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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 Newsletter March 2015

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 Shameeka Green, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Volunteer Coordinator if you have any questions.



Diana Thomas, PhD (Chair, 2014-2015)

Montclair State University, Montclair, New JerseyDiana Thomas

Diana Thomas is a professor of mathematics and the director for the Center for Quantitative Obesity Research at Montclair State University in New Jersey. She has spent over a decade modeling biological phenomena and her research has appeared in journals such as Obesity, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and the New England Journal of Medicine. Her work has been covered by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CBS News, and ABC News. She serves as editor of The Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Research and the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Diana Thomas received her Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from the University of Montana, and her doctorate in mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology. After receiving her doctorate, she held a postdoctoral fellowship teaching and conducting research at the United States Military Academy and the Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Maryland. Her current investigations focus on modeling obesity related questions involving pregnancy and application of energy balance weight loss prediction models to determine dietary adherence.


Barb Nikolajczyk, PhD (Secretary/Treasurer, 2013-2015)

Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MABarb 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.


Dwayne E. Carter PhD candidate (Early Career Representative, 2014-2016)Dwayne Carter

Texas A&M University, UTMB, Galveston, TX

Dwayne E. Carter received his Bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from Midwestern State University, located in Wichita Falls, Texas in 2006. He then taught chemistry at the high school level in Dallas, Texas until 2010 before starting graduate studies at The University of Texas Medical Branch. Currently, Dwayne is a 4th year graduate student and Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Cornelis Elferink's laboratory. His current research projects seek to elucidate the possible physiological roles of a specific transcription factor in the liver in diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Thus far the project has allowed him to develop a passion for mouse physiology as it pertains to metabolic diseases. Upon his Ph.D. completion, Dwayne intends to conduct postdoctoral studies on metabolic diseases with particular attention to obesity. The ultimate goal is to attain a faculty position at a prestigious research oriented university, where Dwayne intends to continue conducting research on inter-organ communication and how it pertains to metabolic diseases.


Kate Claycombe, PhD (Chair, 2014-2015)

Gerald Denis head shot

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

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.


Allen S. Levine, PhD, FTOS (Council Liaison 2013-2016)Allen Levine

University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

Allen Levine is Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs (2014-2015). Dr. Levine is also the director of the Minnesota Obesity Center and a Professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition. The Minnesota Obesity Center is a National Institutes of Health funded for the past 18 years as a collaborative research group of over 75 federally funded investigators from the University, the Mayo Clinic, the Minneapolis VA Medical Center, Health Partners, and Hennepin County Medical Center. Prior to his current position he was Liaison for Special Initiatives in the Provost's Office (2013-2014), Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (2006-2013) and Head of the Department of Food Science and Nutrition (2004-2006). He was the Associate Director of Research and a Senior Career Scientist at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center for 26 years.

(Please note: External Links are provided as a courtesy. The Obesity Society is not responsible for the content on sites accessed through external links.)

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