The following faculty make up the Penn State Hershey Diabetes Institute Steering Committee:
- Robert A. Gabbay, MD, PhD is a Professor of Medicine and Director of the Diabetes Program at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Dr. Gabbay's clinical and research interests include translational research efforts to improve diabetes care in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. Dr. Gabbay has been clinical investigator to a number of important trials conducted in the area of new therapies of diabetes, innovative approaches to the management of diabetes in primary care and new technologies as applied to diabetes such as telemedicine and non-invasive glucose monitoring with numerous publications in these areas. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Diabetes Forecast, Diabetes, Technology and Therapeutics and eMedicine and is a member of the clinical grant review study sections for the National Institute of Health, American Diabetes Association, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He is currently leads the NIH sponsored DYNAMIC (Diabetes Nurse case management And Motivational Interviewing for Change) investigative team evaluating a system redesign in primary care involving behavior change empowered diabetes nurse case management.
- Ann M. Rogers, MD is Associate Professor of Surgery Division of Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery at the Penn State College of Medicine. She is also Director of Penn State Surgical Weight Loss Program at the College of Medicine. Her research interests include bariatric surgery and obesity, minimally invasive surgery, NOTES, surgical skills, and medical education. Dr. Roger’s spectrum of research spans through animal models, retrospective review, clinical trials, while also including pilot studies. Dr. Rogers completed her MD at Cornell University in New York. She then finished her residency at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center Department of Surgery before continuing onto her clinical fellowship with Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Department of Surgery in 2006 and 2007. She is currently part of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery in addition to being a founding member of the Pennsylvania Society for Bariatric Surgery.
- Danielle Symons Downs, PhD is Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Director of the Exercise Psychology Laboratory at The Pennsylvania State University. She is also the Lifestyle and Behavioral Medicine Programmatic Chair of the Penn State Institute for Diabetes and Obesity (PSIDO). Her research expertise is on understanding the biobehavioral determinants of exercise and developing theoretically-based interventions to promote exercise and health during the preconception, prenatal, and postpartum periods. She has served as a consultant on Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I and Phase II projects for primary investigator Dr. Cheryl Albright A Home Exercise Program (DVD) for Women with Infants and Young Children as well as a STTR Phase I project for PI Dr. Heather Hausenblas Multimedia for Exercise During Pregnancy. She has also been involved in two randomized control trials for preconception and prenatal women. She was a Co-Investigator on the Central Pennsylvania Women’s Health Study (CePAWHS) awarded from the Pennsylvania Department of Health from 2004-2008 and the co-developer of the Strong Healthy Women lifestyle intervention (led conceptual development of the intervention, created the curriculum content for the educational modules, and worked with the research team to oversee the implementation of the program). Dr. Down’s recently completed research projects include Active MOMS, a physical activity intervention for women with and without gestational diabetes. As the PI, she was responsible for the conceptual development of the project, creation the curriculum content for the educational modules, development of the structured exercise and lifestyle physical activity programs, and supervision of all aspects of the intervention development, delivery, and analyses. She has also completed Dr. Linda Collins’ Dynamical Systems and Related Engineering Approaches to Improving Behavioral Intervention as a co-investigator.
- Christopher J. Lynch, PhD is Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology at the Penn State College of Medicine. He is also the programmatic area leader for the Integrative Physiology of Diabetes and Obesity at the Penn State Institute for Diabetes and Obesity (PSIDO). He has recently completed a decade long study titled “Obesity Drug Discover Contract Agreement.” Currently he is working on “Mechanisms of Drug Side Effects Related to Obesity and Diabetes” funded by the NIH/NIDDKH & NIMH. His laboratory is involved mainly with obesity and metabolism research. Currently, one of his projects focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of weight gain and metabolic side effects of atypical antipsychotics. This study integrates all aspects of biology including in vitro, animal, and human models. Another current project involves understanding the molecular mechanisms of branched chain amino acids and their metabolism on diet induced thermogenesis and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling. His most recent project involves understanding branched chain amino acid metabolism including research on Maple Syrup Urine Disease. Other areas of research in his laboratory focus on understanding body weight independent effects of gastric bypass surgery or obesity-related drugs. Through his research projects, his laboratory is dedicated to developing cures for metabolic diseases including Diabetes, Obesity, and Maple Syrup Urine Disease.
- Leonard S. (Jim) Jefferson, PhD is an Evan Pugh Professor and Chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Dr. Jefferson's current research is focused on the signaling pathways and cellular components involved in the translational control of gene expression. His research includes studies on diabetes and insulin action, nutrients and the regulation of metabolism, cardiac hypertrophy, obesity, aging and exercise. It employs experimental model systems ranging from biochemical and molecular approaches to cells, isolated tissues, intact animals (including transgenic and gene knockout), and humans. Dr. Jefferson is principal investigator on three NIH grants, co-investigator on several other grants, and provides mentorship to several other investigators. Dr. Jefferson has authored or co-authored numerous journal articles, abstracts, and book chapters. He is an active member of many professional organizations including the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, American Physiological Society, Biochemical Society, American Diabetes Association, and Endocrine Society. He served as President of the American Physiological Society. Dr. Jefferson has received numerous awards, to name a few, NIH MERIT award, David Rumbough Scientific Award, Elliot P. Joslin Award, Distinguished Alumni Award, and Evan Pugh Professor of Physiology. Dr. Jefferson received his B.S. in chemistry/biology from Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY and his Ph.D. in physiology/biochemistry from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. His postdoctoral work in biochemistry was obtained from Cambridge University, Cambridge, England. In his spare time he enjoys golf, artwork, and antiques.