2017 MARS Speakers

Larry Swanson
University of Southern California 

Dr. Swanson got his PhD identifying forebrain “hotspots” for neurotransmitter-induced eating and drinking responses in rodents and primates, in the Laboratory of Neuropsychology, Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He became interested in characterizing the structure-function organization of neural systems underlying motivated behavior during postdoctoral fellowships in the laboratories of W. Maxwell Cowan and Rita Levi-Montalcini at Washington University and this problem has guided his research ever since, at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, and now at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Dr. Swanson is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences; he has served as President of the Society for Neuroscience and is currently Secretary General of the International Brain Research Organization headquartered in Paris.

Eleftheria Maratos-Flier
Harvard University

Eleftheria (Terry) Maratos-Flier, MD, is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a member of the department of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She earned her M.D. degree from the Mount Sinai Medical School and completed residency training at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC and Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. She joined the Joslin as a Fellow in 1981 and remained there until 2004 when she moved to Beth Israel Deaconess (BIDMC). She is interested in molecular mechanisms regulating appetite and energy balance. She discovered the role of the hypothalamic neuropeptide melanin concentrating hormone in regulating feeding. In analyzing the metabolic and physiologic effects of ketogenic diets in mice she discovered the important role of fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) in regulating fatty acid oxidation in the liver. Recently she has extended her studies to the effects of FGF21 in the central nervous system. Most of her research involves mouse models of obesity and type II diabetes although she has also pursued clinical studies of human obesity. Dr. Maratos-Flier has authored more than 100 scholarly articles in her field. She is also the director of the Office for Academic Careers and Faculty Development at BIDMC and serves and an advisor to Harvard medical students in the Peabody Society.

Kevin Hall
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Dr. Kevin Hall received his Ph.D. in Physics from McGill University and is now a tenured Senior Investigator at the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda MD. His main research interests are the regulation of food intake, macronutrient metabolism, energy balance, and body weight. Dr. Hall’s laboratory performs experiments in humans and rodents and develops mathematical models and computer simulations to help design, predict, and interpret the experimental data. Dr. Hall is the recipient of the NIH Director’s Award, the NIDDK Director’s Award, the Lilly Scientific Achievement Award from The Obesity Society, the Guyton Award for Excellence in Integrative Physiology from the American Society of Physiology, and his award-winning Body Weight Planner (http://BWPlanner.niddk.nih.gov; has been used by millions of people to help predict how diet and physical activity dynamically interact to affect human body weight.

France Bellisle
University of Paris and Laval University

Following her Bachelor Degree (McGill University, Montreal) and a Masters Degree (Concordia University, Montreal) in experimental psychology, France Bellisle worked at the College de France in Paris in the laboratory of Jacques Le Magnen. She obtained Doctorate Degrees from the University of Paris. From 1982 until 2010, in the context of French National Research Institutes (CNRS, INRA), she developed original research in the field of human ingestive behaviours. Her research interests cover all types of determinants of food and fluid intake in human consumers, including psychological, sensory and metabolic factors as well as environmental influences. She is presently an Adjunct Professor of Laval University in Quebec continues her scientific activities with the Nutritional Epidemiology unit of the University of Paris 13.