Expert on sleep and obesity will speak at U of I Nutrition Symposium

February 24, 2015

URBANA, Ill. – Is there a relationship between sleep and obesity? University of Pennsylvania professor Michael A. Grandner will answer this question in his keynote address at the 2015 Illinois Nutritional Sciences Graduate Student Association Nutrition Symposium on Thursday, March 19, from 4 to 5 p.m. in 180 Bevier Hall on the University of Illinois campus. The event is open to the public.

“Dr. Grandner is board certified in behavioral sleep medicine, and his research focuses on how sleep and sleep-related behaviors are related to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, neurobehavioral functioning, mental health, and longevity. He is also studying the social, environmental, and behavioral factors that determine how we sleep,” said Jessica Hartke, assistant director of the U of I Division of Nutritional Sciences (DNS).

According to the expert, over 60 studies have reported an association between short sleep duration and obesity. He will examine a number of physiological, behavioral, and dietary factors that may contribute to this association.

Grandner is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the joint doctoral program at San Diego State University and the University of California, then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in sleep and circadian neurobiology, an accredited fellowship in behavioral sleep medicine, and a master’s degree in translational research, all at Penn.

He serves on the Mental Health Task Force for the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and has received honors and awards for his work from the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine, Sleep Research Society, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, American Heart Association, Population Association of America, and other groups. He has also published over 50 articles and chapters on issues related to sleep and health.

A mini-symposium, “Nutritional Sciences: Impacting Health at Every Age,” featuring world-class University of Illinois faculty researchers, will be featured before the keynote address. That event will take place from 12:45 to 2:45 p.m. in the Monsanto Room at the Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) Library, 1101 South Goodwin Avenue, on campus.

The panel will include Yuan-Xiang Pan, speaking on “Maternal Nutrition Programs: Physiological Consequences through Epigenetics in Animal Models”; Sharon M. Donovan, “Breastfeeding Reduces Circulating Inflammatory Cytokines and Inflammatory Gene Pathways in Immune Cells Compared to Formula Feeding in the First Six Months of Life”; Margarita Teran-Garcia, “Emerging Adulthood: An Opportunity to Prevent Chronic Disease”; and Karen Chapman-Novakofski, “Nutrition and the Older Adult.”

DNS graduate students will compete in an oral research presentation composition from 9:15 to 11:30 a.m. in the Monsanto Room of the ACES Library, and poster research presentation and competition will be from 5:15 to 6:40 p.m. in the ACES Library Heritage Room. Both are open to the public.

The Nutrition Symposium is sponsored by Abbott Nutrition; The Beef Checkoff; Kraft Foods Group, Inc.; Mead Johnson Nutrition; PepsiCo, Inc.; Tate & Lyle; and Wrigley. Friends of the symposium are Campbell Soup Company, Kemin Health, U of I College of ACES Office of Research, and U of I Departments of Animal Sciences, Food Science and Human Nutrition, and Kinesiology and Community Health. Funding is also provided by the U of I Student Organization Resource Fee.

“Our graduate students take full responsibility for planning and executing the Nutrition Symposium,” said Rodney Johnson, DNS director. “The event provides our students with an important professional development opportunity. I’m pleased that they have organized a wonderful program that can be enjoyed by the community.”

For more information, contact the Division of Nutritional Sciences at 217-333-4177 or





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