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Third Short Course on Mathematical Sciences in Obesity Research

On-line Registration: Closed
Held On: Mon 6/13/2016 - Fri 6/17/2016
UAB School of Public Health
1665 University Boulevard, 1st Floor, room RPHB 107
Birmingham AL 35233
Lodging Options:
(within walking distance)
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Birmingham
808 South 20th Street
Birmingham, AL  35205
(205) 933-9000

Residence Inn Birmingham
821 20th St S
Birmingham, AL 35205-2713
(205) 731-9595

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.

The goal of our proposed short course is to 1) expose researchers from the mathematical sciences and obesity to the language and methodology at the interface of both disciplines 2) facilitate collaborations between the two groups through effective contact and 3) to guide early investigators interested in conducting research at the interface of the mathematical sciences in obesity on the next career step.

Schedule of Events: [PDF file]

††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
Day 1 - Monday 6/13/2016
8:00 - 8:30 Diana Thomas, Montclair Registration  
8:30 - 9:30 David Allison & Andrew Brown, UAB Introductory remarks:  A Comedy of Errors video
9:30 – 10:30 Steven Heymsfield, PBRC Overview of state of the field of obesity and mathematical sciences video
10:30 - 11:30 David Allison, UAB Overview of funding approach at NIH and other federal granting agencies video
11:30 - 12:45 Lunch
Module 1: Outcomes in Obesity Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs)
1:00 - 1:45 Inmaculada (ChiChi) Aban, UAB Introduction to RCTs and their quantitative analysis  
2:00 - 2:45 Peng Li, UAB Missing data in randomized clinical trials video
3:00 - 4:00 Michael Oakes, U of Minnesota Cluster Randomized Trials video
4:00 - 5:30 Moderated by Senior Researchers Roundtable Session††  
Day 2 - Tuesday 6/14/2016
Module 2: Modeling weight change using energy balance
9:00 - 9:45 Diana Thomas, Montclair Introduction to Energy Balance Models video
10:00 - 10:45 Ashuwin Vaidya, Montclair Applications of Energy Balance and Thermodynamic Approaches video
11:00 - 11:30 Corby Martin, PBRC Models delivered using smart phone technology video
11:30 - 12:45 Lunch
Module 3: Modeling Effects in Populations
1:00 - 1:45 Stephen Mennemeyer PhD, UAB Using Simulation to Estimate Economic Effects: Examples from Cost-Effectiveness of Obesity Programs video
2:00 - 2:45 Bisakha Sen, PhD, UAB Instrumental Variable Approaches: Potential Applications in Obesity video
3:00 - 4:00 Susan Chen, PhD, University of Alabama Population Level Effects of Energy Balance Manipulations video
4:00 - 5:30 Moderated by Senior Researchers Roundtable Session††  
Day 3 - Wednesday 6/15/2016
Module 4: Modeling Pharmacological Interventions
9:00 - 9:45 Clay Thompson, Pfizer Perspectives on a Quantitative Systems Pharmacology Approach to Support Obesity Drug Discovery and Development  
10:00 - 10:45 Mirjam Trame, UFL Modeling energy deficits in pharmacological interventions  
11:00 - 11:45 Tawanda Gumbo Open problems video
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch
Module 5: Modeling Behaviorial Responses in Obesity
1:00 - 1:45 Graham Thomas, Brown University Application of Models to Monitor Adherence video
2:00 - 2:45 Douglas Gunzler, MetroHealth Structural Equation Modeling in Obesity video
2:45 - 3:45 Paula-Chandler Laney, UAB Open Problems  
4:00 - 5:30 Moderated by Senior Researchers Roundtable Session††  
Day 4 - Thursday 6/16/2016
Module 6: Sensor and Engineering Models in Obesity
9:00 - 9:30 Edward Sazonov, Alabama, Tuscaloosa Sensor Models in Obesity Research video
9:30 - 10:30 Adam Hoover, Clemson University Bite measurement methods and models  
10:30 - 11:30 Ken McLeod, Binghamton Regulating RMR to Maintain Heat Balance and Body Mass video
11:30 - 12:45 Lunch
Module 7: Scaling Laws and Obesity
1:00-1:45 Courtney Peterson, PBRC Overview of Scaling video
2:00-2:45 David Nelson, Univ S Alabama Allometric Scaling & Whole-Animal Energy Balances video
3:00 - 4:00 Steven Heymsfield, PBRC Open Problems video
4:15 - 5:30 Moderated by Senior Researchers Roundtable Session††
Preparation for student presentations
Day 5 - Friday 6/17/2016
Module 8: Statistical Modeling in Genetics
9:00 - 9:45 Hemant Tiwari, UAB Genetic Models in Obesity: Classic & Modern video
9:45 - 10:45 Nengjun Yi, UAB Bayesian Hierarchical Models - Application to Genomics and Epidemiology video
11:00 - 12:00 Xiangqin Cui, UAB Methods and Concepts of Multiple Testing in High-Dimensional Research 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  

At the end of each day of the five-day short course we will ask participants to gather in small groups led by a senior researcher from our pool of lecturers for a period of 90 min. Groups will be developed based on individual participant goals. For example, some participants may feel comfortable developing a specific aims page for an NIH K25, R03, K01, R01 or joint NSF/NIGMS Biological and Mathematical Sciences program. Others may want to collaborate across disciplines and set a second small group meeting through NIMBioS. We will provide a list of suggested activities while remaining open and flexible to the participant needs.

These options and what they will entail will be described on the first day of the short course by either the PI or co-PI. Some participants may decide to switch which round-table they are working with on the second or third day. On the fourth day, a moderator directed self-selected group of 10 participants will be chosen to present their work on the afternoon of the last day.


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.