Newswise — National Harbor, MD: Thousands of leading researchers and healthcare professionals from around the world will gather for the fifth annual ObesityWeek conference at The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland from Oct. 29–Nov. 2. The weeklong conference will have multiple keynote speakers and hundreds of scientific sessions addressing obesity research and medicine.

Notable scientific session – George L. Blackburn, MD, PhD Nutrition and Metabolism Symposium – is an inaugural symposium featuring three former Dr. Blackburn fellows at the New England Deaconess Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Each presentation will highlight a contribution to nutrition and metabolism by Dr. Blackburn.

Dr. Blackburn’s many academic leadership roles included the S. Daniel Abraham Chair, Professor of Nutrition Medicine and Associate Director of the Division of Nutrition at Harvard Medical School, the Scientific Director and founder of the Center for the Study of Nutrition Medicine (CSNM) in the Department of Surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Associate Director of the Boston Nutrition Obesity Research Center (BNORC), an NIH-funded research organization that conducts clinical trials in the areas of obesity and nutrition. Dr. Blackburn is a former President of The Obesity Society. Dr. Blackburn had a direct and major impact across multiple disciplines as a surgeon, clinician and researcher. An innovator and visionary, he made countless contributions in the fields of nutrition medicine, hyperalimentation, weight loss and obesity surgery, and his research led to advances in treatment and patient care. Over the course of his prolific career, Dr. Blackburn received eight major grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The first symposium talk – The Protein Sparing Modified Fast and Development of the Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) for Obesity Treatment – by Caroline M. Apovian, MD, FACP, DABOM, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics in the Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition at Boston University School of Medicine, will explore the origins of the very low calorie diet (VLCD) in the landmark studies that Drs. Blackburn and Bistrian published using intravenous amino acids to provide nutrition in hospitalized patients with obesity which preserved lean muscle mass while promoting fat oxidation and the development and persistence of ketosis for energy during critical illness.

The second symposium talk – The History of Bariatric Surgery and Development of Standards for Patient Safety and Efficacy – by Scott Shikora, MD, Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, will review the history of the development of present day bariatric surgery procedures and techniques and discuss the emergence of guidelines, spearheaded by Dr. Blackburn, for patient safety and efficacy.

The third symposium talk – Four Decades of Research Into Obesity, Inflammation and Critical Illness: A Basic Science Perspective – by Lyle Moldawer, PhD, Professor of Surgery, Vice Chairman for Research, Department of Surgery at University of Florida, will review four decades of research in nutrition and critical illness, much of which came from early studies by Drs. Blackburn and Bistrian in supporting critically ill patients with nutrition therapy both enterally and intravenously. The introduction and closing remarks will consolidate the enormity of contributions of Dr. Blackburn to the science of nutrition and obesity medicine.

View the full ObesityWeek schedule.

ObesityWeek is open to the media. If you would like a press pass to attend this event, please contact Robyn Gordon at [email protected].

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This press release can be published in full or in part with attribution to The Obesity Society.

About ObesityWeek

ObesityWeek is a unique, international event focused on the basic science, clinical application, surgical intervention and prevention of obesity. By combining The Obesity Society (TOS) and American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) annual meetings, ObesityWeek brings together world-renowned experts in obesity to share innovation and breakthroughs in science unmatched around the globe. Attendees will enjoy the diverse educational opportunities, networking events, and scientific synergies created through the collaboration of these leading obesity organizations. For more information, visit and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

About The Obesity Society

The Obesity Society (TOS) is the leading professional society dedicated to better understanding, preventing and treating obesity. Through research, education and advocacy, TOS is committed to improving the lives of those affected by the disease. For more information, visit and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Learn more about industry relationships here.