On-line Registration: Closed
Held On: Mon 5/12/2014 - Fri 5/16/2014

Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Birmingham
808 South 20th Street
Birmingham, AL 35205
Phone: (205) 933-9000
Fax: (205) 933-0920

Organizing Committee:

David A.David Allison, Ph.D.
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Diana T.Diana Thomas, Ph.D.
Montclair State University


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 the 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.

  • Agenda

    Schedule of Events: Download PDF

    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 Watch Video
    9:00 - 9:45 Steven Heymsfield, PBRC Overview of the state of the field of obesity and mathematical sciences Watch Video
    10:00 - 10:30 Edward Sazonov, Alabama, Tuscaloosa Overview of career paths Watch Video
    10:30 - 11:00 David Allison, UAB Overview of funding approach at NIH and other federal granting agencies Watch Video
    11:30 - 12:00 Diana Thomas, Montclair Intro to project development approach Watch 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 Watch Video
    1:45 - 2:45 Miguel Padilla, Old Dominion Missing data in randomized clinical trials for weight loss Watch Video
    3:00 - 3:30 Mark Beasley, UAB Hands-on demonstration: Software Watch 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 Watch Video
    10:00 - 10:45 Diana Thomas, Montclair Energy Balance models for clinical interventions Watch Video
    11:00 - 11:30 Corby Martin, PBRC Hands-on demonstration: Models delivered using smartphone technology  
    11:30 - 12:00 Kevin Hall, NIH Open problems Watch Video
    12:00 - 1:00 Lunch
    Module 3: Modeling Obesity Prevalence
    1:00 - 1:45 Hassan Fathallah-Shaykh, UAB Infectious disease model approach Watch Video
    2:00 - 2:45 Marion Weedermann, Dominican Dynamic Obesity Prevalence Watch Video
    3:00 - 3:30 John Dawson, UAB Propagation of Obesity Across Generations: Modeling Assortative Mating by Body Mass Index Watch 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 Watch 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 Watch 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 Watch Video
    2:00 - 2:45 Kevin Hall, NIH Energy Balance Model of Childhood Growth and Obesity Watch Video
    3:00 - 3:30 Carol Graham, Brookings Institution How Well-Being Metrics Can Contribute to Understanding Obesity Norms and Variance Watch Video
    3:30 - 4:00 Diana Thomas, Montclair State A Dynamic Model Predicting Gestational Weight Gain Watch 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 Watch Video
    10:00 - 10:45 Nancy Butte, Baylor Predicting Energy Expenditure from Accelerometers Watch Video
    11:00 - 11:30 Rob Brychta, NIH Hands-on demonstration
    Guided discovery project
    Watch 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 Watch Video
    2:00 - 2:45 Dympna Gallagher, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Estimating organ size and metabolic rate from DXA and MRI Watch Video
    3:00 - 3:30 Diana Thomas, Montclair State University 3D image rendering of placentas from obesity-related pregnancy complications Watch Video
    3:30 - 4:00 Brian Welch, Vanderbilt Open problems Watch 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 Watch Video
    10:00 - 10:45 Gustavo de los Campos, UAB Prediction of expected years of life using whole-genome markers Watch 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 Watch 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  
  • Speakers
    • Robert J. Brychta Ph.D. - NIH
    • Nancy Butte Ph.D. - Baylor College
    • Eric A. Finkelstein Ph.D. MHA - Duke University
    • Dympna Gallagher EdD - Columbia University
    • Carol Graham - Brookings Institution
    • Dr. Kevin Hall - NIH/NIDDK
    • Ross A. Hammond Ph.D. - Brookings Institution
    • Liming Liang Ph.D. - Harvard University
    • Peter Kharchenko Ph.D. - Harvard University
    • Corby K. Martin Ph.D. - Pennington
    • Miguel A. Padilla Ph.D. - Old Dominion University
    • Edward Sazonov Ph.D. - University of Alabama
    • Carolyn M. Salafia MD MS - Placental Analytics
    • Diana Thomas Ph.D.- Montclair State University
    • Marion Weederman Ph.D. - Dominican University
    • Brian Welch Ph.D. - Vanderbilt University
    • Allison, David B. - UAB
    • Beasley, Mark - UAB
    • Dawson, John - UAB
    • de los Campos, Gustavo - UAB
    • Kim, Jong-Eun - UAB
    • Fathallah-Shaykh, Hassan - UAB
    • Nagy, Tim R - UAB
    • Tiwari, Hemant - UAB
  • Contact

    Elizabeth W. Smith, MPA, RDN, LDN

    Program Manager II
    Chief Administrative Officer
    UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center
    Phone: (205) 975-9675
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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

NIH LogoNIH 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.