Healthy foodsOur academic education efforts this past year included our ongoing twice-monthly noon seminar series which features center members and invited faculty from the region and around the country. This includes our grant recipients and colleagues whose work offers opportunity for collaboration. We also brought in Dr. Kyle Burger from the University of North Carolina for an academic scholarship conference and Grand Rounds who delivered a
presentation entitled Neuropsychological and Environmental Drivers of Ingestive Behavior. For the Kemper Healthy Lifestyles annual lectureship, we brought in Dr. Michael Goran from the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles Saban Research Institute whose talk was entitled Cloudy with a Chance of Sugar: Dietary Sugars in the Development of Obesity and Metabolic Risk in Early Life. We also hosted Dr. Helena La Roche from the University of Iowa who spoke on Obesity Prevention with Families: A Multifaceted Approach.

In 2019 we began our efforts to create a post-doctoral training program. We have an ongoing clinical and research position, and in 2019 we created a new research post-doctoral position. We had a number of strong applicants and were excited to welcome Carolyn Bates (Loyola University Chicago) and Bethany Forseth (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee) into the clinical/research and research positions, respectively. In order to ensure our postdoctoral fellows have stellar training experiences, and to lay the groundwork for training grant funding, we also began to create the infrastructure to support our training program. This included creating a computer-based system for tracking trainees and their productivity from application through graduation. This system will provide us with an easy way to summarize key training program metrics required for NIH proposals. Both mentors and trainees will be asked help to provide the data we need in a way we hope will be very efficient and useful to all in the long run.

Education was also a focus of our strategic planning efforts which resulted in goals related to becoming the “go to” place for state-of the-art education related to pediatric lifestyles, a rich collaborative educational environment and disseminating knowledge nationally. Our education efforts in 2019 have laid a strong foundation for progress toward these goals in the years ahead.

Dr. Delwyn Catley