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Panelist: Robert H. Lustig, MD
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Robert H. Lustig, MD

Director, UCSF Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health (WATCH) Program
Professor, Pediatric Endocrinology
University of California, San Francisco

Robert H. Lustig, M.D. is Professor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, and Director of the Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health (WATCH) Program at UCSF.  Dr. Lustig is a neuroendocrinologist, with basic and clinical training relative to hypothalamic development, anatomy, and function. For the last decade, Dr. Lustig’s clinical research has focused on the regulation of energy balance by the central nervous system. He is currently investigating the contribution of biochemical, neural, hormonal, and genetic influences in the expression of the current obesity epidemic both in children and adults. He is interested in the hypothalamic signal transduction of the hormones insulin and leptin, how these two systems interact, and how they become dysfunctional in obesity. He is studying the interplay between the changes in the nutritional environment and defective hormone signaling; in particular, the role of fructose and lack of fiber in the genesis of the metabolic syndrome. He is assessing the cardiovascular morbidity associated with insulin excess, and developing methods to evaluate and prevent this phenomenon in children. He is analyzing the utility of assessing insulin dynamics in targeting obesity diagnosis and pharmacotherapy. He is also researching the utility of laparoscopic truncal vagotomy in the treatment of morbid obesity in adults and children.

Dr. Lustig graduated from MIT in 1976, and received his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College in 1980. He completed his pediatric residency at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in 1983, and his pediatric endocrine fellowship at UCSF in 1984. From there, he spent six years as a research associate in neuroendocrinology at The Rockefeller University. He has been on the faculty both at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and at the University of Tennessee and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

Dr. Lustig has authored 85 peer-reviewed articles and 45 chapter and reviews. He has mentored 22 pediatric endocrine fellows, and trained numerous other allied health professionals. He provides endocrinologic support to several protocols of the Children’s Oncology Group. He is the current Chairman of the Ad hoc Obesity Task Force of the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society, a member of the Pediatric Obesity Practice Guidelines Subcommittee of The Endocrine Society, a member of the Obesity Task Force of the Endocrine Society, a member of the Pediatric Obesity Devices Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a member of the Steering Committee of the International Endocrine Alliance to Combat Obesity, and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association of the Bay Area.  He is the author of many articles, chapters, and reviews on childhood obesity, including the recent volume “Obesity before birth”.

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