About The Center

The Center for Obesity Reversal at Georgia State University fosters research projects to help fight and reverse the growing obesity epidemic in the United States and around the world. Funding is a basic necessity for the Center’s work and member researchers receive funding through a variety of awards and grants. In fiscal year 2015, the Center’s 12 full members were awarded more than $3.5 million from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.

Latest Achievements & Updates

First published February 29, 2012; doi:10.1152/ajpregu.00640.2011.—Brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenic activity and growth are controlled by its sympathetic nervous system (SNS) innervation, but nerve fibers containing sensory-associated neuropeptides [substance P, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)] also suggest sensory innervation. The central nervous system (CNS) projections of BAT afferents are unknown. Therefore, [...]
Sun, May 18, 2014

Timothy Bartness

Founding Director

IN MEMORIAM, 1953-2015

Timothy Bartness

Timothy Bartness is a world-renowned obesity researcher and Director of the Center for Obesity Reversal at Georgia State University. Also a Regents’ Professor, Bartness  studied obesity for more than 30 years.

Bartness was passionate about tackling and reversing the nation’s obesity epidemic by using a basic science approach. He directed researchers in the center to study two ways to reduce obesity, decreasing food intake and increasing energy expenditure, with a primary focus on the mechanisms underlying the control of food intake and energy expenditure.

His lab is focused on how the brain communicates with adipose tissue (fat) through the sympathetic nervous system and how fat communicates with the brain through the sensory nervous system, a bidirectional communication that seems to be responsible for controlling the breakdown of fat and functioning as the principal way mammals decrease their body fat. He was also interested in the brain chemicals that control food acquisition and storage, behaviors that can lead to obesity. He uncovered a number of neurochemical factors that promote food hoarding in
non-human animal models.

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The Basic Science

We study obesity and related diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, chronic inflammation and some cancers. Our researchers from diverse backgrounds will focus on two ways to reduce obesity, decreasing food intake and increasing energy expenditure.

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Breast Cancer Risk

Obesity is an established risk factor for breast cancer. Obese postmenopausal women have a 50 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer than non-obese women. Our overarching goal is to determine the potential mechanisms underlying obesity-induced postmenopausal breast cancer.

Effects Of Diet On Memory

A person’s diet or food intake can impair the hippocampus, a region of the brain critical for memory. Researchers are studying how excess intake of sugar and fat reduces functioning of the hippocampus, which in turn, can affect energy intake.

Obesity And Diabetes

Diabetes, the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S, is a severe disease closely linked with obesity. Diabetes is caused by abnormally high levels of glucose in the blood because of defects in the production of insulin or other metabolic regulators.