Obesity & Cancer

The purpose of the Obesity and Cancer Section is to promote research, education and advocacy related to cancer, including: understanding how obesity affects etiology, prevention and management of cancer; the development of effective strategies, interventions and educational efforts that may reduce the impact of obesity on cancer risk and progression; and promote the dissemination of knowledge of the obesity-cancer relationship to the scientific community, clinicians and the public.

More information about Obesity and Cancer is available in our fact sheet.




  • Facilitate networking among Section members and others to promote more research in obesity and cancer, across the continuum of research from cell and molecular biology, integrative biology, clinical studies, and population studies.
  • Encourage members (and recruit new members) to submit abstracts relevant to obesity and cancer to The Obesity Society's Annual Scientific Meeting.
  • Promote participation in TOS and cancer-obesity research among junior investigators and early career scientists.


  • Develop symposia concepts focused on obesity and cancer for The Obesity Society's Annual Scientific Meeting.
  • Contribute to the Society's target clinicians, including participation in meeting clinician-professional practice sessions, to increase their awareness of the relationship between obesity and cancer risk and progression.
  • Participate in the development and promote the dissemination of the American Cancer Society diet and physical activity prevention recommendations.


  • Communicate accurate information about the obesity-cancer relationship to professional and lay audiences, as a representative of the Society and the Section.
  • Encourage the involvement of cancer researchers and advocates in obesity research and education, through membership in the Society and participation in Society activities.

Apply for the Susan G. Komen ObesityWeek Travel Award

For the second year in a row, Susan G. Komen will support a travel award to attend the Obesity and Cancer Section Meeting at ObesityWeek. The $1,500 award is designed to defray the cost of travel to the meeting, and is meant to recognize and reward one outstanding young investigator whose work is focused on obesity and breast cancer.

We are now requesting applications from Junior Faculty, up to and including the rank of Assistant Professor, to be considered for this award. Prior submission of an abstract to ObesityWeek is not required to be eligible for this award. See award eligibility and requirements below.

To be eligible to receive this award, you must be:

  • At the rank of Junior Faculty (up to and including Assistant Professor level)
  • Currently pursuing independent research
  • A current TOS and O&C Section Member or become a Member prior to receiving the award
  • In attendance at the 2014 O&C Section Meeting

Your application must include:

  • A short proposal (limited to 300 words) describing your research and its relevance to breast cancer, and how attending ObesityWeek will advance your professional, educational and research objectives
  • NIH Biosketch of Applicant

Please email your application as a single PDF attachment to TOS Volunteer Coordinator, Ms. Shameeka Green at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The deadline for submissions is Friday, September 19, 2014 at 5:00pm ET. Applications will be immediately reviewed and the selected recipient will be notified no later than Friday, September 29, 2014.

If you have any questions concerning this award, the application procedure, or your eligibility, please contact the O&C Section Chair, Dr. Derek M. Huffman at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Upcoming Events

Obesity & Cancer Section Meeting, Awards Ceremony & Wine and Cheese Social

Wednesday, Nov. 13

7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

The TOS Obesity & Cancer Section welcomes those interested in participating in the Section to the annual business meeting, with guest speakers from the National Cancer Institute, the abstract awards ceremony and a wine and cheese reception. The event will take place during ObesityWeek at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA. Find out more and print out a flyer here.

During the event section leaders will announce the winners of the 1st Annual O&C Abstract Award Competition, generously supported by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). Posters for recognized abstracts will be on display during the reception.

In additon, the Section will recognize the recipient of the Susan G. Komen Junior Faculty Travel Award for Obesity & Breast Cancer Research, generously supported by Susan G. Komen. Please find application information here. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. ET, Monday, September 16.

Following the awards ceremony, the Section will host a wine and chees social for all attendees, sponsored by DuPont Nutrition & Health and the California Walnut Commission.

The Obesity Society Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, November 2 – 7, 2015.

Please consider attending this important meeting and submitting your abstract when the website opens. We are planning to work with our partners again this year to support a travel award for young investigators who work on breast cancer in the context of obesity, as well as to acknowledge the top three presented abstracts with a certificate of recognition and a cash award during our anticipated reception at the Annual Meeting.

Watch this space for announcements of details as they become available.

Finally, we urge you to follow TOS on Twitter, with the handle: @ObesitySociety

Other people we recommend you follow include:



March 2015 Newsletter

August 2014 Newsletter

May 2014 Newsletter

October 2013 Newsletter

June 2013 Newsletter

March 2013 Newsletter

August 2012 Newsletter

April 2012 Newsletter

April 2011 Newsletter

January 2011 Newsletter

April 2010 Newsletter


Join the Obesity and Cancer 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 Obesity and Cancer Section when completing your profile.

If you are already a member and would like to join the Obesity and Cancer Section please login to your member profile and select the Obesity and Cancer 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.


Obesity & Cancer ListServ

Section Listservs are now available for TOS members! Listservs are a great place to find and to share knowledge and ideas. Sign up Today!

How To Sign Up for a ListServ

Member Listserv Rules & Etiquette




Gerald V. Denis, PhD (Chair, 2014-2016)

Denis head shotCROPBoston University School of Medicine

Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Gerald V. Denis, PhD is a faculty member in the Cancer Research Center at Boston University School of Medicine. He is closely affiliated with the Boston Nutrition Obesity Research Center, directed by Susan K. Fried, as well as with other colleagues at Boston University, including Barbara E. Corkey and Barbara S. Nikolajczyk. Dr. Denis' work focuses on bromodomain-containing transcriptional co-regulators and the critical role they play in gene networks that connect obesity to cancer and inflammation. He collaborates with Dr Nikolajczyk on important questions in 'Immunometabolism,' a new interdisciplinary area that explores the role of the immune system in the co-morbidities of obesity, including Type 2 diabetes and cancer.


Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, PhD, RD (Chair-Elect, 2014-2016)

wendydemark wahnefried

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, PhD, RD, is professor and Webb Endowed Chair of Nutrition Sciences and the associate director for cancer prevention and control at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Demark-Wahnefried is a nutrition scientist with training in biochemistry, genetics, and behavioral science. She was recently recruited (spring 2010) from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center where she was a full professor in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences; earlier in her career she was at Duke University Medical Center. For the past two decades, her research career has spanned basic science studies focused on determining mechanisms of action of food-related components on neoplastic progression, to clinical research that involves nutrition-related concerns of cancer patients, as well as determining effective lifestyle interventions that improve the overall health of cancer survivors and their families. Her laboratory has conducted some of the largest studies exploring metabolic and body composition changes in response to cancer treatment. An area of research in which Dr. Demark-Wahnefried has experienced particular success is the delivery of home-based lifestyle interventions among cancer survivors, where she has led and continues to lead a number of NIH-funded trials aimed at improving the diet and exercise behavioral of cancer survivors. She was a named a Komen Professor of Survivorship for her work in this arena.

Dr. Demark-Wahnefried serves on the several boards and panels, including the American Cancer Society, several NIH standing and ad-hoc committees, and the World Cancer Fund. Her research interests include diet/hormonal and genetic interactions and their association with neoplasia (specifically breast and prostate cancer); dietary intervention to prevent chronic disease factors affecting compliance and recidivism; and lifestyle modification among cancer survivors.


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