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Researcher Bios

Meet Our Researchers

Meet our team of internationally renowned researchers, who have made groundbreaking discoveries in weight loss, metabolism, diet, physical activity, obesity, nutrition/obesity/cancer, the fetal environment and menopause.

  • James O. Hill, PhD

    James O. Hill, PhD

    James O. Hill, PhD - Founding Executive Director & Professor

    A leading authority on wellness, Jim was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine, served as chair of the first World Health Organization Consultation on Obesity, was president of the Obesity Society and the American Society for Nutrition, and helped the NIH develop the first U.S. guidelines on obesity. Jim was instrumental in the development and vision of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center.

    He has published over 500 articles and book chapters, including State of Slim. Many focus on managing weight through food and physical activity.

    Jim is co-founder of the National Weight Control Registry, a group of individuals maintaining reduced weights, and America on the Move, which inspires Americans to make small changes.

  • Daniel Bessesen, MD

    Daniel Bessesen, MD

    Daniel Bessesen, MD - Associate Director & Professor

    Daniel Bessesen, MD, associate director of the Center, is professor of medicine of endocrinology, metabolism and diabetes at CU, the director of fellowship training in endocrinology and the director of the Clinical Intervention and Translation Core of the NIH-funded Nutrition Obesity Research Center.

    Dan received his MD with honors from CU. He completed residency and fellowship training at CU and has been on CU’s faculty since 1991.

    Dan, who conducts studies in dietary fat metabolism, appetite and the clinical problem of obesity, has published more than 90 scientific articles and book chapters and is the coauthor of three books, including Treatment of the Obese Patient published in 2014.

  • John C. Peters, PhD

    John C. Peters, PhD

    John C. Peters, PhD - Professor & Chief of Strategy and Innovation

    John Peters, a leading researcher and strategist in nutrition, obesity and diabetes, is charged with developing groundbreaking research and programming in nutrition, exercise and healthy behavior.

    Prior to joining CU, he spent 26 years in food and beverage, health care, and corporate new business research and development for Procter & Gamble Company.

    He is also involved in public health initiatives promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors. He is co-founder and chief executive officer of America on the Move and past president of the International Life Science Institute Center for Health Promotion. Peters has published over 130 scientific papers and reviews and co-authored The Step Diet book.

  • Holly Wyatt, MD

    Holly Wyatt, MD

    Holly Wyatt, MD - Medical Director & Associate Professor

    A physician and clinical researcher, Holly has extensive experience in weight loss using medications and behavioral, dietary, physical activity and surgical treatments.

    Holly is co-author of State of Slim, revealing how Coloradans get and stay slender. As medical director of Extreme Weight Loss, she uses these principles to guide cast-member journeys.

    Her research interests include resting and total energy expenditure, fat oxidation and activity levels in weight-reduced populations. She studies the effect of diet on long-term success, as well as weight loss with Atkins’ vs. low fat-high carb diets and diet composition, exercise patterns and breakfast consumption in the National Weight Control Registry.

  • Jacob Friedman, PhD

    Jacob Friedman, PhD

    Jacob Friedman, PhD - Professor

    Education & Certifications

    • BS, Springfield College
    • PhD, Kent State University
    • Fellowships, East Carolina University and Case Western Reserve University

    Areas of Specialization

    • Researches the role of early nutrition and environment on molecular, endocrine and epigenetic origins of childhood obesity and diabetes
    • Uses cutting-edge technologies (microbiome/stem cells/epigenetics) with in-depth maternal-infant phenotyping (MRI/placental function/ultrasound) to develop therapies aimed at stopping the transmission of obesity from mother to infant

    Personal Notables

    • Founder, Colorado Program for Nutrition and Health Development
    • Director, NORC Metabolic Core
    • Program director, Colorado Obesity Research Institute

  • Marc-Andre Cornier, MD

    Marc-Andre Cornier, MD

    Marc-Andre Cornier, MD - Associate Professor

    Education & Certifications

    • BS, Vanderbilt University
    • MD, Medical College of Georgia
    • Residency/Internship, Georgetown University
    • Endocrinology Fellowship, University of Colorado

    Areas of Specialization

    • Obesity
    • Food intake regulation
    • Neuroimaging
    • Insulin action

     

     

    Personal Notables

    • Associate director, CU Adult Diabetes Program
    • Director, University of Colorado Health LDL Apheresis Program
    • Medical director, My New Weigh meal-replacement weight-loss program
    • Staff physician, Denver Health
    • Active volunteer for the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, the Endocrine Society and the Obesity Society

  • Kevin S. Masters, Ph.D.

    Kevin S. Masters, Ph.D.

    Kevin S. Masters, Ph.D. - Director of Behavioral Research for Anschutz Health and Wellness Center

    Education & Certifications

    • BA, Cedarville University
    • MA, University of Dayton
    • PhD, Brigham Young University
    • Residency/Internship, Duke University Medical Center

    Areas of Specialization

    • Clinical health psychology
    • Spirituality and health
    • Behavioral cardiology
    • Health behavior change

    Personal Notables

    • Program Director, Clinical Health Psychology PhD Training Program, University of Colorado Denver
    • Editor-in-Chief, Annals of Behavioral Medicine
    • Past President, Society for Health Psychology (Division 38, American Psychological Association)
    • Fellow American Psychological Association and Society of Behavioral Medicine
    • Director of Behavioral Research, Anschutz Health and Wellness Center

  • Nia Mitchell, MD

    Nia Mitchell, MD

    Nia Mitchell, MD - Assistant Professor

    Education & Certifications

    • BS, Tulane University
    • MS, University of Virginia
    • MD, Washington University
    • MPH, University of Colorado

    Areas of Specialization

    • Internal Medicine
    • Obesity
    • Health Disparities
    • Underserved Populations

    Personal Notables

    • Enjoys running, biking, tennis, yoga, do-it-yourself home projects

  • Paul MacLean, PhD

    Paul MacLean, PhD

    Paul MacLean, PhD - Professor

    Education & Certifications

    • BS/MS, Brigham Young University
    • PhD/ Fellowship, East Carolina University

    Areas of Specialization

    • Research focus on understanding metabolic consequences of obesity and weight loss
    • Obesity impact on breast cancer, mammary gland development and lactation
    • Obesity impact in menopausal transition

    Personal Notables

    • Research director, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes
    • Director, CORI Energy Metabolism Program
    • Associate director, Nutrition and Obesity Research Center’s Metabolic Core and Energy Balance Laboratory

  • Robert Eckel, MD

    Robert Eckel, MD

    Robert Eckel, MD - Professor

    Education & Certifications

    • MD, University of Cincinnati
    • Residency, University of Wisconsin
    • Senior Fellowship, University of Washington
    • Charles A. Boettcher Endowed Chair in Atherosclerosis

    Areas of Specialization

    • Translational research pursues mechanistic relationships between metabolic disorders

    Personal Notables

    • Published over 300 articles in peer-reviewed journals
    • Past president, American Heart Association, Obesity Society and Association of Patient-Oriented Research
    • Co-chair, 2013 Lifestyle Guideline for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease
    • Member, 2013 Cholesterol Guideline Committee and Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications Observational Safety and Monitoring Board

  • Rocio Pereira, MD

    Rocio Pereira, MD

    Rocio Pereira, MD - Assistant Professor

    Education & Certifications

    • BS, University of Rochester
    • MD/Internal Medicine Residency/Endocrinology Fellowship, University of Colorado
    • Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology

    Areas of Specialization

    • Research focus on the role of adipose tissue in mediating insulin resistance, diabetes and the metabolic syndrome
    • Obesity

    Personal Notables

    • Clinical endocrinologist at Denver Health Medical Center
    • Served as a research assistant at the Joslin Diabetes Center and at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes before medical school

  • Victoria Catenacci, MD

    Victoria Catenacci, MD

    Victoria Catenacci, MD - Assistant Professor

    Education & Certifications

    • BA/BS, University of Notre Dame
    • MD, Yale University
    • Internal Medicine Residency, Yale-New Haven Hospital
    • Chief Resident, Yale-New Haven Hospital
    • Board Certification in Endocrinology

    Areas of Specialization

    • Physician-directed weight management

    Philosophy

    • Individualized behavioral strategies for weight management along with weight-loss medications for appropriately selected patients.

    Personal Notables

    • Varsity Monogram Winner, Women’s Diving, University of Notre Dame
    • NIH F32 National Research Service Award
    • NIH K23 Career Development Award
    • Principle investigator of five-year NIH-funded R01 to evaluate the optimal time to begin exercise within a behavioral weight-loss program

  • Wendy Kohrt, PhD

    Wendy Kohrt, PhD

    Wendy Kohrt, PhD - Professor

    Education & Certifications

    • PhD, Arizona State University

    Areas of Specialization

    • Research focus on disease prevention and maintenance of functional independence in old age

    Personal Notables

    • Director of research, Geriatric Medicine
    • Director, IMAGE (Investigations in Metabolism, Aging, Gender and Exercise)
    • Director, Energy Balance Core, Nutrition and Obesity Research Center
    • Chair, Scientific Advisory and Review Committee, Adult Clinical and Translational Research Center
    • Distinguished Alumnus, University of Wisconsin ‑ Stevens Point
    • Citation Award, American College of Sports Medicine
    • Continuously funded by the NIH for more than 20 years with more than 140 original and solicited research publications

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Fitness Center: 303-724-WELL (9355)

Wellness Clinic: 303-724-9030

Email: info@anschutzwellness.com

12348 E Montview Blvd.
Aurora, CO 80045