TOS Honors Professor Xavier Pi-Sunyer at ObesityWeek® 2023

The Obesity Society (TOS) is excited to announce establishment of The Xavier Pi-Sunyer Award in honor of Professor Xavier Pi-Sunyer, MD. Dr. Pi-Sunyer is a founding member of The Obesity Society and served as president from 1994-1995. His dedicated service to the obesity community includes his work in understanding the physiology of obesity, developing new treatments, and developing the first obesity treatment guidelines, as well as sitting on boards and committees of various obesity-related associations and mentoring many of today’s leaders in obesity research and clinical care. This award will recognize a mid-career investigator. TOS anticipates announcement of the first recipient in 2024. Stay tuned for details on eligibility and nominations and make your donation towards this award today.

Dr. Xavier Pi-Sunyer: The Xavier Pi-Sunyer Award is being established to honor Professor Xavier Pi-Sunyer, MD. Pi-Sunyer is Director Emeritus of the New York Nutrition Obesity Research Center and Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. He is also Professor Emeritus in the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University.

For more than 40 years, Pi-Sunyer led the New York Nutrition Obesity Research Center, which has contributed so much in terms of research outcomes and developing leaders in our field. Pi-Sunyer was at the forefront of practicing and teaching on the management of obesity and led an active clinical practice team throughout his medical career. Pi-Sunyer served the obesity community as past president of The Obesity Society, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Society for Clinical Nutrition. He was a member of National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Committee on Clinical Guidelines for Obesity Treatment and Prevention from 2008-2010. This publication by the National Institutes of Health set guidelines for the BMI categories for underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obesity that were established as diagnostic criteria by the USA and by the World Health Organization (WHO). He served as a member of three expert task forces of the Institute of Medicine: Task Force on Opportunities in Nutrition and Food sciences (1991-1994), Committee on Nutrition Services for Medicare Beneficiaries (1999-2000), and Dietary References Intakes for Macronutrients (1999-2002). He served two terms on the Committee for the U.S. Dietary Guidelines of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture. This was influential on the declaration by the WHO of obesity as an international emergency in need of adequate intervention by member nations. He was Associate Editor and then Editor-in-Chief of the journal Obesity.

Dr. Pi-Sunyer was a founding member of the Diabetes Prevention Program, Look AHEAD Trial, and North American Association for the Study of Obesity (now known as NAASO The Obesity Society). He mentored numerous investigators and clinicians who pursued successful careers in obesity research and clinical care, many of whom are leaders in the field today. Dr. Pi-Sunyer received his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, his medical degree from Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and his master’s in public health from Harvard University; and has been in practice for more than 50 years with a specialty in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism. He served as Chief of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York City. Dr. Pi-Sunyer is Professor Emeritus of Medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City and remains active in the obesity community by serving as a board member and attends academic and Society meetings.

Dr. Pi-Sunyer was honored at ObesityWeek® 2023 in Dallas during the President’s Reception, where TOS officially commenced this award.