Energy Balance Assessment Core Team

Wendy Kohrt, Ph.D.
Director, Energy Balance Assessment Core
Dr. Wendy Kohrt Ph.D. is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the Nancy Anschutz Endowed Chair In Women's Health Research. She is the Director of Research for Geriatric Medicine and the Director of the IMAGE research group (Investigations in Metabolism, Aging, Gender, and Exercise). Dr. Kohrt is the Director of the Energy Balance Core Laboratory for the NIH-supported Nutrition and Obesity Research Center and is the Chair of the Scientific Advisory and Review Committee for the Adult Clinical and Translational Research Center. She served on the Federal Advisory Committee that prepared the evidence report for the first Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which were launched by the Department of Health and Human Services in October 2008. She is an invited member of the Isis Network on Musculoskeletal Health through the Society for Women’s Health Research. Dr. Kohrt is currently serving as co-chair of the Steering Committee assembled by the National Research Council to conduct the Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space, which will recommend research to support space exploration in the 2010 to 2020 decade. Dr. Kohrt has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and received a Citation Award from the American College of Sports Medicine.Dr. Kohrt has been continuously funded by the NIH as a Principal Investigator for more than two decades and has more than 140 original and solicited research publications. She is currently the Principal Investigator for two NIH R01 research awards and a Co-investigator for six other NIH awards. She has mentored or co-mentored 24 Ph.D.-trained and 14 M.D.-trained investigators, the majority of whom have established independent research careers.
Energy Balance Assessment Core
Paul MacLean, PhD
Associate Director, Energy Balance Assessment Core

Dr. Paul MacLean Ph.D. is a tenured Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine with 25years of experience studying obesity and its metabolic complications. He has specific interests in the biological drivers of weight regain after weight loss, exercise as a strategy for weight loss maintenance, and understanding how obesity affects key aspects of women’s health. Dr. MacLean's research in women’s health has included studies of mammary gland development and its function during lactation, perinatal metabolic programming, the menopausal transition, and the risk for breast cancer. He is dedicated to building and supporting the broader research and educational enterprise on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus through the Colorado Nutrition Obesity Research Center, the Colorado Clinical Translational Science Institute, and the University of Colorado Cancer Center. Over the past 17years at the University of Colorado, Dr. MacLean has leveraged their resources to develop the next generation of scientists who will advance the treatment of obesity and its complications.

Ed Melanson, PhD
Associate Director, Energy Balance Assessment Core

Dr. Edward Melanson Ph.D., is a Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and diabetes, with a secondary appointment in the Division of Geriatrics. He is also an Assistant Director of the Energy Balance Core Lab. In this capacity, he oversees the operation of the whole-room calorimeter, located on the Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC). Dr. Melanson’s interests are on the effects of diet, exercise, and obesity on substrate metabolism and energy expenditure. The primary areas of research in Dr. Melanson’s lab are:

Developing new methods for assessing energy expenditure and physical activity in free-living humans
These studies are focused on advancing analytical approaches of accelerometer data to measure physical activity. Dr. Melanson’s laboratory also has the capacity to measure free-living energy expenditure using the doubly labeled water method and is advancing new approaches to measuring isotope enrichments in biological samples using laser absorption spectroscopy.
Studying the effects of menopause impacts bioenergetics and metabolism
The menopausal transition is associated with an increase and redistribution of body fat from lower body to upper body depots. Dr. Melanson is involved in research to understand the mechanisms by which this occurs. In studies performed in collaboration with Wendy Kohrt, Ph.D., Professor of Geriatric Medicine, we have shown that suppression of ovarian function reduces energy expenditure and physical activity and that these changes are attenuated with the replacement of estrogen. Dr. Melanson’s lab is currently studying how estrogen status impact brown fat activity. These studies involve novel approaches to measure brown fat activity using two radioactive tracers combined with dynamic PET/CT scanning.
Understanding how lifestyle interventions, particularly adoption of regular exercise and alterations in sleep, impact physical activity, sedentary behavior, and health outcomes
In collaboration with Kenneth Wright, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Dr. Melanson has performed several studies to determine the impact of sleep restriction on energy expenditure and substrate metabolism. Current studies in our lab are focusing on understanding the impact of different intensities and timing of exercise on glycemic control, non-exercise physical activity, and sleep in older adults. Dr. Melanson is also a co-investigator on the Colorado Clinical Center for the study of Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC) –Colorado Clinical Center. This NIH Common Fund initiative will develop a national resource of molecular responses to physical activity that will advance the understanding of the mechanisms by which physical activity improves health.

Matt Jackman, PhD
Key Personnel

Dr. Jackman is a Senior Instructor in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Prior to working at the University of Colorado Denver, my research background was focused on mitochondrial bioenergetics in hepatic and skeletal muscle mitochondria. More recent studies have been focused on isolated skeletal muscle mitochondrial respiration studies in obesity prone (OP) and obesity resistant (OR) rats and mice, and permeabilized human skeletal muscle fibers. Ongoing mitochondrial respiration studies include permeabilized rat/mouse skeletal muscle fibers, osteocytes, and breast cancer cells. In addition to taking over the mitochondrial function sub-core of the MCA, Dr. Jackman has been the Assistant Director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Animal Satellite facility since 2010.

Ginger Johnson, PRA
Key Personnel

Ginger maintains the Satellite Animal Facility for the NORC Small Animal Energy Balance Core.  This facility is where rodents undergo calorimetry and MRI. We also measure food intake, perform exercise training, analyze feeding patterns, follow body weight changes, collect urine, feces, and blood samples. Duties include data management, regulatory compliance, training and supervising users of the facility, purchasing, and equipment maintenance. Ginger was educated at Arizona State University, and moved to the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 1985.  Her background has been in Pathology and Endocrinology. Ginger began working for Dr. Paul MacLean in 2003 as a professional research assistant.

Jere Hamilton, Senior PRA
Key Personnel

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