Eric Ravussin, Ph.D.
Dr. Eric Ravussin is a Professor
at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center
in Baton Rouge and the Chief of the Division
of "Health and Performance Enhancement".
Dr. Ravussin is recognized internationally
as a clinical investigator in the field of
obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. He has
made substantial contributions to the study
of energy metabolism and its determinants.
Dr. Ravussin was the first to identify four
important metabolic predictors of weight gain
in humans, i.e. a low metabolic rate, a low
fat oxidation, a low spontaneous physical activity,
and a lower activity of the sympathetic nervous
activity. His former laboratory at the NIH
was the first in the world in which all the
components of energy expenditure could be measured
using metabolic carts, respiratory chambers,
and the doubly-labeled water technique. Dr.
Ravussin was also the first investigator to
combine the euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp
with indirect calorimetry to separate glucose
disposal into storage and oxidative metabolism.
In the second part of the 1990s, Dr. Ravussin
became involved in a genome-wide scan to identify
obesity/diabetes susceptibility loci among
Pima Indians. In his new role at the Pennington
Biomedical Research Center, Dr. Ravussin will
concentrate on the relationship between physiology
and gene expression in response to diet and
physical training. In
1998, Dr Ravussin accepted the position of
Director of Endocrine Research at the Lilly
Research Laboratories in Indianapolis, Indiana. In
2000, Dr Ravussin moved to the Pennington Biomedical
Research Center to become the Chief of the
Division of Health and Performance Enhancement.
His research will focus on gene expression
in human tissues in response to perturbation
of energy balance in subjects prone or resistant
to obesity. The effect of diet composition
on performance and gene expression will also
be studied. A new program focusing on prevention
of childhood obesity has also been initiated.
A functional genomics laboratory is now in
place to examine the functional consequences
of genetic polymorphisms on expression and