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Basic Science Keynote Speaker

C. Ronald Kahn, MD


Mary K. Iacocca Professor, Harvard Medical School
Chief Academic Officer, Joslin Diabetes Center
Developmental Genes and miRNAs in Control of Body Fat

Tuesday, November 4th | 8:15am – 9:15am

C. Ronald Kahn was born and educated in Louisville, KY. After training in internal medicine at Washington University, he moved to the National Institutes of Health as a Clinical Associate (fellow) in the Endocrinology Branch. Over the next 11 years, Kahn rose to become the Head of the Section on Cellular and Molecular Physiology of the Diabetes Branch in NIDDK. In 1981, Kahn moved to Boston to become Research Director of the Joslin Diabetes Center and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. In 1984, he became Professor of Medicine at Harvard and in 1986 was awarded the Mary K. Iacocca Professorship. From 2000 to 2007, Kahn served as President and Director of the Joslin Diabetes Center and is currently its Chief Academic Officer. Under his leadership, Joslin research grew more than 20-fold, and clinical and educational activity tripled.

In addition to his research activity and leadership roles at Joslin, Kahn served as President of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, chaired multiple Keystone Symposia and the Hormone Action Gordon Conference, and served as member of the Medical Science Advisory Boards of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and American Diabetes Association. At the national level, he co-chaired the National Diabetes Advisory Board, was a member of the NIDDK Board of Scientific Counselors, and chaired of the Congressionally-mandated Diabetes Research Working Group (DRWG), which developed a diabetes research plan for the entire U.S.A. He also served as Chair of Class IV of the National Academy of Sciences (Medical Sciences) and has been on numerous editorial Boards, including a founding editor of Cell Metabolism. During this entire time and continuing to the present, Kahn’s laboratory remains at the cutting edge of diabetes research.

In recognition of his research accomplishments, Dr. Kahn has received many honors. He is the recipient of the highest scientific honors of the American Diabetes Association (Eli Lilly Award and Banting Medal for Distinguished Scientific Achievement), the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (David Rumbough Award), the Endocrine Society (Astwood Lecture and Conrad Koch Award for Distinguished Research); the International Diabetes Federation (Cristobal Diaz Award); the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (the Claude Bernard Medal); the British Society for Endocrinology (Dale Medal); Pediatric Endocrine Society (Lawson Wilkins Award); the Bristol Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Metabolic Research; the Rolf Luft Award of the Karolinska Institute; the Jacobaeus Prize, Novo Nordisk Foundation; as well as awards given broadly in the field of biomedical research including the Allyn B. Taylor International Prize in Medicine of Canada; the Steven C. Beering Award for Advancement of Biomedical Science from Indiana University; the Outstanding Young Investigator Award of American Federation for Clinical Research; and the Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence from the United Arab Emirates. Most recently, Dr. Kahn was named the first recipient of the Manpei Suzuki International Prize for Diabetes, a prize which recognizes a single individual as the leading researcher in the field of diabetes worldwide.

Kahn has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and is an Honorary Member of the British Society for Endocrinology. Kahn has been identified as one of the Most-Cited Scientists and “most highly influential scientists and scholars” by The Scientist magazine and ISI. He has given many prestigious honorary lectureships and has been awarded honorary degrees from the the Université de Paris Pierre et Marie Curie, the University of Geneva, Washington University in St. Louis, Beijing University, the University of Copenhagen, and the University of Louisville. In addition, Dr. Kahn has trained over 150 fellows and doctoral students, many of whom are now leading researchers and academicians at institutions throughout the world.  

General Keynote Speaker

Jim Marks, MD, MPH


Senior VP, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Building a Culture of Health: The Childhood Obesity Story

Wednesday, November 5th | 10:30am – 11:30am

James S. Marks, M.D., M.P.H., directs the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Portfolio Group, which includes work to catalyze demand for healthy places and practices, building bridges between health and healthcare, vulnerable populations and health-related disparity reduction.

Prior to joining RWJF in 2004, Marks retired as assistant surgeon general after serving as director of the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion for almost a decade. Throughout his tenure at CDC, Marks developed and advanced systematic ways to prevent and detect diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes, reduce tobacco use and address the nation’s growing epidemic of obesity.

A national leader in public health who has been an advocate of strengthening public health systems and services for more than 35 years, Marks has received numerous federal, state, and private awards, including the U.S. Public Health Service Distinguished Service Award, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists’ Pump Handle Award, the Association of State and Territorial Chronic Disease Directors’ Award for Excellence, the American Cancer Society’s Distinguished Service Award, and the National Arthritis Foundation’s Special Award of Appreciation. In 2004, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine. He is an emeritus member of the board of directors of C-Change, whose members are the nation’s key cancer leaders from government, business, and nonprofit sectors. He has published extensively in the areas of maternal and child health, health promotion and chronic disease prevention, and has served on many government and nonprofit committees devoted to improving the public’s health.

Marks received an M.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He trained as a pediatrician at the University of California at San Francisco, and was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Yale University, where he received his M.P.H. He and his wife, Judi, a retired high school guidance counselor, live in Princeton and have two children, both pursuing careers in medicine.

ASMBS Keynote Speakers:

Integrated Health Keynote Speaker – Rebecca Puhl, PhD


Deputy Director, Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, Yale University
Addressing Obesity Stigma in Health Care: Challenges, Remedies, and Implications for Bariatric Care

Tuesday, November 4th | 1:15pm – 2:15pm

Presenting as a part of the ASMBS Integrated Health Program

Dr. Rebecca Puhl is the Deputy Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University.

As a Senior Research Scientist, she coordinates research and policy efforts aimed at reducing weight bias and improving the quality of life of children and adults affected by obesity. Dr. Puhl received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Yale University. She has conducted research on weight bias for 14 years and has published numerous studies on weight-based bullying in youth, weight bias in health care and the media, interventions to reduce weight bias, and the impact of weight stigma on emotional and physical health.

Dr. Puhl has testified in state legislative hearings on weight bias, routinely provides expertise on this issue to State Departments of Health and national health organizations, and has developed evidence-based trainings to reduce weight bias that have been implemented in medical facilities across the country. Dr. Puhl has emerged as the leading national expert in the field of weight bias, and her research is routinely reported on in national and international media.

Dr. Puhl has previously served on the Council of The Obesity Society, and on the Board of Directors for the Obesity Action Coalition. In 2013, she was awarded the Excellence in Policy Research Award from the National Eating Disorders Coalition. More information on Dr. Puhl’s work is available at

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