The purpose of the Epidemiology Section is to provide a forum to increase collaboration and networking among obesity epidemiology researchers, to support and promote research to understand etiology, prevention and management of obesity and to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge to the scientific community, public policy stake holders, and the public.


  • Promote participation in TOS amoung young investigators conducting obesity epidemiology research
  • Promote networking and collaboration among TOS obesity epidemiology researchers
  • Provide mentoring for young investigators


One-on-One Mentor Matching Program

The Epidemiology Section One-on-One Mentor Matching program is intended to assist students, postdocs, and junior faculty members plan their careers with the advice of more experienced colleagues.

Learn more by clicking here



December 2014 Newsletter

October 2014 Newsletter

September 2013 Newsletter

June 2013 Newsletter

November 2012 Newsletter

August 2012 Newsletter

April 2012 Newsletter

April 2011 Newsletter

November 2010 Newsletter

October 2010 Newsletter

April 2010 Newsletter


Join the Epidemiology 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 Epidemiology Section when completing your profile.

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

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



Claire Wang - 2013-2014 Chair-Elect

Y. Claire Wang, MD, ScD (Chair, 2014-2015)

Columbia University, New York, NY

Y. Claire Wang, MD, ScD is Assistant Professor at the Department of Health Policy & Management in Columba Mailman School of Public Health. Her research use modeling to synthesize evidence base to inform policy and practice guidelines. Her present research focuses on developing and evaluating policies to promote healthy choices and to address obesity epidemic in adults and in children, especially in terms of cost-effectiveness and downstream health and cost impact. She co-directs the Obesity Prevention Initiative of the Mailman School of Public Health and is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. She obtained her MD from National Taiwan University and her ScD from Harvard School of Public Health.


Kendrin Sonneville, ScD, RD, LDN (Early-Career Representative, 2012-2014)

Sonneville pic

University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI

Kendrin Sonneville is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Dr. Sonneville also holds an adjunct appointment at Harvard Medical School and in the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital. She is a registered dietitian and public health researcher whose research focuses on the intersection of obesity and eating disorders among children, adolescents, and young adults. Dr. Sonneville has a particular interest in studying the causes and consequences of binge eating disorder, in understanding the clinical and public health implications of weight overvaluation, body dissatisfaction, and weight misperception, and examining the unintended consequences of obesity prevention programs. She earned her ScD in Public Health Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.


Shakira Suglia, MPH (Secretary/Treasurer, 2014-2016)Shakira Suglia

Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University, New York, NY

Dr. Shakira Franco Suglia is an assistant professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health - Department of Epidemiology. Her research interests are multidisciplinary, as her work examines the effects of the social and physical environment on children's psychological and physical health. One focus of her work is the role of domestic and community violence -- conceptualized as a chronic stressor -- on the development of a number of child outcomes (i.e., asthma, obesity, cognitive deficiencies and behavioral problems). Her work also examines the impact of environmental factors (i.e., poor quality built environment and traffic related pollutants) predominant in urban communities which may interact with other social factors and affect children's health. Her current research explores how negative (i.e., housing dilapidation and psychological stressors) and positive (i.e., social support and mother-child interaction) factors may modify the impact of violence on child health. Suglia received her Sc.D. in epidemiology and environmental health from the Harvard School of Public Health. In her dissertation she developed a methodology to better characterize violence exposure and examined the relationship between violence exposure and lung function among children.


Jesse Jones-Smith, PhD, MPH, RD (Early Career Representative, 2014-2016)Jesse Jones-Smith

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD

Jessica Jones-Smith is a nutrition epidemiologist who studies social and contextual determinants of obesity and obesity disparities. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She completed her Masters of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley and her doctoral degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on investigating distal drivers of nutrition-related health disparities and follows two main lines: 1) documenting disparities in obesity and other nutrition-related diseases based on socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity, across the lifespan and in numerous populations; 2) investigating economic resources as causal factors in obesity and overall health status. Her current approach combines public health nutrition with econometric techniques to study the impact of increasing family resources or contextual resources on dietary quality and obesity.


Pasquale Rummo, MPH (Student Fellow Representative, 2014-2016)Pasquale Rummo

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Klara J. Rosenquist, MD (Chair, 2013-2014)Klara Rosenquist

North Shore Physicians Group, Peabody, MA

Klara J. Rosenquist received her BS in Biology, Health and Society from Cornell University and her medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia. She completed residency in Internal Medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital and Endocrinology Fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital. She conducted research in the epidemiology of adipose tissue distribution and the cardiometabolic sequelae of obesity at the Framingham Heart Study. Dr. Rosenquist now works in population health management as the Associate Medical Director of Quality and Process Improvement at North Shore Physicians Group.


Shine Chang, PhD, FTOS (Council Liaison, 2013-2016)Shine Chang

The University of Texas, Houston, TX

Shine Chang, PhD, received an undergraduate degree in biology from Brown University and her doctorate in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After finishing her cancer prevention postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Epidemiology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, she joined the faculty until 2001 when she was recruited to the National Cancer Institute. There, she served the NCI Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program, as Associate Director. For this effort, she received in 2004 the NCI Mentor of Merit Award. She returned to MD Anderson in 2006 to lead the Cancer Prevention Research Training Program (CPRTP). As its director, Shine is a University of Texas Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and holds faculty appointments at the University of Texas Graduate School of Biological Sciences and School of Public Health, where she teaches courses in cancer prevention. At MD Anderson, she has been recognized for mentoring as a five-time nominee for the Robert M. Chamberlain Distinguished Mentor Award and won the 2009 Leading Mentor in Cancer Prevention Award. In 2012, she was inducted in the UT Academy of Health Science Educators and awarded a UT System Regents Outstanding Teaching Award. In addition to her educational activities, Shine leads research focusing on biobehavioral aspects of body weight as a cancer risk factor. She coordinates research activities for an ancillary study of the Women's Health Initiative focusing on the genetic, hormonal, and behavioral aspects of obesity. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Obesity, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, Nutrition and Cancer, Academic Medicine, Journal of Cancer Education, and Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. She leads NIH R01-funded research on factors that influence retention of junior scientists in research careers, particularly those that center around mentoring and scientific communication skill development. She also serves as PI for an NIH R01 subaward to evaluate the impact of career development programs targeting women faculty, specifically the programs of the Association of American Medical Colleges and Drexel University, on career trajectories of women in academic health science centers.

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