USF Health Honors & Awards

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Obesity expert Barbara Hansen appointed to Institute of Medicine post

USF Health’s Barbara Hansen, PhD, has been appointed by the Institute of Medicine to chair its Section 3 Membership Committee, which includes anatomy, neurobiology, physiological sciences and pharmacological sciences.

photo of Dr. Barbara hansen

Her national appointment begins this year, when she will be vice chair until 2014. She will then serve as chair from 2014 to 2016.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is an independent, nonprofit organization working outside government to provide unbiased, evidence-based and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public on issues relating to biomedical science, medicine, and health. Established in 1970, the IOM is the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences and works to provide independent guidance and analysis through a peer-review system of committees of volunteer scientists who are leading national and international experts.

Dr. Hansen is professor of internal medicine and pediatrics. An expert of obesity, she has conducted pioneering work with Rhesus monkeys showing that lifetime calorie restraint to prevent obesity is the most powerful way to reduce age-related health problems such as high blood pressure and high triglycerides and to prevent or delay the progression of insulin resistance toward diabetes. She directs USF Health’s Center for Preclinical Research, which combines obesity, diabetes and aging research.

Dr. Hansen’s post requires multiple meetings each year to nominate new members for election to the IOM; to recommend new members in relation to the mission goals and pursuits of the Institute, including future growth and composition of the membership in light of issues in health policy expected to require IOM attention in the upcoming five to 10 years; and to serve as liaison to the staff of the Institute, recommending members for study committees and for Report Review committees of IOM/NRC reports.