The Master of the American Board of Obesity Medicine award recognizes physicians that have made significant contributions to the science, practice and/or advancement of obesity medicine.

2014 Recipients

Dr. Walter Pories

Dr. Pories

Walter J. Pories, MD, FACS, Professor of Surgery, Biochemistry and Kinesiology at East Carolina University, is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and received his MD with Honor at the University of Rochester where he also completed his surgical training in general and cardio-thoracic surgery. He served on the faculties of the University of Rochester, Case Western Reserve until 1977 when he became the founding Chairman of Surgery at East Carolina University, a position he held for 19 years. He is currently the Director of the Metabolic Surgery Research Group.

Dr. Pories major clinical interests have been in nutrition, pediatric and bariatric surgery. His research interests included the discovery that zinc is an essential element and required for wound healing, the development of animal feeds and the addition of trace elements to parenteral and alimentary formulations. He was the first to describe the use of suction to promote wound healing and the first to perform a cysterna-chili/vena cava anastomosis for congenital absence of the thoracic duct. He was also the first to delineate the full and durable remission of type 2 diabetes following the gastric bypass. He is currently a Principal Investigator for the NIH/NIDDK study, the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery as well as other supported by the NIH and industry.

Dr. Pories has served as the President of the Society for Geochemistry and Environmental Health, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the Association of Program Directors of Surgery, the North Carolina Medical Board, the Surgical Review Corporation, the North Carolina Chapter of the American College of Surgeons and as the editor-in-chief or associate and editor on a number of journals. He is the recipient of a number of research honors, including the Goldwater Award in Nutrition, the McGovern Award, the ECU Lifetime Research Achievement Award and the O.Max Joyner Award among others. He retired from the US Army with the rank of Colonel after 24 years of service with a Legion of Merit and a Presidential Citation for the performance of the regiment under his command in the first Gulf War.

Dr. Pories lives on a working farm with this wife, Dr. Mary Ann Rose, in eastern North Carolina. They have six children and a variety of livestock and wild-life including a llama and family of bears who roam on the farm’s banks of the Tar River.

Dr. Donna Ryan

Dr. Ryan
Donna H. Ryan, MD is Professor Emeritus at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge Louisiana.  She served as Associate Executive Director at Pennington Biomedical for 34 years where she was active in research, teaching and administration.  Her research accomplishments include landmark studies of omega 3 fatty acids, and membership on the teams that developed the NIH-sponsored feeding studies, DELTA (Dietary Effects on Lipoproteins and Thrombosis in Atherosclerosis) and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).  Dr. Ryan was an Investigator on NIH multicenter lifestyle intervention studies DPP (Diabetes Prevention Program) and POUNDS Lost and the Look AHEAD study.  Dr. Ryan worked with the Louisiana Office of Group Benefits to conduct LOSS (Louisiana Obese Subjects Study), a pragmatic clinical trial of intensive medical therapy for severe obesity conducted in six Louisiana primary care clinics.  This work continues in a translational phase as HEADS UP!.  Dr. Ryan was PI of a Military Nutrition Grant from 1988-2011 to develop improvements to soldier readiness, nutrition and health.

Dr. Ryan maintained contact with patients throughout her career and continues to participate in the cohorts involving long-term care of patients with obesity using behavioral, dietary, pharmacologic and surgical approaches.  She is an active participant in continuing medical education efforts for primary care physicians and her interest in these activities is communicating findings from the laboratory to inform clinical practice and especially primary care practices.

Dr. Ryan served as co-Chair the panel to revise the NIH-supported evidence-based Guidelines on the Evaluation and Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults.  Dr. Ryan is past President of The Obesity Society. She is currently Associate Editor in Chief of the journal, Obesity.  Her scholarly activities include authorship of more than 190 original publications and 45 books, chapters and reviews, primarily in the field of obesity.  Dr. Ryan has served the scientific community as a reviewer and advisor in many capacities including the following:  NSF Medical R&D Expenditures Workshop 2006; National Dairy Council Review Team for Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, 2006; Chair, Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), NIH Grant, “Safety and Efficacy of Low and High Carbohydrate Diets,” 2002-2008, Member DSMB for EARLY Studies 2010- present and reviewer for European Union Innovative Medicines Initiative, 2011 and 2012.  Dr. Ryan has served as a scientific advisor and/or consultant to Abbott, Knoll, Procter and Gamble, Novartis, TAP Pharmaceuticals, Slim Fast, Solvay, Weight Watchers, Alere Wellbeing, Nutrisystem, Vivus, Arena, Sanofi-Aventis, Ajinomoto, Merck, Takeda, Vivus, Eisai, Arena, Novo-Nordisk, Janssen and Scientific Intake.

2013 Recipients

Dr. George Blackburn

Dr. Blackburn

Dr. George Bray

Dr. Bray