Member Services Booth. This year, we hope you find it even more interactive and engaging. We’ve split the counter by topic area, and have computer monitors and iPads available where you can browse our new website and social community, TOS Connect, identify ways to get involved and explore our membership offerings.
Here at the booth you’ll not only be able to talk with TOS staff about the Society’s efforts, you’ll have an opportunity to connect with TOS leaders at various times throughout the meeting. A special thank you to these members who have offered their time to speak with you about their work on our volunteer committees and sections.
From these conversations at the Member Services Booth, I hope you’ll gain a deeper sense of the strides we are making in the field, and toward our strategic plan, many of which are showcased here at ObesityWeek.
Progress toward our strategic plan
Launched in 2014, many components on our five-year strategic plan are based on enhancing our advocacy and partnership efforts. This year, our work in Washington has shown the impact of our collaborative efforts. Through the Obesity Care Continuum, a collaboration of TOS and four other leading obesity-related organizations, we’ve not only forged inroads with The White House (meeting with the new Let’s Move Executive Director), we’ve connected with the Surgeon General, expanded our grassroots reach and impact at the state level, and secured a great deal of bi-partisan support for the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA). This is legislation that would improve access to obesity treatment services through Medicare and had 10 Senate and 113 House cosponsors as of September 24, which demonstrates roughly the same level of support in the House and a strong increase in support in the Senate. Passage of TROA is an integral starting point to prompt all insurers to cover obesity behavioral and medicinal treatments. You can support the bill by sending a letter to your member of Congress, which you can do at TOS Member Services Booth. I hope you will also take some time to attend some of the sessions in Track 6: Policy to learn more about the various efforts to enact change at the state and federal levels.
Complementary to the work we do at the policy level, is our work to forge partnerships to improve clinical treatment. Convened earlier this year, the Integrated Care Task Force is a collaboration of various professional organizations as our partners representing the full continuum of care for weight management. Led by Lee Kaplan, MD, this task force is working to identify barriers to care, as well as efforts to overcome them for each constituency. This is a hard-working group, and you are sure to see the fruits of their efforts in the coming months.
Another key priority identified in our five-year plan is to continue to grow the careers of early career professionals, which will be on full display here at ObesityWeek. New this year you’ll have a chance to hear from a select group of early career researchers in the Education Theater. This first-time poster competition will be held during poster presentation times in the Exhibit Hall. Each day, the six poster abstracts among the top ranked for presentation that day will be presented by the authors on stage. We created this opportunity to give our future leaders a chance to refine their presentation skills and give you, as part of the audience, an opportunity to vote on the best research. Prizes will be awarded to the presentations receiving the most votes. Keep an eye out for signs in the Exhibit Hall with more information.
Our efforts to support early career researchers and clinicians are also evident in our awards and grants program. This year during TOS Opening Session you’ll experience an all-new Early Career Research Grant Challenge. For the first time, this grant competition is offered as a member service to foster and stimulate new research ideas related to obesity. TOS accepted applications earlier this spring and we’ve invited five finalists to pitch their research ideas on stage: Nicholas Burd, PhD; Erin Stephenson, PhD; Jessica Alvarez, PhD, RD; Latha Ramalingam, PhD; and Samrat Yeramaneni, MBBS, PhD. A panel of judges, as well as the audience, will select the finalist. I congratulate each of these future leaders, who receive complimentary registration to ObesityWeek 2015 and a $1500 travel grant. They will have five minutes each to present their proposal and the winner will receive a $40,000 research grant. I hope you will join me in congratulating these early career researchers, and participate in selecting the top presenter at the Opening Session. In continuing with TOS tradition, many other early career grants and awards will be presented throughout the meeting, as outlined below.
In 2015 we have taken great strides toward the development of a year-round, hands-on TOS program to educate our future leaders. Referred to as LEAP, this Leadership Institute is intended to incorporate leadership training and education on obesity science, policy and public health. We are in the early stages of curriculum development and hope to have further announcements regarding the opening of the application period and inaugural event in the coming year.
As we continue to grow as a Society, and undertake these new initiatives, we do so with the generous support of our corporate partners. TOS has a longstanding history of mutually beneficial partnerships with industry aligned on the common goals of furthering the understanding of obesity and positively impacting public health. We express our sincere gratitude to these partners for their contributions, both through our corporate advisory groups year-round and here at ObesityWeek as our sponsors and exhibitors. TOS is fully committed to the non-influence of these contributions, and to full transparency. You can find information about all of our donors and sponsors on our website.
TOS gives back to obesity science with new awards & grants
One of my top priorities during my term has been to improve our efforts to give back to – and invest in – obesity science. This includes both recognizing and rewarding top innovations in obesity research and treatment by sustaining and enhancing our awards program, and funding obesity research through grants at all levels. Over time, TOS has enhanced our contributions back to science with a dramatic increase in the number of awards and grants given each year. This year, we will be honoring TOS members with a total of 48 opportunities, including 37 grants and 11 awards. This includes three new grants and five new awards this year alone.
The new grants are a result of our industry collaborations and include three mid-career research grants to support three areas of concentration: (1) Neuroendocrine control of eating behaviors (clinical and pre-clinical studies); (2) Novel neuroendocrine regulators of body weight (clinical and pre-clinical studies); and (3) New drug treatment strategies needed as adjuncts to sustain lost weight. Congratulations to this year’s recipients to be honored at the Opening Session on Tuesday, November 3 from 5:00 – 6:30pm.
It’s not often that a TOS President has the opportunity to announce a new award, much less five new awards. This year, I’m pleased to announce an award created with a generous endowment from multiple contributions, under the leadership of Adam Gilden Tsai, MD. As a mentee, Dr. Tsai found tremendous value in the mentorship of Thomas A. Wadden, PhD, as have the many other leading obesity researchers and clinicians who contributed generously to fund this award. To honor Dr. Wadden, and other leading mentors in the future, I’m pleased to announce the Thomas A. Wadden Award for Distinguished Mentorship. In its first year, it is with great pleasure and gratitude that we recognize Dr. Wadden with this award. We thank him for his numerous contributions to the field and his dedication to nurturing the future of obesity research and treatment.
In recognition of significant racial and ethnic disparities that continue to exist in the occurrence of obesity TOS’s Diversity Committee and Section have created an award to recognize two investigators whose research has made a considerable difference in the field of obesity disparities. Congratulations to Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, FTOS, who will receive the namesake award, and Jose Fernandez, PhD, FTOS, who has been chosen as the first recipient of the all-new Shiriki Kumanyika Diversity Leadership Award.
With all of the excitement about this year’s new award and grants, the annual grants and awards we’ve given in the past are certainly not to be overlooked. Each year at our Annual Meeting TOS is pleased to recognize the outstanding work of our fellow members and colleagues by bestowing a number of additional honors. Congratulations to the 2015 TOS award recipients, who will be recognized during various ceremonies throughout the conference: Atkinson-Stern Award for Distinguished Public Service, Lou Aronne, MD, FTOS; George A. Bray Founders Award, Samuel Klein, MD, FTOS; TOPS Research Achievement Award, Andrew Greenberg, MD, FTOS; Lilly Scientific Achievement Award, Dongsheng Cai, MD; and Mickey Stunkard Lifetime Achievement Award, Thorkild Sorenson, MD, ScD.
TOS gives grants to a number of recipients each year for their research achievements and for the potential impact and strength of their proposed research in the basic sciences, treatment and prevention of obesity. Congratulations to this year’s Early-Career Research Grant recipients to be honored at the Opening Session on Tuesday, November 3 from 5:00 – 6:30pm.
Our early-career scientists are also honored each year at the Ethan Sims Young Investigator Award Competition where five finalists present their work publicly in a plenary session. Congratulations to this year’s five Ethan Sims Young Investigator Award finalists that will compete for the Award including: Vance L. Albaugh, MD, PhD; Aditya J. Desai, PhD; David J. Hume, BSc; Clare H. Llewellyn, MA, GDip, MSc, PhD; and Charlotte C. Ronveaux, PhD. Please join us for this event on Friday, November 6 from 8:00am – 10:15am. Other early-career investigators present their scientific findings at our Oral and Poster Sessions scheduled throughout the meeting. I strongly encourage all attendees to support our early-career poster presenters, and all poster presenters, by making it a priority to attend these poster sessions and to interact with this promising group.
Each year, both our Scientific Review and Awards Committees go to great lengths to review the hundreds of grant applications and award nominations to identify these top submissions. Thank you to the hard work of these Committees and their chair, Steven R. Smith, MD.
To ObesityWeek meeting planners – thank you!
TOS Annual Meeting has long been the product of the efforts of many others and they deserve our recognition and gratitude. I would like to extend a thank you to the ObesityWeek Board of Managers and TOS’s staff and Council who have worked very hard to put this meeting together.
None of this would be possible without the engagement and support of our committed members, our fantastic staff and our generous corporate supporters, especially the members of the Corporate Healthcare Advisory Council and the newly formed Food Industry Engagement Council. We have a vibrant, energetic and dedicated group of volunteer members who make our Committees, Sections and Task Forces effective and successful. I have been particularly grateful for my colleagues on the Executive Committee (Immediate Past-President Steven Smith, MD; Secretary-Treasurer Martin Binks, PhD, FTOS; President-Elect Penny Gordon-Larsen, PhD, FTOS; and Vice President Allen Levine, PhD) and other members of the Council. Our office staff, led by Executive Director Francesca Dea, is the best in the land and they work far harder than we should expect; please thank them when you see them.
Enjoy the meeting and I look forward to seeing all of you in the sessions, in the Exhibit Hall and at the social events!
Nikhil Dhurandhar, PhD, FTOS President, The Obesity Society