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Eventbrite - Southeastern Pediatric Nutrition Conference 


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Reserve your room at the Blockade Runner today and stay on-site to attend both days of the conference and the reception.

Donald R. Dengel, Ph.D
Donald Dengel, Ph.D., is a professor in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota. He serves as the Director of the Human Performance Core and Densitometry Services at the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, which provides clinical vascular, metabolic, exercise and body composition testing for researchers across the University of Minnesota. Dr. Dengel also directs the Human Performance Teaching Laboratory for the School of Kinesiology, which is one of the leading teaching facilities for both human and exercise physiology as well as anatomy and biomechanics laboratory methods in the United States.
Karen Edwards, PhD, MS
Dr. Edwards is an Affiliate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of California, Irvine. Her primary research interest is in the area of Genetic Epidemiology, where she focuses most of her research on Diabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome. However, she works on a broad range of topics and disease areas that also include
Cardiovascular Disease, Melanoma and Parkinson’s Disease. Her work currently involves using family-based
approaches and sequencing to identify genetic influences with pleiotropic effects on Diabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome. She is also interested in interactions between environmental factors (diet) and genetic susceptibility to complex disease.
Elizabeth Estrada, MD
The focus of Dr. Estratda’s pediatric endocrinology career has been the prevention and treatment of Type 2 Diabetes and Childhood Obesity. Dr Estrada worked at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center from 1996 to 2014 where she led an obesity initiative that evolved in the creation of the “Pediatric Obesity Center for Treatment, Research and Education.” Under her leadership, they successfully developed age-appropriate multidisciplinary clinical and surgical weight management programs for children and adolescents. The Pediatric Obesity Center was chosen to participate, along 25 other pediatric obesity centers across the country, in NACHRI Focus for a Fitter Future II, III and IV (2011-2013).
Dr. Estrada has also conducted and collaborated in several research studies in the area of insulin resistance and exercise intervention in obese adolescents. She has participated in multicentric NIH and industry-sponsored studies looking at genetics, pathophysiology and treatment of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in children.
Additionally, her national reputation as a pediatric diabetes expert has resulted in her participation on several multicenter clinical trials for children with Type 2 Diabetes. Dr. Estrada also served as Director of the Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship Program at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center 2004-2014. She moved to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in November, 2014 where she has assumed the positions of Pediatric Endocrinology Division Chief and Fellowship Director.
Alessio Fasano, MD
World-renowned pediatric gastroenterologist, research scientist, and entrepreneur Alessio Fasano, M.D., founded the Center for Celiac Research in 1996. The center offers state-of-the art research, clinical expertise, and teaching for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of gluten-related disorders, including celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergy.
Trained in Naples, Italy, as a pediatric gastroenterologist, Dr. Fasano was recruited to the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1993 and founded its Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. Puzzled by the absence of children exhibiting symptoms of Celiac Disease in the clinic, he resolved to uncover the mystery of
missing American “celiacs.” His perseverance in the face of skepticism about Celiac Disease in the U.S. eventually led to his publication of the groundbreaking study in 2003 that established the rate of the autoimmune disorder at one in 133 Americans.
In early 2013, Dr. Fasano was appointed Division Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. He brought the Center for Celiac Research to Boston, where he and his team of clinicians treat patients of all ages. Dr. Fasano also heads the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center, based in Charlestown, and is Associate Chief for Basic, Clinical and Translational Research for the Department of Pediatrics at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. He is a Visiting Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.
Lindsey Hurd, MS, RD, LDN, IBCLC, CD(DONA)
Lindsey Hurd is a Registered Dietitian (RD), International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), Certified Birth Doula through DONA international CD(DONA), and owner of Angel Food. After graduating with an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science, she completed a Master of Science in Nutrition and the Dietetic Internship Program to become a Registered Dietitian She began her career in perinatal and pediatric nutrition counseling while establishing her private practice and expanding her knowledge in lactation support through the Mary Rose Tully Training Initiative at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill. Currently, her business offers nutrition and lactation counseling from preconception through preschool via web-chat, home, and office visits while offering labor support services in many birth settings.
She holds a certificate of training in food allergy management and is specialized in counseling moms with food intolerant/food allergic children via breast milk and solid food intake. She has spoken nationally on topics related to food allergies/sensitivities, maternal nutrition in pregnancy/lactation outcomes, complimentary feeding, infant nutrition and pediatric obesity, and more. She recently published an article in the Journal of Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition (ICAN) titled; “Optimizing the Microbiome and Immune System with Maternal Diet in Pregnancy and Lactation May Food Allergies in Infants.”
Shelley Kirk, PhD, RD, LD

Shelly Kirk, PhD, RD, LD has worked as a clinical dietitian in the field of Pediatric Obesity for the past 30 years and is now Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics with the College of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Kirk has her doctorate in Epidemiology from the University of Cincinnati and is a licensed dietitian with the states of Ohio and Kentucky. Dr. Kirk has served for the past 16 years as Director for HealthWorks!, a family-based behavioral weight management program for youth with overweight and obesity within the Heart Institute at Cincinnati
Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). In addition, Dr. Kirk served for 6 years as the Lead Dietitian for the Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens, the bariatric surgery program for adolescents with serve obesity at CCHMC. Dr. Kirk co-authored the paper, “Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Interventions for the Prevention and Treatment of Pediatric Overweight and Obesity.”

Dr. Kirk also served as Principal Investigator (PI) for the “Healthy Weight Study”, a randomized controlled 12-month clinical trial that compared the efficacy and safety of carbohydrate-modified diets compared to a portion-controlled, nutritionally balanced diet in children with obesity. In addition, Dr. Kirk is currently serving as PI for the Pediatric Obesity Weight Evaluation Registry (POWER). The POWER project is a new data repository for the collection of
demographic and clinical data from hospital-based pediatric weight management programs across the country. There are currently 32 sites participating in the prospective POWER project representing 22 states. POWER’s mission is to better understand and improve the health outcomes of youth with obesity by using POWER’s aggregate data set to conduct multi-site research on the assessment and treatment of pediatric obesity. These research activities have helped to support Dr. Kirk’s goals as a research and clinician which are to develop more effective interventions for the management of childhood and adolescent overweight and obesity.

Rohit Kohli, MBBS, MS

Rohit Kohli, MBBS, MS, is currently an associate professor of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and the co-director of the Cincinnati Children’s Steatohepatitis Center. Dr. Kohli received his medical degree from the Armed Forces Medical College, India in 1999 and his MS in clinical investigation from Northwestern University in 2006. While at Northwestern he first spent three years as a pediatric gastroenterology and hepatology fellow and then subsequently as a transplant hepatology trainee before relocating to the University of Cincinnati in 2007.

His research work has focused on the pathogenesis of obesity-related fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In particular, he has focused upon the role of reactive oxygen stress in the generation and regulation of the extreme stage of this disease; nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Dr. Kohli’s laboratory currently focuses on the role of fructose in triggering above mentioned oxidative injury and fibrosis within the liver. He also works with Drs. Randy Seeley and Stephen Woods at the Metabolic Diseases Institute at the University of Cincinnati to understand the mechanism and impact of bariatric surgical procedures on NASH and other co-morbidities of obesity.

He has published many peer-reviewed articles including articles in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Hepatology, Journal of Pediatrics, and The American Journal of Physiology. He is the author of many book chapters and review articles. He also is the recipient of the 2007 George Ferry Young Investigator Award from the Children’s Digestive Health and Nutrition Foundation and a Fellowship award from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. His clinical efforts are focused within the Steatohepatitis Center and within the Steatohepatitis Center and Liver Care Center in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Cynthia Powell, MD

Dr. Powell is a Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. She is a board-certified clinical geneticist, clinical cytogeneticist, pediatrician and genetic counselor.
She received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Cornell University, her Master’s in Human Genetics from Sarah Lawrence College, and her medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia. She did her pediatric residency at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC and medical genetics fellowship at Children’s National Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health. She is also Director of the Medical Genetics Residency Program and Medical Director of the Cytogenetics Laboratory at UNC Hospitals.

On the national level, she is past President of the American Board of Medical Genetics, has served on the Medical Genetics Resident Review Committee of the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education and on the Executive Committee of the Section on Genetics and Birth Defects of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Her
clinical and research interests include dysmorphology, genetic syndromes, and ethical issues of genetic testing and newborn screening. She is a principal investigator for a project funded by NIH to examine the use of next-generation sequencing for newborn screening.

Sasidharan Taravath, MD
Originally from India, Sasiharan Taravath, MD received his medical degree and completed his pediatric residency from the Armed Forces Medical College in India. He completed his clinical fellowship in Pediatric Neurology and Neurology Residency at the University of Chicago. Dr. Taravath is board certified in Neurology, with special
qualification in child neurology. He has also been involved in Sleep Disorders studies for children for more than 20 years, and is board-certified in Sleep Medicine. Prior to joining Coastal Children’s Services Dr. Taravath was a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at West Virginia University College of Medicine.



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