item writing committee
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. 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. Linda Shapiro
Dr. Linda Shapiro’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from the University of Southern California, a Medical Doctorate degree from Tulane University School of Medicine, an Internship in Internal Medicine at the University of Massachusetts, followed by a PhD and Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Kinesiology and Physiology at the University of Colorado.
Dr. Robert Siegel
Dr. Siegel attended the New York University School of Medicine and did his pediatric residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He has 30 years of experience as a general pediatrician and has been the Medical Director of the Center for Better Health and Nutrition at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center since 2009. He is also a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati.
Stephanie Sogg, PhD
Dr. Stephanie Sogg, PhD a licensed clinical psychologist, practicing for 15 years and in the field of obesity for 14 years (focusing exclusively on obesity for the past 12 years). She is a full-time clinician in an obesity medicine practice at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. She has worked with thousands of patients with obesity spanning the age range from children to older adults. She also conducts clinical research focusing on the psychosocial aspects of obesity and weight loss surgery, and teaches/presents locally, nationally, and internationally on topics pertaining to obesity. She has served on the Clinical and Education committees of TOS, and was recently elected to the ASMBS Integrated Health Executive Council. She is the lead author of the revised ASMBS Recommendations for Psychosocial Evaluation of Weight Loss Surgery Patients and the co-chair of the ASMBS Integrated Health Clinical Issues and Guidelines Committee.
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. Hani Soudah
Dr. Hani Charles Soudah earned his M.D. and PhD from The Eppendorfer-Klinik at the University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany. He completed his post-doctoral research fellowship training in gastrointestinal motility disorders at the Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Subsequently, he completed both his internship and residency training in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.
Dr. Soudah is specialized in both Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine. He provides state-of- the-art treatment for patients with obesity and obesity-related medical diseases. Dr. Soudah believes that obesity is a progressive disorder of weight regulating mechanisms that may lead to an abnormal communication between feeding and satiety centers in the brain. Subsequently, obesity may lead to numerous medical diseases and cancers. Presently, he is developing a multi-disciplinary unit to treat obesity and obesity associated diseases.
Dr. Kimberley Steele
Kimberley E. Steele, MD, PhD, FACS, FASMBS completed her surgical residency at Hershey Penn State University from 2000 to 2005 and her minimally invasive and bariatric surgical fellowship at Johns Hopkins 2005-2006. She is currently an Associate Professor of Surgery in the Department of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She has a secondary appointment as an Associate Professor in Heath, Science and Behavior, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Dr. Steele represents the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and is actively involved in the organization serving on both the research and pediatric surgery committees. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
Dr. Steele received a KL2 NIH award and Clinician Scientist Award in 2011, which allowed her to study at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she obtained a PhD in the Graduate Training in Clinical Investigation. She is recognized nationally and internationally for her research in obesity and bariatric surgery. More specifically her research interests include the neural correlates of feeding behavior, the influence of the gut on the brain, and improvement of surgical outcomes through the optimization of perioperative care.
Dr. Steele contributes in all facets of academia including clinical expertise, research and education.
Dr. Brooke Sweeney
Brooke Sweeney, MD, FAAP, is a Combined Internal Medicine/Pediatric Physician and the Medical Director of Weight Management services at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Missouri. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine.
Nationally, Dr. Sweeney is on the Governance Board of POWER (Pediatric Obesity Weight Evaluation Registry) and the Associate Director of POWER Recruitment. Dr. Sweeney is active in the Weight Management Expert Exchange of the Children’s Hospital Association/American Academy of Pediatrics Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight. Her clinical expertise is in prevention and treatment of chronic disease, weight management, and clinical care for children with obesity. Her research interests include improving the effectiveness of weight management clinics, transitional care, and using a national registry to improve pediatric weight management.
Dr. Cherie Vaz
Dr. Cherie Lisa Vaz is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Temple University, Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Philadelphia where she practices Endocrinology and Obesity Medicine. Dr. Vaz has been involved in obesity and diabetes research since she began her fellowship in Endocrinology at The State University of New York, Buffalo in 2011. She currently conducts clinical and translational research at Temple University in the fields of obesity, type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome. Dr. Vaz received the 2015 Obesity Medicine Grant Award supported by the Obesity Treatment Foundation. Dr. Vaz’s research involves lifestyle modification and technology for the prevention and treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes.Her research also studies neurocognitive function and neuroinflammation in vulnerable populations with type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Nationally, Dr. Vaz serves on American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) Endocrine Training Support Committee and AACE Technology Committee. She is also an abstract reviewer for the AACE National Meetings and has authored chapters in publications of the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Dr. Vaz is board certified in Obesity Medicine, Endocrinology and Internal Medicine. As faculty for the School of Medicine at Temple University, she mentors students and residents with an interest in Endocrinology or Obesity Medicine. She provides comprehensive didactics on the topics of obesity and type 2 diabetes as part of the medical school curriculum, in depth pathophysiology courses in Endocrinology and core curriculum lectures for the Endocrinology fellowship program.
Dr. Christy Watson
Dr. Christine Kirkendol Watson received her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and her MD from Indiana University.
She is the founder and medical director of LiveLight Clinic, LLC with three locations in the Indianapolis area. She has a lifelong interest in fitness, wellness and nutrition, and is passionate about obesity as a chronic medical condition and working to change the medical culture to accept this.
Dr. William Yancy
Dr. William Yancy is a board-certified internist and diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. He received his undergraduate degree from Duke University in 1991 and his medical degree from East Carolina University in 1995. He was a resident and Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh from 1995-1999. He completed a fellowship in General Medicine at Duke University, earning a Master in Health Sciences Degree in 2001. Dr. Yancy is Director of the Duke University Diet and Fitness Center, physician in the Duke Lifestyle Medicine Clinic, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University. He is also a Research Scientist in the Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, Staff Physician in Ambulatory Care, and Co-director of the MOVE! Weight Management program at the Durham VA Medical Center.
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.