ICNM 2017 Speakers

The Physicians Committee
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ICNM 2017 Speakers

Neal Barnard, M.D., F.A.C.C.Neal Barnard, M.D., F.A.C.C.: Dr. Barnard is the president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and an adjunct associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. Dr. Barnard has led numerous research studies investigating the effects of diet on diabetes, body weight, and chronic pain, including a groundbreaking study of dietary interventions in type 2 diabetes funded by the National Institutes of Health. He has authored more than 70 scientific publications, as well as 18 books.  

Matthew Hulver, Ph.D.: Dr. Hulver is an associate professor and department head in the department of human nutrition, foods, and exercise at Virginia Tech, where he also directs the metabolic phenotyping core and co-directs Center for the Transformative Research on Health Behaviors. His research program is focused on mapping the signals that disrupt normal metabolism under conditions of overconsumption of calories and macronutrients, physical inactivity, prediabetes, and obesity. He earned his doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Kansas and postdoctoral training in skeletal muscle physiology and metabolism from East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine.

Michael Greger, M.D.: Dr. Greger is a founding member and fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, New York Times best-selling author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. His latest book, How Not to Die, became an instant New York Times best-seller. He has videos on more than 2,000 health topics freely available at NutritionFacts.org, with new videos and articles uploaded every day. He is a graduate of Cornell University School of Agriculture and Tufts University School of Medicine.

Shilpa Saxena, M.D., I.F.M.C.P.: Dr. Saxena is a board-certified family physician, faculty with the Institute for Functional Medicine, fellow and guest faculty of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, faculty with George Washington University's Metabolic Medicine Institute, and volunteer assistant professor of family medicine and community health at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. She is internationally known for her contributions to the development and institution of the lifestyle-based group medical appointment model and her work with her online patient education portal, SaxMD.com.

Caroline Trapp, D.N.P., A.N.P.-B.C., C.D.E., F.A.A.N.P.: Dr. Trapp is director of diabetes education and care for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. She manages a variety of diabetes prevention and reversal initiatives, including the development and distribution of resources for consumers and health care providers. She has co-authored articles on plant-based nutrition and presented at conferences and educational meetings across the United States and in China, Canada, the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Macedonia. She has also collaborated with Native American organizations to address the food-related epidemic of type 2 diabetes. Dr. Trapp is also a nurse practitioner specializing in the care of people with diabetes at Premier Internists, a division of the Millennium Medical Group, P.C., in Southfield, Mich. Dr. Trapp received her Masters of Science in community health nursing from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Madonna University in Livonia, Mich.

Robert Ostfeld, M.D., M.Sc., F.A.C.C.: Dr. Ostfeld is the director of preventive cardiology and the founder and director of the Cardiac Wellness Program at Montefiore Health System and an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Ostfeld earned his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine and his Masters of Science in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. He completed his medical internship and residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and his cardiology fellowship and research fellowship in preventive medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Cindy Leung, Sc.D., M.P.H.: Dr. Leung is at the Center for Health and Community in the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine and holds a joint appointment in the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. Her current research, supported by a NIH Career Development Award, focuses on the influence of household food insecurity on children’s psychological stress, and how this shapes their cognitive processes related to eating behaviors and weight gain. Another theme of Dr. Leung’s research is examining dietary determinants of cellular aging using large and nationally representative data sets. She received her Doctor of Science in nutrition and epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health and Master of Public Health from UC Berkeley.

Alain Dagher, M.D.: Dr. Dagher is a neurologist specializing in movement disorders and functional brain imaging. His research aims at understanding the function of the basal ganglia, with a particular emphasis on appetitive behaviors. This involves studying how we learn about rewards and punishments, and become motivated to engage in reward-seeking behavior. The two main techniques used are positron emission tomography (PET) targeting the dopamine system and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The research focuses on Parkinson's disease, stress, drug addiction (notably cigarette smoking), pathological gambling, and obesity.

Tao Jiang, Ph.D.: Dr. Jiang is associate professor in neuroscience at Burgundy University in France and researcher in Lyon Neuroscience Research Center. Her scientific interests include the physiology of chemosensory systems and function and dysfunction of reward system and their roles in the control of food intake in healthy persons and patients with eating disorders. The main methods used in her research are based on the use of techniques such as facial electromyography, the recording of electro-dermal activity, eye movements, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D.: Dr. Morris is professor of epidemiology, director of the section of nutrition and nutritional epidemiology in the department of internal medicine, and assistant provost of community research at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. She is the lead creator of the MIND diet for healthy brain aging. Her research has examined dietary risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease among 10,000 African-American and Caucasian participants of the Chicago Health and Aging Project and the relation of tocopherols and brain metals to neuropathology and neurologic diseases among 1,200 Chicago participants of the Memory and Aging Project. She is also the principal investigator of a multicenter randomized trial of the MIND diet to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Morris received her doctorate in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health.

W.H. Wilson Tang, M.D.: Dr. Tang is professor of medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University and the director of the Center for Clinical Genetics at the Cleveland Clinic. As a clinician-scientist and practicing heart failure/transplant cardiologist, Dr. Tang's translational research focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that contribute to disease progression in heart failure and cardiomyopathies, cardio-renal disease, and cancer-related heart diseases. He was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2013 for studying the contributing role of microbiome in cardiovascular diseases.

Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D.: Ms. Levin is director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. She is an expert on the connection between plant-based diets and a reduced risk of chronic diseases, and co-authored the most recent Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics position paper on vegetarian diets. She also addresses the need for nutrition guidelines that reflect the organization's Power Plate (fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains). Ms. Levin received her Master of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University in Seattle, where she completed a dietetic internship and became a registered dietitian. She also earned a specialty certification in sports dietetics from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Kyle Ash, M.A., L.L.M.: Mr. Ash is the director of government affairs for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. His current focus is the 2018 Farm Bill, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and other federal food laws. Mr. Ash previously worked on climate and energy policy with Greenpeace. He received a Master of Arts in global environmental policy from American University and a Master of Laws in international law from the University of Kent in Brussels.

Robynne Chutkan, M.D.: Dr. Chutkan is an integrative gastroenterologist and the author of Gutbliss, The Microbiome Solution, and The Bloat Cure. She’s been on the faculty at Georgetown University Hospital since 1997 and is the founder of the Digestive Center for Wellness, an integrative gastroenterology practice incorporating microbiome analysis and optimization, nutritional counseling, and biofeedback as part of the therapeutic approach to digestive disorders.

Anthony Lim, M.D.: Dr. Lim divides his time between his roles as the medical director of the 10-day, live-in McDougall Program, as a staff physician at TrueNorth Health Center, and as a family physician at Kaiser Permanente. He is also the physician lead for Kaiser Santa Rosa’s monthly plant-based nutrition class. He has a special interest in the role of diet and lifestyle medicine in both preventing and treating chronic illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune conditions, and heart disease. Dr. Lim is a graduate of Stanford University, Harvard Law School, and Boston University School of Medicine. He completed his residency training at Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency, a University of California, San Francisco, affiliate.  

Alan Goldhamer, D.C.: Dr. Goldhamer has been the director of the TrueNorth Health Center and the TrueNorth Health Foundation in Santa Rosa, Calif., for more than 30 years.  The TrueNorth Health Foundation’s clinical research team conducts and publishes clinical research on the application of fasting to the treatment of high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and lymphoma. Dr. Goldhamer was the principal investigator in a number of studies that have appeared in peer-reviewed literature, including two papers of the use of fasting in the treatment of high blood pressure and a recent report that appeared in the British Medical Journal on the treatment of lymphoma cancer with fasting and an exclusively plant-food diet. He is the author of the Health Promoting Cookbook and co-author of The Pleasure Trap.

Anastassios Pittas, M.D., M.S.: Dr. Pittas is professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine; an adjunct professor of nutrition and policy at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition, Science, and Policy; and a center scientist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. He also serves as the co-director of the Dr. Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman New York Foundation for Medical Research Diabetes Self-Education Program and as the associate director of the endocrinology fellowship program. His work on the role of vitamin D and calcium in type 2 diabetes and cardiometabolic disease has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and the American Diabetes Association. Dr. Pittas earned his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College. He completed his internal medicine residency at New-York Presbyterian Hospital and his fellowship in endocrinology at Tufts Medical Center.

Hana Kahleova, M.D., Ph.D.: Dr. Kahleova is director of clinical research for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Her current research interests focus on dietary treatment of type 2 diabetes. Her latest research proved that eating a large breakfast and lunch is more beneficial than eating six smaller meals a day for patients with type 2 diabetes. Dr. Kahleova also conducted a study with a vegetarian diet and wrote the book Vegetarian Diet in the Treatment of Diabetes (Maxdorf 2013, in Czech). Dr. Kahleova is a member of the Czech Diabetes Association and the Diabetes and Nutrition Study Group of the European Association for the study of Diabetes. She completed her postdoctoral research fellowship at Loma Linda University in California.

Stephen Neabore, M.D. Stephen Neabore, M.D.: Stephen Neabore, M.D. is a physician at Barnard Medical Center, where he specializes in the prevention and treatment of acute and chronic diseases. He is a strong advocate for patient education and active patient participation in personalized health care planning. He stresses the importance of lifestyle modification as a primary intervention toward achieving optimal health. Dr. Neabore completed his undergraduate degree at New York University and earned his medical degree from St. George’s University. He completed a residency in internal medicine at New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he was an educator and clinician in the weight management clinic.

Jamie Kane, M.D. Jamie Kane, M.D.: Dr. Jamie Kane is board certified in Internal Medicine and is a diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. He received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University and an M.D. from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine prior to completing his residency training in Internal Medicine at Yale University. In addition to being the director for Northwell Health’s Center for Weight Management, he is an Assistant Professor in the department of medicine at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine at Hofstra University and serves as the chief of its section of Obesity Medicine.


Karen Smith, R.D. Karen Smith, R.D.: Karen is a staff dietitian for the Barnard Medical Center who enjoys educating patients about the power of plant-based nutrition and disease prevention. Ms. Smith has more than 10 years of experience as a registered dietitian in various community and clinical nutrition settings, including Meals on Wheels, WIC, and multiple long-term care facilities. Ms. Smith is a graduate of the University of Delaware, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and completed a dietetic internship. In her spare time, she enjoys running marathons, spending time with her family, and traveling.

Chef AJ Chef AJ: Chef AJ has been devoted to a plant-based diet for almost 40 years. She is the host of the television series Healthy Living with CHEF AJ which airs on Foody TV.  With her comedy background, she has made appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman and more. A chef, culinary instructor and professional speaker, she is author of the popular book Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight, which chronicles her journey from a junk-food vegan faced with a diagnosis of pre-cancerous polyps, to learning how to create foods that nourish and heal the body.

Patricia Slimbarski Tricia Slimbarski: Tricia Slimbarski is a retired Federal Government employee who worked at the Pentagon for 38 years. At age 58, Tricia was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes with a blood sugar of 441. Tricia’s journey took her thru sugar cravings, obesity, uncontrolled diabetes, 5 coronary artery bypasses, 8 stents, and taking 13 pills and 2 shots a day. In 2014, Tricia took control of her life via a whole foods plant based lifestyle which sent her down a healing path. Her story has appeared on Forks Over Knives Website, Cleveland WKYC News health segment, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt in March 2016, Diabetes Health Monitor Magazine and appeared in the new plant based documentary ’EatingYou Alive’. Her story was taped by the BBC crew for a documentary in London and appears in Dr Neil Barnard’s “The Cheese Trap”. Tricia is a graduate of the Forks Over Knives Rouxbe Cooking School and the eCornell Plant Based Nutrition Certificate Program. Tricia speaks at the annual Conference for Women’s Heart Disease and the 2Forks Event in Cleveland. Since Sept 2014, Tricia shares her health journey at Dr. Esselstyn’s Monthly Heart Seminar at the Cleveland Clinic. Her passion is to help people feel empowered to take control of their life thru plant based nutrition.