Here are some questions and answers from our interview with TOS Fellow Harold Bays MD, FACE, FNLA, FTOS, Medical Director and President of Louisville Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Research Center.
Q: What is your title and organizational affiliation?
A: I am the Medical Director and President of Louisville Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Research Center. I received my BA from Western Kentucky University and my medical degree from University of Louisville School of Medicine. In completed my internship, residency and Fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
Q: Please tell us about your current work and your professional developmental trajectory.
A: I am Board Certified in Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, and am a Diplomat of the American Board of Clinical Lipidology as well as American Board of Obesity Medicine. I have served as an Investigator for more than 400 Phase I - IV clinical trials regarding treatments for dyslipidemias, obesity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and other metabolic and hormonal disorders. As Medical Director and President of Louisville Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Research Center, I have written, or served as a contributing author to, more than 200 published scientific manuscripts and book chapters, as well as more than 100 scientific abstracts presented at major scientific meetings.
Q: What is one of your professional or personal qualities that has contributed to your success?
A: Personally, I strive to treat others with respect, even when others seem to go out of their way to disrespect me. Professionally, I reject that we already know every "easy" essential scientific truth. An infinite number of fundamental discoveries are in the queue, just waiting for curious-minded persons with courage, relentlessness and available platforms to pick them out and embarrass us all with the ridiculously obvious nature of each.
Q: What advice do you have for today's junior obesity researchers?
A: Four quotes I have found especially useful regarding research: (1) A truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. (Author = Arthur Schopenhauer) (2) A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. (Author = Max Planck) (3) I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives. (Author = Tolstoy) (4) The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. (Author = Marcus Aurelius)
Q: What aspects of obesity research are the most exciting to you right now?
A: The research data and world continues to gravitate towards the position that adipocytes and adipose tissue are no longer considered inert storage cells and organ. Rather, it is the pathos of adipocytes and adipose tissue (adiposopathy) that is both a direct, and indirect contributor to the most common metabolic diseases encountered in clinical practice (type 2 diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, dyslipidemia).
Q: What are your favorite things to do when you're not at work?
A: Nowadays, I am never "not at work" - a potential lesson for early research Investigators. However, I do maintain a regular physical exercise program, and in the past: 1973-1974: Busboy, Dishwasher 1974-1976: Cook 1976-1978: Janitor 1978-1980: Clerk/Cashier 1980-1990: Musician 1989-1999: National Touring Professional Stand-Up Comedian.