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Medicine for the Public: 2011 Lecture Series


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May 17, 2011

May 24, 2011

Kong Y. Chen, PhD, MSCI
Dr. Kong Chen was trained in mechanical engineering (BS, Tennessee Technological University), biomedical engineering (PhD, Vanderbilt University), and clinical investigation (MS, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine). Dr. Chen is an internationally-recognized expert in quantifying human energy expenditure, autonomic system activity, physical fitness and activity, and body composition. He has studied healthy and obese adolescents and adults, as well as patients with liver, heart, kidney, cancer and other diseases.

He published over 45 peer-reviewed papers in high-impact specialty journals and has given over 30 invited talks and keynotes around the world. Dr. Chen was the principal investigator of two National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 grants and taught undergraduate and graduate classes in the School of Engineering and School of Medicine prior to coming to NIH in late 2006. Currently, Dr. Chen serves as the director of Metabolic Research Core of the NIH Clinical Center and a clinical investigator of the Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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Lawrence Appel, MD
Dr. Lawrence Appel is a Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and International Health at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. He is also a practicing internist. The focus of Dr. Appel's career is the conduct of clinical, epidemiologic and translational research pertaining to the prevention of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease.

Currently, he has three large, successful, and complementary research programs (1) large-scale feeding trials that identify optimal diet; (2) behavioral intervention trials that test novel strategies to accomplish lifestyle modification, often focused on obesity; and (3) trials and observational studies to understand risk factors for chronic kidney disease progression and its complications.

Dr. Appel is an active AHA volunteer. He is a member of the three Councils (Epidemiology and Prevention; NPAM: and Hypertension). He currently serves on the Editorial Board of Hypertension and chairs the Program Committee for the Spring meeting of the NPAM Council.

Dr. Appel is actively involved in health care policy. He was a member of the 2005 and 2010 U.S. Dietary Guidelines Scientific Advisory Committees. For the AHA, he has been a member of its Nutrition Committee for over 10 years and a past chair. He has also served on several Institute of Medicine Committees and chaired the committee that set dietary reference intakes for sodium, potassium and water. For the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, he has served on numerous advisory committees.

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Tania Heller, MD, FAAP
Dr. Tania Heller is a board-certified pediatrician who completed her pediatric residency at Georgetown University Hospital. She then became a partner in a large pediatric practice where she practiced pediatric and adolescent medicine for almost fifteen years, while on staff at Inova Hospital for Children.

Dr. Heller later served as Medical Director of Nighttime Pediatrics, Suburban Hospital's after-hours urgent care center. She started the Suburban Center for Eating Disorders and Adolescent Obesity and served as its Medical Director for four years and is now Medical Director of the Washington Center for Eating Disorders and Adolescent Obesity.

Dr. Heller hosted an educational pediatric radio program for three years, published a number of medical articles and has written the following books: "Eating Disorders. A Handbook for Teens, Families and Teachers", "Overweight. A Handbook for Teens and Parents" and "Pregnant! What can I do?" published by McFarland.

Her latest book, "On Becoming a Doctor" (2009) is published by Sourcebooks. Dr. Heller is on the staff of Suburban Hospital and is a clinical assistant professor at Georgetown University Hospital. She is a member of the Academy for Eating Disorders, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the Obesity Society.

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Carlos A. Zarate, Jr, MD
Dr. Zarate is Chief of the Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch and the Section on Neurobiology and Treatment of Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Division Intramural Research Program at the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Zarate completed his residency training in psychiatry at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center/Brockton VAMC division.

He later completed a fellowship in Clinical Psychopharmacology at McLean Hospital of the Consolidated Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and remained on staff at McLean Hospital as the Director of the Bipolar and Psychotic Disorders Outpatient Services and Director of the New and Experimental Clinic. From 1998 to 2000 Dr. Zarate was the Chief of the Bipolar and Psychotic Disorders Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In 2001, he joined the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program at NIMH.

His achievements and awards include the Ethel-DuPont Warren Award and Livingston Awards, Consolidated Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Outstanding Psychiatrist Research Award, Massachusetts Psychiatric Association; Program for Minority Research Training in Psychiatry, APA; the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression Young Investigator Award; National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression Independent investigator award; and the National Institutes of Health Director's Award Scientific/Medical. Dr. Zarate's research focuses on the pathophysiology and development of novel therapeutics for treatment-resistant mood disorders as well as the study of biosignatures of treatment response.

He is a member of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, International Society of Bipolar Disorders, and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. Dr. Zarate also serves as a member of the Board of Councilors, International Society of Bipolar Disorder.

Dr. Zarate's research focuses on the pathophysiology and novel therapeutics of mood disorders.

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Jennifer Lanier Payne, MD
Dr. Jennifer Payne is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Women's Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins. Her professional interests include the genetics of depression and bipolar disorder, women and mood disorders, hormonal influences on mood and mood disorders, and clinical trials of novel therapeutics in depression and bipolar disorder.

Dr. Payne received an M.D. from Washington University Medical School. She completed her internship at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center before completing a psychiatry residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Payne also completed a clinical research fellowship in mood disorders with the National Institute of Mental Health.

Dr. Payne's work at the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Center includes evaluations for women suffering from mood disorders, with special emphasis on the treatment of hormonally-triggered mood disorders, including premenstrual, postpartum, and perimenopausal mood disorders. Dr. Payne and the team at the Mood Disorders Center strive to provide the best in effective treatments using the findings of research on hormonally-triggered mood disorders.

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David T. George, MD
Dr. George received his Medical Degree from Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University. He has completed residencies in Internal Medicine at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan and in Psychiatry at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. He is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Psychiatry. Dr. George has cared for patients and administered electroconvulsive therapy at Suburban Hospital for the last 28 years. In addition, he is the Associate Clinical Director for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and has authored numerous publications in the fields of alcoholism as well as domestic violence. His current research interests are focused on developing new treatments for alcoholic patients with and without PTSD. Dr. George is a Clinical Professor at George Washington University School of Medicine.

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This page last updated on 06/07/11

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