Here are some questions and answers from our interview with TOS Fellow Donald A. Williamson, PhD, FTOS, Professor Emeritus at Pennington Biomedical Research Center.
Q: What is your title and organizational affiliation?
A: I am a Professor Emeritus at Pennington Biomedical Research Center.
Q: Please tell us about your current work and your professional developmental trajectory?
A: In the early stages of my career, my obesity research program emphasized behavioral treatment of obesity and binge eating. I joined the faculty of Pennington Biomedical Research Center in 1990 as an adjunct Professor and joined the full-time faculty in 1999. PBRC allowed me to become involved in multi-disciplinary research involving clinical trial such as DPP, Look AHEAD and CALERIE. During the first decade of the 2000s, my interests focused more on obesity prevention in children, adolescents and adults.
Q: What is one of your professional or personal qualities that has contributed to your success?
A: The most important professional/personal quality for my success has been a strong interest in multi-disciplinary collaboration.
Q: What advice do you have for today's junior obesity researchers?
A: After earning a doctoral degree in a specialty area, (e.g., medicine, psychology, physiology) take advantage of opportunities to engage in research with experts who are outside your specialty area.
Q: What aspects of obesity research are the most exciting to you right now?
A: The most exciting area of current research is the utilization of electronic mobile devices to deliver, disseminate and monitor obesity treatment and prevention interventions to large populations.
Q: What are your favorite things to do when you're not at work?
A: My most favorite non-academic activities are golf and bridge.