Dr. 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 function.


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