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Demark-Wahnefried named Chair-Elect for TOS Obesity & Cancer Section

August 22, 2014

Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, PhD, RD

Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, PhD, RD, professor and Webb Endowed Chair in the Department of Nutrition Sciences and associate director for cancer prevention and control at the Comprehensive Cancer Center, is the newly elected Chair-Elect for The Obesity Society (TOS) Obesity & Cancer (O&E) Section for the 2014-2015 term, which will commence at this year’s Annual TOS meeting in Boston, Massachusetts (ObesityWeek 2014), where the Annual O&C Section Meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 5, 2014. Dr. Demark-Wahnefried’s duties will include working with the chair to plan educational sessions at the annual meeting, as well as to enhance communications and development within the section.

For the past two decades, her research has spanned from basic science studies focused on determining mechanisms of action of food-related components on neoplastic progression to clinical research that involves nutrition-related concerns of cancer patients, as well as on determining effective lifestyle interventions that improve the overall health of cancer survivors and their families. Her laboratory has conducted some of the largest studies exploring metabolic and body composition changes in response to cancer treatment. An area of research in which Dr. Demark-Wahnefried has experienced particular success is the delivery of home-based lifestyle interventions among cancer survivors, where she has led and continues to lead a number of National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded trials aimed at improving the diet and exercise behavioral of cancer survivors. For her work in this area, she received a Komen Professor of Survivorship Award, which has the goal of “advancing research and awareness on the issues surrounding long-term survivorship of breast cancer.” She also was recently named an American Cancer Society (ACS) Clinical Research Professor, which is one of the highest recognitions for this organization; she is the first nutrition scientist to ever receive this award. 

Dr. Demark-Wahnefried serves on several boards and panels, including for the ACS, several NIH standing and ad-hoc committees, the Institute of Medicine Cancer Research Policy Forum, and the World Cancer Research Fund. Her research interests include diet/hormonal and genetic interactions and their association with neoplasia (specifically breast and prostate cancer); dietary intervention to prevent chronic disease factors affecting compliance and recidivism; and lifestyle modification among cancer survivors.