Donna Ryan, MD

Donna RyanDiplomate, American Board of Obesity Medicine

Donna H. Ryan, MD, is professor emeritus at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She served as associate executive director at Pennington Biomedical for 34 years where she was active in research, teaching, and administration. Her research accomplishments include landmark studies of omega 3 fatty acids and membership on the teams that developed the NIH-sponsored feeding studies, DELTA (Dietary Effects on Lipoproteins and Thrombosis in Atherosclerosis) and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). Dr. Ryan was an investigator on NIH multicenter lifestyle intervention studies DPP (Diabetes Prevention Program) and POUNDS Lost and the Look AHEAD study. She worked with the Louisiana Office of Group Benefits to conduct LOSS (Louisiana Obese Subjects Study), a pragmatic clinical trial of intensive medical therapy for severe obesity conducted in six Louisiana primary care clinics. This work continues in a translational phase as HEADS UP!. Dr. Ryan was PI of a military nutrition grant from 1988–2011 to develop improvements to soldier readiness, nutrition, and health.

Dr. Ryan maintained contact with patients throughout her career and continues to participate in the cohorts involving long-term care of patients with obesity using behavioral, dietary, pharmacologic, and surgical approaches. She is an active participant in continuing medical education efforts for primary care physicians and her interest in these activities is communicating findings from the laboratory to inform clinical practice and especially primary care practices.

Dr. Ryan served as panel co-chair to revise the NIH-supported evidence-based Guidelines on the Evaluation and Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Dr. Ryan is past president of The Obesity Society. She is currently associate editor in chief of the journal, Obesity. Her scholarly activities include authorship of more than 190 original publications and 45 books, chapters and reviews, primarily in the field of obesity. Dr. Ryan has served the scientific community as a reviewer and advisor in many capacities including, NSF Medical R&D Expenditures Workshop 2006; National Dairy Council Review Team for Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, 2006; chair, Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), NIH Grant, “Safety and Efficacy of Low and High Carbohydrate Diets,” 2002-2008, member DSMB for EARLY Studies 2010present and reviewer for European Union Innovative Medicines Initiative, 2011 and 2012. Dr. Ryan has served as a scientific advisor and/or consultant to Abbott, Knoll, Procter and Gamble, Novartis, TAP Pharmaceuticals, Slim Fast, Solvay, Weight Watchers, Alere Wellbeing, Nutrisystem, Vivus, Arena, Sanofi-Aventis, Ajinomoto, Merck, Takeda, Vivus, Eisai, Arena, Novo-Nordisk, Janssen and Scientific Intake.