Doug Koch/University Relations

Joseph Donnelly, an internationally recognized scholar in obesity and weight loss, has joined the KU Medical Center, but will continue his research and teaching on the Lawrence campus as well.

Acclaimed weight loss researcher Joseph Donnelly joins medical center, will continue work in Lawrence

New lab, expanded possibilities behind shift

Joseph Donnelly, an internationally acclaimed scholar in obesity and weight loss, has changed his appointment to the KU Medical Center to expand his research. The move will not affect the research his group is performing on the Lawrence campus.

“To most observers there won’t be a noticeable difference,” said Donnelly, who directs the Center for Physical Activity and Weight Management, part of the Life Span Institute.

Donnelly officially joined the Cardiovascular Research Institute, part of the KU Medical Center’s Department of Internal Medicine, on Feb. 6. His research group had been conducting work in Kansas City for some time and will continue to work in both Lawrence and Kansas City. About 15 full-time and 50 part-time employees work in his research groups between the two campuses.

“The plan is to build a lab there (KU Medical Center) in about a year,” Donnelly said. “It will be located in the Orthopedic Sports Medicine Clinic, which is attached to the Kirmayer Fitness Center.”

The new lab will enable his group to expand its research and community-based programs that work with individuals to fight obesity. Since 2000, Donnelly has received more than $20 million in National Institutes of Health grants for his research. The new lab will provide even more opportunities.

“There’s a bigger population in Kansas City, and there’s a greater number of human subjects researchers in the area that do similar work to what we do,” Donnelly said. “It seemed relatively logical to make the move. We think it’s going to expand what we’re able to do and open new doors for work with more of our colleagues.”

In addition to the new lab in Kansas City, Donnelly will continue to maintain the Energy Balance Laboratory in Robinson Center and lab space near Bob Billings Parkway and Wakarusa Drive in Lawrence.

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