Research Team

Meet our researchers

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

  • Daniel Bessesen, MD

    Daniel Bessesen, MD

    Daniel Bessesen, MD - Director & Professor

    Daniel Bessesen, MD, is 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.

  • 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

    • Director, NORC
    • 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 Notes

    • 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

  • Annie Caldwell, PhD

    Annie Caldwell, PhD

    Annie Caldwell, PhD - Assistant Professor

    Education & Certifications

    • BS, University of New Mexico
    • MS, PhD Evolutionary Psychology, University of New Mexico
    • Postdoc Anthropology, Emory University
    • Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

    Areas of Specialization

    • Evolutionary Psychology and Anthropology
    • Energy balance
    • Healthy Psychology
    • Behavior change and maintenance interventions
    • Anthropology fieldwork

    My research interests are focused in the intersection of evolutionary and health psychology, primarily in the domain of energy balance, exercise and weight management. I am interested in applying life history theory to understand energy balance throughout the life course.

    Personal Notes

    • Previous Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease Fellow (T32)
    • NIH K01 Career Development Awardee
    • Active member of the Obesity Society and the Society of Behavioral Medicine
    • Yoga Instructor
  • Victoria Catenacci, MD

    Victoria Catenacci, MD

    Victoria Catenacci, MD - Clinic Medical Director and Assistant Professor

    Education & Certifications

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

    Areas of Specialization

    • Physician-directed weight management


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

    Personal Notes

    • 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

  • Seth Creasy, PhD

    Seth Creasy, PhD

    Seth Creasy, PhD - Assistant Professor

    Education & Certifications

    • BS, Lock Haven University
    • MS/PhD, University of Pittsburgh
    • Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

    Areas of Specialization

    • Behavioral Weight Loss Interventions
    • Doubly Labeled Water Assessment
    • Physical Activity Assessment

    Personal Notes

    • Previous Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease Fellow (T32)
    • Previous NIH F32 National Research Service Awardee
    • NIH K01 Career Development Awardee
    • Active member of the Obesity Society and the American College of Sports Medicine

  • 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 Notes

    • 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

  • 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 Notes

    • 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

  • Kevin S. Masters, Ph.D.

    Kevin S. Masters, Ph.D.

    Kevin S. Masters, Ph.D. - Director of Clinical Health Psychology

    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 Notes

    • 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

  • 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.

  • Drew Sayer

    Drew Sayer

    Drew Sayer - Postdoctoral Fellow

    Education & Certifications

    • BS, Colorado State University
    • MS, Colorado State University
    • PhD, Purdue University

    Areas of Specialization

    • Environmental factors influencing physical activity, diet, and obesity
    • Randomized Clinical Trials

    Our current environment encourages overeating and a sedentary lifestyle, which represents a substantial barrier to achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight. My overall research goal is to understand how socio-environmental factors influence behaviors central to body weight regulation in order to develop more effective interventions to reduce obesity.

    Personal Notes

    • University of Colorado Denver Institutional Postdoctoral Training Fellowship in Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease (T32 HL116276)
    • Indiana Clinical and Translational Science Institute Predoctoral Fellowship (TL1-TR001107)
    • Board of Directors, 2040 Partners for Health

  • 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.

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Fitness Center: 303-724-WELL (9355)
Wellness Clinic: 303-724-9030

12348 E Montview Blvd.
Aurora, CO 80045

Fitness Center Hours

M-TH: 5am-10pm
FRI: 5am-9pm
S-S: 7am-5pm