Here are some questions and answers from our interview with TOS Fellow Catherine L. Davis, PhD, FTOS, Professor of Pediatrics and Physiology at the Georgia Prevention Center at the Medical College of Georgia, Division of Clinical & Translational Science at Georgia Regents University.
Q: What is your title and organizational affiliation?
A: I am a professor of pediatrics, physiology, and graduate studies for the Georgia Prevention Center at the Georgia Regents University's Medical College of Georgia.
Q: Can you tell us about your current work and your professional developmental trajectory?
A: I achieved promotion through the ranks of Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor and tenure at the Medical College of Georgia while pursuing my research interests with support from NIH R01s from 2003 forward. I now spend more of my time in university and extramural service advocating for junior faculty, especially in promotion and tenure and research funding contexts.
Q: What is one of your professional or personal qualities that has contributed to your success?
A: Independence with passion, dedication and persistence (a.k.a. stubbornness).
Q: What advice do you have for today's junior obesity researchers?
A: When someone tells you something is impossible, it's time to prove them wrong. Find the mentors that will advocate for you and personal allies that will support you through thick and thin.
Q: What aspects of obesity research are the most exciting to you right now?
A: Application of exercise-cognition work to pediatric conditions such as ADHD and disruptive behavior disorders that have such a major impact on life trajectories and disproportionately affect underserved children and communities. I am also interested in interdisciplinary work with experts across educational, medical, neuroscience, child development, policy and other sectors to influence the lives of children across our nation and, hopefully, the world.
Q: What are your favorite things to do when you're not at work?
A: Enjoying the company of human and animal friends, eating well, gardening, music, film and sleep.