Basic Science

The purpose of the Basic Science Section (BSS) is to support and promote basic scientific efforts to understand the causes and complications of obesity and to identify mechanisms that lead to its prevention or cure.



  • Promote mentoring, networking, and collaboration among TOS basic science researchers.
  • Promote awareness of interesting new basic science among members.
  • Promote interdisciplinary initiatives focused on comorbidities associated with obesity such as cancer.
  • Encourage participation and recruitment of new basic researchers in obesity and its comorbidities.
  • Increase the national visibility of the basic research component of obesity research and awareness of the important unanswered questions.
  • Enhance basic science content of our journal and annual meeting.


Join us at the annual BSS events. Each year during the Obesity Society Annual meeting, the BSS sponsors several events including a methods workshop, section meeting and social events. These are open to members and those interested in joining the section. The BSS events provide an excellent opportunity to network with other basic obesity researchers.



Basic Science Section Newsbrief October 2014

Basic Science Section Newsbrief June 2013 

Basic Science Section Newsbrief March 2013

Basic Science Section Newsbrief August 2012

Basic Science Section Newsbrief April 2012

Basic Science Newsbrief August 2012

Basic Science Newsbrief July 2012

Basic Science Newsbrief June 2012 

Basic Science Newsbrief April 2012

Basic Science Newsbrief March 2012

Basic Science Newsbrief February 2012

Basic Science Newsbrief January 2012

Basic Science Newsbrief November 2011

Basic Science Newsbrief September 2011

Basic Science Newsbrief August 2011

Basic Science Neswbrief June 2011

Basic Science Newsbrief May 2011

Basic Science Newsbrief April 2011

Basic Science Newsbrief March 2011


Join the Basic Science Section

All section members must be a member of The Obesity Society. 

If you are not a member of The Obesity Society, join today.  Be certain to select the Basic Science Section when completing your profile.

If you are already a member and would like to join the Basic Science Section please login to your member profile and select the Basic Science Section. Once you have updated your profile, you will receive all communications pertaining to the section.

Please contact Sadie Campbell, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Governance and Executive Assistant if you have any questions.



Gerald Denis head shot

Kate Claycombe, PhD (Chair, 2013-2014)

Kate Claycombe is a research scientist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center (GFHNRC). She received her doctoral degree at the University of Tennessee in nutritional sciences where she studied transcriptional regulation of adipose gene expression and genetics of obesity. She completed a postdoctoral training in nutritional immunology at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and served as Nutritional Science faculty at Michigan State University before joining the USDA ARS GFHNRC in August 2010. Combining her training in immunology and obesity research, she developed her research program addressing adipose tissue associated inflammation in obesity. Her current research interests include epigenetics of obesity and obesity-associated immune dysfunction and the molecular mechanisms by which anti-inflammatory nutrients modulate these processes.

Carey Lumeng, MD, PhD (Chair-Elect, 2013-2014)Carey Lumeng

Carey Lumeng is an Assistant Professor in Pediatrics and Assistant Professor in Molecular and Integrative Physiology at University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He received her B.A. from Princeton University and his M.D. and PhD from University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI. His research focuses on understanding the immune cell mediated mechanisms by which obesity influences disease progression by investigating the association between obesity and inflammation. In particular his lab has been instrumental in advancing our understanding of the functional heterogeneity in adipose tissue macrophages. Dr. Lumeng is a member of American Diabetes Association, Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center, Michigan Metabolomics and Obesity Center, and Editorial Board of Diabetes. He has been funded as Principal Investigator on grans from the NIH and ADA. He served as the Obesity Society Program Chair in 2012 and currently serves on the Obesity Week Board of Managers as the Co-Chair for the 2014 meeting.


Barb Nikolajczyk, PhD (Secretary/Treasurer, 2013-2014)Barb Nikolajczyk

Barb Nikolajczyk is an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.  She received her B.S. from The Ohio State University and her Ph.D. from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on identifying the role immune cells play in the development and pathogenesis of human obesity and obesity-associated complications such as type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease.  She published the first functional analyses on lymphocytes from type 2 diabetes subjects and has used mouse models to validate whole body outcomes of concepts generated by ex vivo studies on human immune cells. Dr. Nikolajczyk is a member of The Obesity Society, The American Association of Immunologists, The American Diabetes Association, and the Boston chapter of the American Association of Dental Researchers. She has been funded as Principal Investigator on grants from the NIH (NIDDK, NIDCR, NIAID and NCI), the ADA, the ALA and the Arthritis Foundation.  She has served as the newsletter Editor for the Basic Sciences Section of TOS.



jackie stephens

Jacqueline Stephens, PhD (Past-Chair, 2012-2013)

Jackie Stephens is a Professor of Biological Sciences at LSU and her laboratory recently moved to the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge. She received her B.S. in both Chemistry and Biology from St. Andrews College and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from East Carolina University School of Medicine. She studied insulin signaling during her post-doctorate at Boston University. Her research has largely focused on adipocyte biology and she has studied TNF induced insulin resistance, adipocyte development, and the functions of various transcription factors in fat cells. Dr. Stephens is an active mentor of young scientists and assistant professors at LSU and at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. She has been funded as Principal Investigator on NIH grants since 1997 and is currently a member of the Integrative Physiology of Obesity and Diabetes NIH study section. She has served on the Editorial Boards of several journals including JBC and Obesity Research. She has won teaching awards and research excellence awards at LSU and was also the recipient of the Lilly Scientific Achievement Award from The Obesity Society in 2005.

Gerald Denis head shot

Monique LeMieux, MS (Student Representative 2013-2014)

Monique is a Nutritional Science doctoral student at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. She received her B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Christopher Newport University and then her M.S. in Life Science from the Graduate School of Genome Science & Technology at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville. Her M.S. research focused on characterization of α1-antitrypsin inhibitors related to conformational diseases and she was funded by a fellowship through the NIH Program for Excellence & Equity in Research (PEER). Under the guidance of Dr. Naima Moustaid-Moussa, Monique is currently researching the link between the renin-angiotensin system, obesity and insulin resistance as well as related nutritional interventions for her dissertation project.

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