SCOPE Fellows

SCOPE Fellows

Biographies (L-Z)

Below is a list of the obesity experts who have been awarded a National or International SCOPE Fellowship

This page lists SCOPE Fellows with names beginning L-Z. For names beginning A-K, click below:

SCOPE Fellows (A-K)

Dr Lars Sjöström, Sweden, was awarded a SCOPE Founding Fellowship in 2004.

Prof László Halmy, Hungary, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2005.

László is one of the principal experts on obesity in Hungary with over thirty five years of experience. He was formerly the editor in chief of Sports and Health Science and Obesitoloia Hungarica. He is the founder president of the Hungarian Society for the Study of obesity and a leading member of the the board of the Hungarian Scientific Society of Law Enforcement. László has received a number of prestigious national awards, including the Ministerial Dagger of Honour for Scientific Reseach and the Medal for Scientific Research and Organisation.

Dr Lee Kaplan, USA, was awarded a SCOPE International Fellowship in 2012.

Dr Ljiljana Calovic, Serbia, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2005.

Prof Louise Baur, Australia, was awarded a SCOPE International Fellowship in 2012.

Louise is Professor and Head of Child and Adolescent Health at the University of Sydney. She is a consultant paediatrician and former head of Weight Management Services at The Children's Hospital at Westmead.

Louise is on the Editorial Board of Pediatric Obesity. She is the Director of the Australian National Health & Medical Research Council’s Centre of Research Excellence in the Early Prevention of Obesity in Childhood.

Louise is a Founding Fellow, and member of Council, of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. In 2010 she was made a member of the Order of Australia “for service to medicine, particularly in the field of paediatric obesity as a researcher and academic, and to the community through support for a range of children's charities”.

Dr Luc van Gaal, Belgium, was awarded a SCOPE Founding Fellowship in 2004.

Luc studied medicine at the University of Antwerp, where he graduated in 1978. He obtained a specialist degree in internal medicine and afterwards in endocrinology and metabolism in 1983. Since then, he has become responsible for the Metabolic Unit at the University Hospital Antwerp. In 1992 he became Professor of Medicine at Antwerp University and is currently head of the department of Diabetology, Metabolism and Clinical Nutrition of the University Hospital. Professor Van Gaal’s main clinical and research interests are related to obesity, type 2 diabetes and lipid metabolism. He is a member of many scientific, national and international societies and a member of the Editorial Board of a series of scientific journals. He is currently Secretary of the Belgian Association for the Study of Obesity (BASO) and Past-President of the Belgian Diabetic Society. In 2000, he was the co-President of the 10th European Congress on Obesity, organized in Antwerp in May 2000. He has published more than 150 papers in international medical journals, mainly in the areas of general endocrinology, obesity, diabetes and lipids and has contributed to a number of textbooks about obesity.

Dr Magdalena Kujawska-Luczak, Poland, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2006.

Dr Magdalena Olszanecka-Glinianowicz, Poland, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2006.

Dr Maia Konstantinova, Bulgaria, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2006.

Dr Manuel Carrillo Blanchar, Spain, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2005.

Prof Marco Bueter, Switzerland, was awarded a SCOPE International Fellowship in 2012.

Marco completed his surgical specialisation at the Department of Surgery, University of Würzburg, Germany in 2008. Here he developed an interest in surgery of the upper gastrointestinal tract with a focus on bariatric surgery, publishing several clinical studies on the outcome of gastric banding. After being awarded with a Research Fellowship Grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG), he spent two years as a Bariatric Research Fellow in the Department of Investigative Medicine at the Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London, under supervision of Dr Carel le Roux and Prof Stephen Bloom. Dr Bueter now works as a Consultant Surgeon in the Department of Surgery at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. 

Marco developed a Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB) rat model which served as the basis for his investigations of energy intake and expenditure, and has published several studies on the topic. His findings demonstrate that RYGB changes food perception and thus eating behavior, as well as preventing the expected decrease in energy expenditure subsequent to weight loss in diet-induced obese rats. These results offer an additional explanation as to why RYGB surgery is superior to dieting for long-term weight loss maintenance. Dr Bueter’s findings significantly contribute to the elucidation of underlying mechanisms of obesity surgery and to the development of new therapies that are less dangerous than, but equally effective as, surgical treatment. 

Dr Marie Kunesova, Czech Republic, was awarded a SCOPE Founding Fellowship in 2004.

Marie is past president of the Czech Society for the Study of Obesity. She is head of the Obesity Management Centre in the Institute of Endocrinology and associated Prof. of the Internal Medicine in the 1st Medical Faculty of the Charles University in Prague. Marie has been involved in education and obesity management for over 10 years where successful educational programs have been run in the Czech Republic at the Charles University.

Dr Marie-Laure Frelut, France, was awarded a SCOPE Founding Fellowship in 2004.

Marie-Laure is a paediatrician specialing in nutrition and childhood obesity. She has spent most of her career working in Paris Children University Hospitals. Marie-Laure is a founding member of SCOPE, past president of the European Childhood Obesity Group (ECOG), the editor of the ECOG’s first free eBook on child and adolescent obesity, and won the Nutrition aAward of the French Academy of Medicine. She is the Deputy Chair of World Obesity's Clinical Care Committee.

Dr Mariusz Wylezol, Poland, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2007.

Dr Martin Binks, USA, was awarded a SCOPE International Fellowship in 2012.


Martin  PhD is CEO of Binks Behavioral Health PLLC. He is a clinical psychologist specializing in behavioral medicine and obesity. His professional activities include consultation services in healthcare, research and corporate wellness environments for the development of evidence-based obesity and wellness programs. He also offers a range of team building activities. Binks Behavioral Health services include weight loss, bariatric surgery support, and motivational coaching both in-person and via telehealth.
 
Martin received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Fairleigh Dickenson University, trained at the Bronx VA Medical Center and completed pre and postdoctoral training in behavioral medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. He is formerly Assistant Professor, Division of Medical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, at Duke University Medical Center where he served as Director of Behavioral Health, Research, and New Business and Strategic Alliances at the Duke Diet & Fitness Center.  

Martin  has authored and co-authored multiple research publications and the book The Duke Diet. Dr. Binks has an ongoing research program that includes both corporate and National Institutes of Health sponsored projects. His research interests include internet and other technology-based healthcare delivery, obesity treatment for adults and children, bariatric surgery, and health disparities. He serves as a reviewer on several scientific journals and is as an editorial board member for the International Journal of Obesity and ISRN Obesity. 

Martin is a fellow and currently active in several leadership positions at the national scientific organization The Obesity Society and is a member of The World Obesity Federation  serving on their SCOPE Education and Management Task Force. Martin has also been a contributor with the Army National Guard Decade of Health and Wounded Warriors programs.

Dr Martin Fried, Czech Republic, was awarded a SCOPE Founding Fellowship in 2004.

Dr Mathias Weck, Germany, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2004.

Dr Matthew Sabin, Australia, was awarded a SCOPE International Fellowship in 2006.

Matthew trained at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals in London (UK) and undertook general paediatric training in England, before completing higher specialist training in paediatric endocrinology and diabetes in Melbourne, Australia. He is as a Consultant in the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, as well as Senior Research Fellow at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, a Lecturer at the University of Melbourne, and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Physiology at Monash University. His PhD investigated the links between childhood obesity and early Type 2 diabetes, and he has built his current research program from this platform.

He is nationally and internationally recognised as an expert in the clinical management of overweight and obese children, and is a current recipient of an NHMRC Postdoctoral Training Fellowship for his work in this area. He is a member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in the UK, and a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

Current clinical research endeavours involve the collection of comprehensive data from overweight and obese children allowing further investigation into the role of genetics vs. environment in the development of obesity-related disease. Laboratory research focuses on investigations into the role that early nutrition plays in altering susceptibility to later obesity and diabetes, as well as probing ways in which processes underlying these relationships can be altered by growth factors and modulators of inflammation.
 

Dr Maximo Maislos, Israel, was awarded a SCOPE International Fellowship in 2004.

Prof Michal Holecki, Poland, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2009.

Michal is an alumnus of Medical University of Silesia (2001). He is currently holding  a position of a Professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine and Metabolic Diseases, Head of the Department of Internal Medicine in the District Railway Hospital in Katowice, and the vice-Dean of the School of Health Science, Medical University of Silesia. He is the specialist in the field of Internal Medicine, Nephrology, Diabetology and European SCOPE Fellow. Prof. Holecki was a Representative of Young Investigators United Board from EASO's Middle Region (2010-2015), and since 2015 has been a member of OMTF (Obesity Management Task Force). He is a member of EASO, World Obesity, the Multidisciplinary Osteoporotic Forum and PASO (where he holds the position of secretary). He was an Associate Editor of Clinical Obesity (2011-2015), is an editor of Annales Academiae Medicae Silesiensis, and member of the Editorial Board of Obesity & Metabolic Surgery. Michal's research is mainly focused on the study of influence of obesity and weight change on bone metabolism and fracture risk. Moreover, he is interested in the problem of obesity induced hypertension, chronic kidney failure and glomerulonephritis, diabetes management in patients with obesity. He is an author of 101 articles published in peer-reviewed journals. 

Dr Mikael Fogelholm, Finland, was awarded a SCOPE International Fellowship in 2012.

Mikael is a Professor for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He started in this position in August 2011. Before the current position, Prof. Fogelholm has been, e.g., director of the UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research in Tampere, Finland (2001-2007), and the director for the Health Research Unit at the Academy of Finland (2007-2011). Mikael’s basic training is in human nutrition. He got his M.Sc. in 1985 and D.Sc. degree in 1992. 

With a strong background in both nutrition and physical activity, his main research interest has been in the effects of both diet and physical activity on obesity. Besides interventions and population-based studies, he has also several methodological publications related to assessment of body composition and energy expenditure. Mikael has been active in producing material for textbooks, both in Finnish and in English. He was the president of the ECO 2003 in Helsinki, and a member of the scientific committee for ECO in Antwerp 2000 and Athens 2005. Mikael was also a founder of the Finnish Association for Study on Obesity, and a president for FASO during years 2002—2004. Besides research and educational duties at the university, Mikael has devoted much time in translating scientific result into practice. He is, among other groups, a member in the working group for the new Nordic Nutrition Recommendations, and also a member of the National Nutrition Council in Finland. His free-time sports activities include long-distance running (around the year), orienteering (summer) and cross-country skiing (winter).

Prof Michael Lean, UK, was awarded a SCOPE International Fellowship in 2012.

Michael holds the Chair of Human Nutrition at the University of Glasgow and is Consultant Physician at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. He trained in medicine at the University of Cambridge and St Bartholomew’s Hospital specialising in general medicine, diabetes and endocrinology.  He is a leading authority and researcher on diabetes, obesity and human nutrition, and frequently appears on radio, TV and newspapers.

He returned to Cambridge to join the Medical Research Council and University of Cambridge Dunn Nutrition Unit, to develop a research career in nutrition, specialising in diabetes, and in obesity and energy balance, which included writing a thesis on brown adipose tissue in humans. In 1990, he was appointed to lead and develop a new university department of Human Nutrition, in Glasgow, teaching and directing research into human nutrition and its impact on many different aspects of health and medical practice.  His research has had high impact, with H-score 55, averaging over 72 citations for 291 published papers.

Michael has increasingly become involved in public health and health promotion measures to prevent disease, and to promote good health through healthy eating.  From 1995 to 2003, he was a non-executive director of the Health Education Board for Scotland.  As a co-author of many clinical guidelines, he was central to the Scottish Diet Working Group and a co-author/advisor of the Diet Action Plan and SIGN guidelines on Obesity published in 1996 and 2010. From 2002 to 2007, he was Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Research of the Food Standards Agency (London) and he was on the expert advisory panel of the Joint Health Claims Initiative, which evaluated the Health Claims made by the food industry.

He was a founder of Counterweight, the national primary care weight management programme and has a major role in its research outputs, and completed a 6-month Leverhulme fellowship in Denver, Colorado, to develop approaches for preventing obesity and its clinical consequences, and engaging both government and industry partners. Professor Lean holds visiting professorships at the University of Otago and Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.

Dr Monika Lechleitner, Austria, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2007.

Dr Nadim Haboubi, UK, was awarded a SCOPE International & National Fellowship in 2013.

Dr Natascha Potoczna, Switzerland, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2010.

Prof Nicholas Katsilambros, Greece, was awarded a SCOPE Founding Fellowship in 2004.

Nicholas is Professor Emeritus of Internal Medicine at the Medical School of the University of Athens, Greece. He completed his medical studies at the same Medical School, where he also undertook his Doctoral Thesis. He worked as Humbolt Stipendiat for two years at the University of Ulm, Germany and then as Clinical Fellow at the Joslin Diabetes Clinic for one year. In 1976 he was elected docent at the Medical School of the University of Athens, where his academic career culminated with his being elected Full Professor of Internal Medicine and Director of the First Department of Propaedeutic Medicine in 1995. He served in this position for 12 consecutive years. He has published and lectured extensively in the fields of diabetes and obesity, both in Greece and internationally. He is author in over 10 books, and more than 200 publications in peer-reviewed international journals, which have been cited 2200 times in the literature.

Prof Nick Finer, UK, was awarded a SCOPE Founding Fellowship in 2004.

Nick is Consultant Endocrinologist and Bariatric Physician at University College Hospital, London, and Honorary Professor in the National Centre for Cardiovascular Preventions and Outcomes within the Institute of Cardiovascular Science at University College London. Elected as a Fellow of Royal College of Physicians, North American Obesity Society and the Association for Nutrition, Finer also chairs World Obesity/Clinical Care (formerly IASO EMTF); he is past-chair of the UK Association for the Study of Obesity. He was awarded the Bisset-Hawkins Medal ‘for work in advancing sanitary science or in promoting public health’ by the Royal College of Physicians.


Nick co-authored the Royal College of Physicians report ‘Action on obesity: comprehensive care for all’, is a member of the UK Government Advisory Group on Obesity, the Clinical Reference Group that advises NHS England on specialist obesity services, and the NICE Public Health Advisory Group; he is Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Obesity. Finer’s research focuses on clinical aspects of obesity with over 150 peer-reviewed scientific papers, 3 books and 20 book chapters, and he has been invited widely as a speaker at International congresses on obesity, diabetes, endocrinology and cardiovascular disease. 

Prof Nicolae Hancu, Romania, was awarded a SCOPE Founding Fellowship in 2004.

Nicolae is the director of the Nutrition and Metabolic Department at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He has a renowned international reputation and has been a member of European Scientific Committees and a member of the Council of European Association for the Study of Diabetes. In Romania he is the President of both the Romanian Federation of Diabetes, Nutrition and Metabolic Disease and the Romanian Association for the Study of Obesity. Nicolae has authored over 200 scientific papers and 10 scientific books on diabetes and diabetes related issues. He is a leading member of editorial boards in Romania and was a member of the Board of Review Editors for international Diabetes Monitor between 2003 and 2006.

Dr Nimantha de Alwis, UK, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2019.

Dr Ole Lander Svendsen, Denmark, was awarded a SCOPE Founding Fellowship in 2004.

Dr Olga van der Baan-Slootweg, Netherlands, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2006.

Prof Olivier Ziegler was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2006.

Olivier  works at the Nancy Henri Poincaré University and is head of  the Department of Diabetology, Metabolic Diseases and  Nutrition at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nancy.  He is the National French Coordinator for SCOUT : Sibutramine Cardio-vascular OutCome Trial. Since 1994 he has been a leading member of the French Association for Studies and Research in Obesity (AFERO) and the French Society of Nutrition (since 1994).

Dr Paul Zimmet, Australia, was awarded a SCOPE International Fellowship in 2012.

Dr Pavol Holeczy, Slovakia, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2004.

Dr Pawel Bogdanski, Poland, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2006.

Prof Peter Kopelman, UK, was awarded a SCOPE Founding Fellowship in 2004.

Peter has a long-standing interest in diabetes care and initiated a district-wide scheme for integrated care in East London. He established an Obesity Clinic at the Royal London Hospital 30 years ago that has a national reputation and receives referrals from around the United Kingdom. Professor Kopelman’s major research interest is in the field of obesity and includes endocrine aspects and possible genetic determinants, the pathophysiology of associated complications and, most particularly, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and their management. He is currently interested in policies for the prevention of obesity.

Peter is a past chairman of the Association for the Study of Obesity, past President of the European Association for the Study of Obesity, and a former Trustee of the International Association for the Study of Obesity. He is a member of the Department of Health and Food Standards Agency Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition and a large number of other national and international committees. He was the inaugural chairman of the Royal College of Physicians Committee on Nutrition and has chaired the College’s Working Parties on the management of obesity and nutritional care of patients. Peter has had senior university management responsibilities at Queen Mary, University of London and the University of East Anglia. He is currently Principal of St George’s, University of London.

Dr Petru Bartha, Israel, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2005.

Prof Philip James, UK, was awarded a SCOPE Founding Fellowship in 2004.

Philip is an honorary member of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He established the International Obesity Task Force in 1996 and as chair is currently responsible for the funding and organisation of global initiatives relating to food and health with particular emphasis on the pandemic of obesity. He is currently chair of the Presidential Council of Global Prevention Alliance tackling the global epidemic of chronic diseases with 5 global medical societies related to World Health Organisation (WHO). Philip advises governments throughout the world on how to tackle the epidemic of obesity and chronic disease and is the Past President of World Obesity. He also developed the lithium technique for tracking salt sources for managing hypertension, the United Nation's system for calculating individual patient and population energy needs and the WHO Millennium analyses showing excess weight as in the top risk factors for global ill health with major impacts in the developing world. Philip chairs the SCOUT trial on weight management with sibutramine in high risk cardiovascular patients and led the first clinical trial on orlistat and the STORM study on sibutramine.

Dr Pierre Zelissen, Netherlands, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2004.

Pierre  specialises in (neuro) endocrinology and obesity. He has worked for over 20 years in the Endocrinology Department of the University Medical Centre Utrecht on a PhD thesis on obesity research. Dr Zelissen is a member of the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO), is recognized as a European member of SCOPE (the Specialist Certification of Obesity Professional in Europe) and has been part of the board of the Dutch Association for the Study of Obesity. He has (co-) authored over 60 scientific studies on obesity and endocrinology and currently serves on several boards including the Dutch Society for Internal Medicine. 

Dr Piotr Kocelak, Poland, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2012.

Prof Rachel Batterham, UK, was awarded a SCOPE International Fellowship in 2013.

Rachel  leadsthe University College London Hospital Bariatric Centre for Weight Management & Metabolic Surgery and the University College London Centre for Obesity Research. She is recognised internationally for her research focused on body weight regulation. Her work has played a key role in identifying gut hormones as tractable therapeutic targets for obesity. She has received several prestigious awards including the Andre Mayer award from the World Obesity Federation (2016), the Diabetes UK Rank Fund Nutrition Prize (2015), the Lilly Scientific Achievement Award from The Obesity Society (2014), and the Linacre Medical from the Royal College of Physicians (2010). She has made significant clinical contributions to defining the management of obese patients through her membership of the NICE Obesity Guideline Development Group and Royal College of Physicians Advisory Group on Health and Weight.

Dr Rafael Gomez Cuevas, Spain, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2011.

Dr Reza Amani, Iran, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2019.

Dr Richard Welbourn, UK, was awarded a SCOPE International Fellowship in 2012.

Richard is a Consultant Surgeon in Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, where he developed a regional bariatric surgery programme in 2003.  He led the unit to become the South West Level 1 designated bariatric surgery centre in 2009, and in the same year led the hospital’s application to become the first International Center of Excellence for Bariatric Surgery outside the USA, the first international centre to be recognized in this way.  The unit has performed well over 2,000 procedures, mainly gastric bypass and gastric banding, and he has trained many other consultants in bariatric surgery.

In 2007 he was commissioned by the 3 upper GI specialist societies to lead the development of the United Kingdom National Bariatric Surgery Registry (NBSR) in collaboration.  In April 11 he was lead author of the first Annual Report detailing operative complication and mortality rates in more than 8,000 patients in the UK.  

He has collaborated in clinical research with Professor Carel le Roux and Professor Sir Steve Bloom in Imperial College London.  He is also lead surgeon and co-investigator on the By-Band RCT of gastric bypass versus gastric banding, where the PI is Professor Jane Blazeby.  This multi-centre study, funded by the HTA branch of the National Institute of Health Research, aims to recruit 760 patients to compare these two operations for obesity.  

He has taught and led courses on laparoscopic surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons and developed the first UK cadaveric bariatric surgery course in conjunction with the Clinical Anatomy Suite of Bristol University in 2010.  He is also invited faculty on the Dundee Thiel cadaver bariatric course from its start in 2010.

Dr Rohan Ganguli, Canada, was awarded a SCOPE International Fellowship in 2012.

Rohan is Professor of Psychiatry and Canada Research Chair at the University of Toronto, Senior Scientist at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, and Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (University of Toronto).  He is also Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, in the US.  

Over the last 35 years, his research focus has been on the development of interventions for individuals suffering from serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other psychotic illnesses.  Currently he is developing and refining treatment strategies to reduce premature mortality in this population, by altering the prevalence and severity of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, by means of weight reduction through lifestyle change. 

Rohan has received research grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health research (CIHR), the Public Health agency of Canada (PHAC), Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA), US National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Stanley Research Foundation, National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), and from the pharmaceutical industry.  

He has also received numerous awards a few of which include, a Research Scientist Development Award from the NIMH, an Established Investigator Award from NARSAD, Psychiatrist of the year and Professional of the Year from the National Alliance for Mental Illness(NAMI), the 2012 Gold Medal for Scientific Achievement from the Canadian Association of Physicians of Indian Heritage, and the 2012 President’s Award from the Pennsylvania Community Providers’ Association.  He also continues to practice as a clinician, working with individuals suffering from serious mental illness and their caregivers.
 

Dr Samyah Shadid, Netherlands, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2006.

Dr Serena Tonstad, Norway, was awarded a SCOPE Founding Fellowship in 2004.

Dr Shahrad Taheri, UK, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2010.

Shahrad Taheri joined Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) in August 2013 as Professor of Medicine and Director of the Clinical Research Core . Dr. Taheri has extensive experience of leading the multi-professional care of patients with obesity and diabetes within the UK NHS. He has also led large multidisciplinary research teams aiming to develop, implement, and evaluate clinical services for patients with diabetes and obesity.


Shahrad’s research experience extends from basic laboratory to human intervention, and population studies. His research interests are increasingly focused on the development, conduct, and implementation of a range of clinical trials into diabetes and obesity, and linking these trials to investigation of disease mechanisms through laboratory studies.


Shahrad has a vibrant portfolio of research studies into diabetes, obesity, and sleep. His goal at WCMC-Q is to develop and lead an internationally recognized, dedicated, collaborative research group performing clinically relevant investigation into diabetes and obesity, and their complications. This approach aims to have a major impact on public health, patient care, and advancement of medical science, making a significant contribution to Qatar’s healthcare system and Qatar’s vision to develop as a center of excellence in medical research.

Dr Shyam Kalavalapalli, India, was awarded a SCOPE International Fellowship in 2012.

Shyam  is the Director and Head of the Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Bariatrics at Sunshine Hospitals in Hyderabad, India where he oversees medical and surgical weight management services. He has worked as a Consultant at Salford Royal University Teaching Hospital, UK where he has managed pre and post op bariatric patients alongside running medical weight management clinics. Shyam has trained at reputed centres including Addenbrooke’s, Cambridge, John Radcliffe, Oxford, and Hammersmith at Imperial College London and various University Hospitals in Manchester, UK. He has a special interest in managing obesity and its complications amongst the South Asian population. 

Dr Simon Coppack, UK, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2006.

Simon is reader in Metabolic Medicine in the Academic Medical Unit at St. Bartholomew’s and The Royal London School of Medicine. His clinical interests (as Honorary Consultant Physician) include obesity, lipidology and diabetes mellitus as well as general (internal) medicine. Dr Coppack’s research interests are in the field of lipids, obesity, insulin resistance, non-insulin-dependent diabetes and nutritional fluxes. He has received numerous research awards. His research has been supported by research grants from the British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK, Wellcome Trust, The European Commission Framework V and others.

Dr Slobodan Antic, Serbia, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2005.

Dr Søren Toubro, Denmark, was awarded a SCOPE Founding Fellowship in 2004.

Dr Stefan Farsky, Slovakia, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2005.

Dr Stephan Jacob, Germany, was awarded a SCOPE Founding Fellowship in 2004.

Dr Stephan Rössner, Sweden, was awarded a SCOPE Founding Fellowship in 2004.

Dr Steve Heymsfield, USA, was awarded a SCOPE International Fellowship in 2012.

Steven is the Executive Director of Pennington Biomedical Research Center of the Louisiana State University System and he holds the George A. Bray, Jr. Chair in Nutrition.  Previously he was the Global Director of Scientific Affairs for the obesity franchise at Merck & Co. where he oversaw scientific aspects of the Company's obesity drug development program. Steven received a degree in medicine from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and he completed his internship and residency at Emory University, continuing on to become a Fellow in Medicine prior to his Columbia University appointment as Professor of Medicine and Deputy Director, New York Obesity Research Center, in 1986.

Steven has published more than 450 peer-reviewed papers covering topics such as obesity, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, malnutrition, pregnancy, body composition, and caloric expenditure. His contributions to the study of human nutrition led to the TOPS Award from NAASO, the Rhoads Award of the American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, and the Forbes Memorial Award Lecture, International Society of Body Composition Research. He was honored for his role in the FDA ban on ephedra, receiving the 2004 NYC Mayor's Award for Science and Technology.  Steven was elected Fellow of the American Society for Nutrition in 2009 and Fellow of the American Society of Parental and Enteral Nutrition in 2012a.

In addition to his strong interest in biological method development, Steven maintains an active clinical research program, extending his earlier research at Columbia University. Steven is past President of the American Society of Clinical Nutrition and of the American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.

Prof Sudhesh Kumar, UK, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2006.

Sudhesh is Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean (External Affairs) at Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick and Honorary Consultant Physician at the University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire, NHS Trust.  He is also the academic development Director for the University Hospital, Coventry. He moved here in September 2003 from the University of Birmingham, where he was Reader in Human Metabolism. Prof Kumar leads a multi-disciplinary research team that seeks to unravel the molecular basis of human body fat distribution, the defects that cause diabetes and heart disease, and to discover new ways of targeting treatment. The group is internationally reputed for its work on human fat cells.  In addition, he also runs a number of clinical studies including investigating novel approaches to delivery of care for obesity and new ways of delivering diabetes care to the Indo-Asian population. More recently he has established a human metabolism research facility at University Hospital, Coventry with whole body calorimeters, body composition and facilities for study of food and physical activity. He runs a comprehensive multi-disciplinary morbid obesity clinical service and has contributed to obesity service delivery strategy locally, regionally and nationally over the years. Prof Kumar has published over 175 papers relating to obesity and diabetes and edited 3 books on this subject.

Prof Svetoslav Handjiev, Bulgaria, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2006.

Svetoslav graduated as MD with a specialisation in internal medicine and nutrition and dietetics, and holds a PhD in nutrition. He has attended numerous training courses in nutrition, and issues of metabolism and dietetics. His current clinical position is as head of Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Metabolic Diseases, Transport Hospital, in Sofia. Prof. Svetoslav Handjiev is author of 12 books and over 230 publications on nutrition, dietetics, apitherapy (dietetics with bee products – honey, propolis, bee pollenation, royal jelly, etc.), re-creative nutrition, nutritional prevention, obesity and metabolic syndrome; author of food supplements with fibers, yoghurt, propolis, bee pollenation, pectin, mumio, etc. He is the founder member and current President of the Bulgarian Association for the Study of Obesity (BASORD), and is also the President of the Bulgarian Society for Healthy and Foods. Prof. Svetoslav Handjiev is the national coordinator of the pan-European project DiOGenes (www.diogenes-eu.org). Prof. Svetoslav Handjiev has been president of the organizing committee of international congresses on obesity and related diseases in 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2009.

Prof Teresa van der Merwe, South Africa, was awarded a SCOPE International Fellowship in 2013.

Tess van der Merwe is an Honorary Professor and Researcher in the Department of Endocrinology, University of Pretoria. She is also the director of the 8 Centres for Metabolic Medicine and Surgery of South Africa (CEMMS)(SA).  She was the Honorary Secretary of the International Association for the Study of Obesity for a period of 8 years and currently remains the Africa consultant for this association. In addition, she is the Honorary Life President of the South African Society for Obesity Metabolism (SASOM) and has served this organisation for more than 25 years. She is also the Director of the Waterfall City Hospital Metabolic Medicine and Surgery Centre Research group and is a full time clinician at this hospital. Under her guidance, the Waterfalls City hospital was awarded international accreditation to perform metabolic surgery, in November 2011, and is the only hospital in SA that carries this honour to date. She received her MBChB from the University of Pretoria, South Africa (1982) and was subsequently awarded an FCP (SA), before becoming a registered Endocrinologist and gaining her PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand. She was appointed as Associate Professor of Endocrinology at the University of the Witwatersrand 2003 – 2006.  From 1989 – 1995, she spent a large percentage of time with Professor P. Lonnroth and other esteemed colleagues at the Sahlgrenska Hospital in Goteborg, acquainting herself with various research models in cellular and clinical obesity. She has received numerous research grants.  Professor van der Merwe has also received numerous ballet and cultural awards prior to studying medicine. She matriculated with seven distinctions, as the top student in Gauteng in 1976.  Currently her primary clinical commitment is in the field of bariatric and metabolic surgery for obese and diabetic patients. She has been invited to chair prestigious international lectures and symposium, and been invited to do numerous research and keynote international lectures in her field of medicine. She currently serves  on the Scientific Board of the International Federation for Surgical Obesity.

Dr Thanasis Michalopoulos, Austria, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2007.

Dr Themistokolis Tzotzas, Greece, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2004.

Dr Theodosios Filippatos, Greece, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2016.

Dr Thomas Reinehr, Germany, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2004.

Dr Thomas Wadden, USA, was awarded a SCOPE International Fellowship in 2012.

Dr Tina Sentocnik, Slovenia, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2013.

Dr Valerie Taylor, Canada, was awarded a SCOPE International Fellowship in 2012.

Prof Vladimir Stich, Czech Republic, was awarded a SCOPE Founding Fellowship in 2004.

Vladimir  is currently Head of Department for Sports Medicine in the University Hospital Kralovske. Previously he was Physician and assistant at the Department of Nuclear Medicine and Internal Medicine between 1976 and 1984. In 1985 to 1987 he was Head of Laboratory of Clinical Biochemistry and Physiology and then in 1988 to 1994 he was a physician at the Unit of Obesity and Endocrinology in the University Hospital of Prague. Professor Stich’s research focus is on obesity. He is a member of the International Association for the study of Obesity and the Czech Association for the Study of Obesity.

Dr Vojtech Hainer, Czech Republic, was awarded a SCOPE Founding Fellowship in 2004.

Prof Volkan, Turkey, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2007.

Volkan was born in Istanbul Turkey in 1961. After graduating from Hacettepe Medical Faculty in Ankara he served as a general practitioner in a central anatolian village for two years. He completed his internal medicine residency in a state hospital in Istanbul in 1992 and started to work in the Division of Diabetes and Metabolism at Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty. In 1994 he went through a six month research fellowship in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at University of Michigan Medical School and learned pancreatic islet isolation techniques in rats. In 1997 he completed the clinical fellowship program in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at University of Alabama School of Medicine. After returning to Turkey  he became an associate professor in 1998 and a full professor in 2006. He is currently a faculty member in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism of the Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty. Volkan Yumunk’s research area is epidemiology of obesity and jis major clinical interests is management of obesity and diabetes. He is a founding member of the Turkish Association for the Study of Obesity and the Balkan Obesity Network, the chair of the EASO Obesity Management Task Force, a member of the executive committee for EASO, has chaired the 18th European Congress on Obesity in Istanbul in 2011 and is a scientific committee member for the 19th ECO in Lyon in 2012. He is a reviewer for the Obesity Reviews, Turkish Archives of Cardiology, Journal of the Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism of Turkey, Cerrahpasa Medical Journal.

Prof Wim Saris, Netherlands, was awarded a SCOPE Founding Fellowship in 2004.

Wim was appointed Professor of Human Nutrition at the Medical and Health Science faculty of Maastricht University in 1988. From 1992 till 2005 he was the scientific director of the Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute, NUTRIM. His major research interest focused on energy metabolism and substrate utilisation under different conditions, such as athletic performance, obesity, diabetes and cancer, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between daily physical activity, energy and substrate balance. Other interests are bone metabolism, the role of folic acid, gene/nutrient interaction in the gut and genetic susceptibility in relation to nutrition (nutrigenomics). Wim Saris was a member of the Dutch Health and Nutrition Council, the Scientific Committee on Food of the European Commissions in Brussels and has been chair of the Dutch RDA committee since 1985. He coordinated the EU 6th framework research project DiOGenes titled ‘Diet, Obesity and Genes’.

Dr Xavier Formiguera, Spain, was awarded a SCOPE Founding Fellowship in 2004.

Dr Yakov Fogelman, Israel, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2004.

Prof Yishai Levy, Israel, was awarded a SCOPE National Fellowship in 2004.

Yishai is a graduate of the Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine in Jerusalem. He did his Residency at Rambam Medical Centre in Haifa and Fellowships in Lipid Disorders and Clinical Nutrition at London, St Thomas' Hospital and at Memorial Sloan, Kettering in New York. Professor Levy’s fields of interest are obesity and inflammation, anti-oxidants (carotenoids) and lipoproteins. He is the Head of Medicine D and Lipid Disorders Clinic and a Clinical Associate Professor at the Rambam Health Care Campus and the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine of  the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel where he teaches Internal Medicine, Nutrition and Metabolism. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed original papers,reviews and editorials. He is an active member of the Israeli and European Societies of Obesity, Clinical Nutrition and Internal Medicine. Currently he is involved in the research of elderly subjects after nutritional and lifestyle interventions and in the follow-up of cardiovascular status in obese patients after bariatric surgical procedures.

This programme is partially supported by an unrestricted medical education grant from Novo Nordisk A/S.