THE ABOM ITEM WRITING COMMITTEE
Item Writing Committee members represent many different medical specialties associated with obesity medicine. Members write new items for the ABOM item bank of examination questions and are required to sign the ABOM Written Examination Confidentiality Policy. Members are not allowed to teach, lecture, provide seminars, assist, make comment or in any way participate in preparatory or review courses for the ABOM exam while serving on the Item Writing Committee. If you are interested in joining the ABOM Item Writing Committee, click here to download the application.
Dr. Peminda Cabandugama
Dr. Peminda K. Cabandugama, a native of Colombo, Sri Lanka, came to the United States in 2003 to go to college at Winona State University in Winona, MN where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with Honors. He completed medical school at St. Georges University in Grenada, West Indies. and then went on to complete an Internal Medicine Residency, including a Chief Residency year, at Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center (an Affiliate of NYU Medical Center) in Brooklyn NY. After that, he completed a fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the University of Missouri-Columbia in Columbia, MO. Today he holds the position of Assistant Professor and Associate Fellowship Program Director of the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in Kansas City, MO.
Dr. Zoobia Chaudhry
Zoobia W. Chaudhry M.D. is an Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Her areas of expertise include obesity and preventive medicine. Dr. Chaudhry is board-certified in Internal Medicine and a diplomat of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. She received her medical degree from Allama Iqbal Medical College. After completing residency training at University of Iowa – Des Moines, she joined the general internal medicine faculty at Johns Hopkins. From a research perspective, Dr. Chaudhry published several peer-reviewed articles in the field of obesity, diabetes and preventive care. Her areas of expertise include medical management of obesity the treatment of obesity-related diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes. She also understands the holistic nature of losing weight and works with colleagues who are experts in nutrition and behavioral therapy. She believes in providing patients with knowledge and offering them the most up-to-date therapeutic options.
Dr. Hussein Elbadawi
Dr. Hussein Elbadawi is an endocrinologist in the department of internal medicine in the School of Medicine at Wayne State University. Dr. Elbadawi completed an internal medicine residency at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington Massachusetts followed by a combined clinical and translational fellowship at Wayne State University in Endocrinology, Diabetes & metabolism. He then joined the faculty as the assistant program director of the endocrinology fellowship program. He is board certified in internal medicine and Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. He is also a diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine as well as a certified clinical densitometrist.
He is a clinical assistant professor of medicine and very involved in medical education. He is very passionate about educating the next generation of health care providers about obesity and related metabolic diseases. He has been instrumental in modifying the medical school curriculum to include obesity as a topic introduced early in physiology and pathophysiology courses. He started the Obesity & lipids clinic in the division of endocrinology to train interested residents and fellows to serve a unique underserved obese patient population.
He is affiliated with the Detroit Medical Center, the Children’s Hospital of Michigan and Karmanos Cancer Institute where he was recognized as an obesity medicine specialist in addition to his role as an endocrinologist.
Dr. Elbadawi’s research activity revolves around brown adipose tissue and its response to hormones and catecholamines. He is a member of the Obesity Society, The Endocrine Society, The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and The American Thyroid Association. He actively participates in local and institutional programs aiming at raising awareness of local community members to envision obesity as a disease.
Dr. Wayne English
Dr. Kara Hawkins
In her current general endocrinology practice, she cares for patients with diabetes, obesity, metabolic bone and calcium disorders, hypogonadism, thyroid, pituitary and adrenal disorders. Prior to her current professional role, she enjoyed working with and teaching endocrinology fellows while on faculty at the University of Pittsburgh and VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.
Dr. Hawkins completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia and received her medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. She completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Paula Holland Price
MS: Human Nutrition, Texas Tech University
MD: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine
PhD: Kinesiology and Health, The University of Texas
Post-Doctoral Training: Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus
Dr. Jamie Kane
Dr. Jamie Kane is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and serves as the section chief of Obesity Medicine as well as the director for Northwell Health’s Center for Weight Management. He 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. at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine prior to completing his residency training in Internal Medicine at Yale University.
Dr. Kane has previously held faculty positions at Yale University and New York University. He has ten years of clinical expertise in both university and private practice settings. He has long been passionate about chronic disease prevention and strongly believes individuals and communities, with the help of caring trained professionals, can make powerful changes critical to overall health and well-being.
Dr. Dong Wook Kim
Dr. Kim completed his internship and residency in medicine at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, IL and was selected as Chief Resident at University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, IL. He completed his fellowship training in clinical nutrition at Columbia University Medical Center and additional fellowship training in nutrition and obesity at Boston Medical Center (BMC) in Boston, MA. Dr. Kim is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine in the Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition.
His current responsibilities include clinical care and teaching in the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at BMC. As a full-time member and attending physician in the BMC clinical nutrition program, Dr. Kim is a part of a multidisciplinary team whose task is to diagnose and treat malnourished and morbidly obese patients with multiple co-morbidities. He leads the Nutrition Support Service team and manages the consults for patients with severe malnutrition, multiple nutritional deficiencies and feeding difficulties. In the Nutrition and Weight Management Center, Dr. Kim evaluates and treats patients with obesity, including management of patients before and after bariatric surgery.
Dr. Jessica Kobleur
Dr Jessica Kobleur is the Medical Director of a pediatric multidisciplinary weight management program, the Gulfstream Children’s Wellness Clinic at Memorial Health University Hospital in Savannah, Georgia. She is also a practicing general pediatrician at the hospital’s outpatient center University Pediatrics. Dr. Kobleur teaches students and residents about the implications and management of childhood obesity. She and her Wellness Team provide teaching and act as a resource for local community pediatricians, schools and community programs. Dr. Kobleur graduated medical school and completed residency at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia. She is board certified in pediatric medicine and has been a diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine since 2016.
Dr. Sophie Lanciers
A native of Belgium, Dr. Lanciers earned her MD degree cum laude in Brussels, Belgium. She trained in anesthesiology, pediatrics, pediatric gastroenterology and obesity medicine before making her way to the United States. In New Orleans, Dr. Lanciers was Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Tulane University and Attending Pediatric Gastroenterologist at Tulane Medical Center. In addition to the treatment and prevention of childhood obesity, Dr. Lanciers has a clinical interest in pediatric gastroenterology.
Dr. Jenilee Lawrence
Dr. Holly Lofton
Dr. Holly Lofton started her personal journey of weight loss as a pre-teen when she modified her lifestyle to improve her diet and became more active in sports. She continued to pursue her interest in weight management in her college years at Boston University when she trained as an aerobics instructor. Even during her regimented medical school years at the Medical College of Georgia, she enlisted patients and fellow classmates to lead more active lifestyles and to use nutrition to improve their overall health.
Dr. Lofton continued to investigate the importance of weight loss in prevention and treatment of medical conditions as she completed her Internal Medicine residency at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. She was then hand selected from a pool of many physicians to train at Geisinger Medical Center’s fellowship in Nutrition and Obesity Medicine in Pennsylvania.
It was during that time that Dr. Lofton honed her skills at using evidence based medicine to treat overweight and obesity as well as utilizing nutrition as a component of caring for the whole patient. After completing the fellowship, she scored in the top ten highest amongst physicians who passed the Board Examination for the American Board of Obesity Medicine, and went on to serve as a staff physician and fellowship director at Geisinger.
In recent years, she has served on the bariatric medicine committee for the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery as well as on the Advisory Board and Board of Directors for the Obesity Action Coalition, all while training other physicians to become skilled in weight management and nutrition. She also educated the general public about the importance of maintaining a normal weight through lectures, workshops, and a national radio segment.
Dr. Lofton was welcomed into the NYU Langone Weight Management Program in early 2012. In her practice, she combines scientifically proven weight loss techniques with medications and behavior modification to find each patient’s niche. She is currently involved in developing research investigating changes in metabolic rates during and after weight loss.
Dr. Beth Marshall-Bergman
Dr. Beth Marshall-Bergman received her medical degree from Midwestern University, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at The University of Illinois at Chicago. She is board certified in internal medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. Dr. Marshall practices internal medicine and obesity medicine at Rush Oak Park Hospital in Oak Park, IL. Her clinical interests include the impact of behavioral modification and mindfulness as they relate to obesity, weight loss, and chronic disease management.
Dr. Mara Matkovic
Dr. Matkovic is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, where she also completed her residency. She is currently working as an Investigative Physician at the World Trade Center Monitoring and Treatment Program where her focus is on managing and preventing chronic disease and cancer in this special population. She is currently a subinvestigator on a clinical trial which is investigating lifestyle intervention to reduce body weight and systemic inflammation among World Trade Center responders with PTSD.
Dr. Mohamad Mokadem
Dr. Mohamad Mokadem was born in Lebanon and completed undergraduate studies and medical training at the American university of Beirut (AUB) in 2003. He did his initial residency training in Internal Medicine at the AUB-Medical center where he also served as the Medical Chief Resident during the academic year 2006-2007. Thereafter, he moved to the United States for advanced training where he did another residency in Internal Medicine at Indiana University in Indianapolis between 2007 and 2010.
Dr. Mokadem then moved to Dallas, Texas where he completed fellowship training in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at UT Southwestern (UTSW) University. During that same period (extending between 2010 and 2014) he also finished a post-doctoral fellowship training in obesity and metabolism within the Center for Hypothalamic Research at UTSW under the supervision and guidance of Joel Elmquist DVM, PhD and Vincent Aguirre M.D, Ph.D. He now holds the position of assistant professor in the department of internal medicine/division of gastroenterology at the University of Iowa where he is involved in clinical management of gastrointestinal diseases and obesity.
Dr. Marsha Novick
Dr. Marsha Novick is the Medical Director of the Pediatric Multidisciplinary Weight Loss Program at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. She graduated from Rush Medical College in Chicago and completed her residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She is board certified in family medicine and has been a Diplomate of the Board of Obesity Medicine since 2004. Before moving to Central Pennsylvania, Dr. Novick was the Medical Director of the Seacoast Weight & Wellness Center, a weight loss clinic for adults and children in Exeter, New Hampshire. For the last 9 years, she has worked at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital in the Division of the Pediatric Multidisciplinary Weight Loss Program, teaching medical students and residents about obesity care and helping thousands of obese children, adolescents and their families with weight management. She serves on the Pennsylvania AAP’s Pediatric Obesity Evaluation, Treatment & Prevention in the Community Setting Advisory Committee and the AAP’s Section for Obesity.
Dr. Norsheen Qureshi
Dr. Nosheen Qureshi is a Family Physician in Charlotte, North Carolina at Atrium Health. Dr. Qureshi received her medical degree from Rawalpindi Medical University in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. She completed her residency in 2003 at North Shore-LIJ (now Northwell Health) in Long Island, New York. After working at a private practice in Long Island, she re-located to Charlotte in 2005.
Dr. Qureshi works primarily with indigent communities in the greater Charlotte region. She prefers working with low-income communities for maximum impact due to their limited resources and a high-risk for conditions associated with obesity. She believes that constructive education at an early age on the topic of obesity and its profound risk to health will have a positive long-term impact in this often-overlooked populace.
In her free time, Dr. Qureshi enjoys reading, coaching the local Science Olympiad team, and spending time outdoors with her family.
Dr. Jennifer Rajkumar
Dr. Jennifer Rajkumar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and is employed at the Northwell Health’s Center for Weight Management. She is board certified in Family Medicine and is a diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a member of the Obesity Medicine Association. She received her undergraduate degree from George Mason University and an M.D. at Virginia Commonwealth University prior to completing her residency training in Family Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University’s affiliated Riverside Health System. She is passionate about chronic disease prevention, nutritional and culinary education, and evidence-based treatment of clinical obesity.
Dr. Trissa Reid
Dr. Reid is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University in the Division of Endocrinology. She completed her medical training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, followed by an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center-Albert Einstein College of Medicine. After her residency, she spent a year as a Research Fellow and then completed her fellowship training in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, both at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University.
Dr. Reid is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology. During her fellowship, her research focused on acromegaly. She received an Endocrine Fellows Foundation Award as well as an NIH supplemental grant to investigate the endothelial function of patients with acromegaly. Her current research focuses on obesity and changes in hormones and medical co-morbidities in patients undergoing bariatric surgery. She currently treats patients at the Columbia University Weight Control Center.
Dr. Katherine Saunders
Katherine H. Saunders, MD, DABOM is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and an Assistant Attending Physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Saunders received her undergraduate degree Phi Beta Kappa/Summa Cum Laude from Dartmouth College with a BA in Religion and Engineering. She received her medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College, where she became a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. She completed her internship and residency training in Internal Medicine (Primary Care) at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Saunders was the first Clinical Fellow in Obesity Medicine at the Comprehensive Weight Control Center at Weill Cornell Medicine, where she trained under the supervision of Louis J. Aronne, MD, FACP, FTOS, DABOM. Dr. Saunders is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM). She is a member of The Obesity Society (TOS). She serves on TOS’s Clinical and CME Oversight Committees as well as ABOM’s Journal Article Review Recertification Pathway Committee. She gives lectures and has published several peer-reviewed articles on pharmacotherapy for obesity.
Dr. Kavitha Selvaraj
Dr. Kavitha Selvaraj is a pediatric weight management specialist trained in clinical medicine, research, teaching, and advocacy. As a pediatrician, her career goal is to promote trauma-informed obesity care in order to reduce toxic stress and improve children’s long-term cardiometabolic and emotional health.
She obtained her Bachelor’s degree with honors in biology from the University of Chicago, during which time she volunteered as a state-certified rape and domestic violence crisis counselor on the south and west sides of Chicago. After college, she taught 7th grade biology and health in an underserved neighborhood through Teach for America in Los Angeles, where she earned a Master of Arts degree in Secondary Science Education from Loyola Marymount University. She returned to Chicago to complete medical school at the University of Chicago and her pediatrics residency at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. She recently completed her fellowship and chief fellowship in Academic General Pediatrics and Primary Care at Lurie, where she also served as an Instructor of Pediatrics at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and obtained a Master of Public Health degree from Northwestern. She is a double board-certified attending physician in pediatrics and obesity medicine with clinical experience in Lurie’s Wellness and Weight Management Clinic, Preventive Cardiology Clinic, Primary Care Clinic, and Inpatient Service. Her research involves screening for adverse childhood experiences and social determinants of health in the pediatric primary care setting, as well as improving quality of care for children with severe obesity attending subspecialty clinics.
Dr. Taraneh Soleymani
Dr. Taraneh Soleymani is an Assistant Professor in University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Nutrition Sciences, Associate Scientist in the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC), and Fellow of The Obesity Society. After completing her Internal Medicine residency at Seton Hall University, Newark, NJ, she completed a fellowship in clinical nutrition at UAB with a focus on obesity and inpatient nutrition in critically ill. Dr. Soleymani practices patient tailored, evidence based, and comprehensive medical management of obesity working alongside bariatric surgeons, dietitians, behaviorists and exercise trainers. She also practices inpatient nutrition at Birmingham VA Medical Center with a focus on malnutrition and parental nutrition.
Dr. Soleymani is the Medical Director of EatRight by UAB and co-director of UAB Weight Loss Medicine where she is involved in developing protocols to ensure quality medical care and operational efficiency and overseeing strategic program developments to achieve optimized obesity care.
Dr. Soleymani is involved in several obesity related multidisciplinary and translational research projects. Her research focus is the effect of diet macro composition on management of chronic diseases related to obesity, and changes in body composition. She is passionate about educating the future healthcare professionals in obesity and its management. She is the course director for UAB School of Medicine elective titled “Obesity, Clinical Nutrition, and Food Policy”. And the course director for two clinical electives: “Clinical Management of Obesity” and “Hospital Nutrition”. Dr. Soleymani is board certified in Internal Medicine and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine.
Dr. Reshmi Srinath
Reshmi Srinath, MD, is an assistant professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease, and is the director of the Mount Sinai Weight and Metabolism Management Program. Her interest in metabolism, nutrition, and prevention of metabolic disease started in college as a Division 1 tennis player and led her to pursue a career in medicine and specialize in Endocrinology. She graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine with a merit scholarship. She then completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, and fellowship training in Endocrinology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, before moving to New York to join Mount Sinai. As a faculty member, her expertise is in the prevention and treatment of obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic complications. She is also involved in supervising students, residents and fellows both inpatient and in clinics, as well as preparing current fellows for the Endocrinology board exam.
Dr. Devika Umashanker
Devika Umashanker, MS, MBA, MD, has an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering, Psychology, and Biology from Rutgers University. She worked for Stryker before obtaining her Business degree in Healthcare Management and Finance at the Fox School of Business, Temple University. Dr. Umashanker worked for the Division of Medicare and Medicaid Services, Blue Cross Blue Shield in Philadelphia, PA as a Business Analyst while obtaining her Postbaccalaureate degree at the University of Pennsylvania. She obtained her medical degree at the American University of the Caribbean, St. Martin. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at Yale University and practiced Hospital Medicine for two years. Afterwards, Dr. Umashanker completed her fellowship in Obesity Medicine at the Comprehensive Weight Control Center at Weill Cornell Medicine, where she trained under the guidance and mentorship of Louis J. Aronne, MD, FACP, FTOS, DABOM .
Dr. Umashanker is the Obesity Medicine Director of Medical Weight Management, Department of Bariatric Surgery at Hartford Healthcare, Connecticut. Dr. Umashanker is an Assistant Professor at University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Assistant Professor at Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine.
Dr. Adrienne Youdim
Dr. Adrienne Youdim is well-recognized for her expertise in the areas of nutrition, obesity medicine and preventative medicine. Formerly the Medical Director of the Cedars Sinai Center for Weight Loss, she has partnered with hundreds of patients helping them achieve their goal of better health through good nutrition. Dr. Youdim specializes in medical weight loss, medical nutritional therapy and nutritional and metabolic support of bariatric surgery patients.
Dr. Youdim is board certified and diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine, the National Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists and the American Board of Obesity Medicine as well as Fellow of the American College of Physicians. She is currently Associate Professor of Medicine at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Dr. Youdim received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and her medical degree from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. She completed her internship and residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center as a well as a fellowship specializing in nutrition and bariatric medicine.
Dr. Youdim has lectured extensively at the local and national level and has served on numerous professional committees and societies including serving as president of the Bariatric Section of the Obesity Society. Her published works include the Clinical Practice Guidelines in the Nutritional and Perioperative Care of the Bariatric Surgery Patient among other publications in peer reviewed journals such as Endocrine Practice, Obesity, Journal of Surgery and Obesity Related Diseases, Journal of Immunology and Bariatric Times. She has also edited several chapters in Nutrition and Obesity.