Pre Conference Workshop

Obesity Management Workshop

Course Description

This pre-conference workshop will offer an in-depth exploration of the factors that drive obesity, with proven clinical strategies used to optimize health outcomes in patients. Presenters will identify the underlying metabolic, dietary, and lifestyle factors that contribute to obesity and overweightness, while discussing the specific roles of inflammation and the microbiome. The course will also offer a baseline introduction to practitioners seeking to learn more about obesity and weight change patterns. Instructors will discuss the common comorbidities between obesity and cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, sleep apnea, hyperlipidemia, and other diseases. All information will allow the clinician to connect common underlying mechanisms, in order to provide cohesive diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic interventions through the use of scientifically valid integrative approaches.

Learning Objectives

  • Review health implications surrounding obesity, in addition to evidence-based data
  • Discuss ketogenic diet and personalized approaches to weight management
  • Explain the ways in which diet, genomics, microbiome, and environmental factors influence the treatment of obese patients
  • Analyze and assess the emerging science regarding the impact of the microbiome on health and BMI
  • Evaluate the role of inflammation in metabolic syndrome


7:30 am - 8:30 am

Introduction to Obesity, Comorbidities, and Weight Change Patterns

Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD

8:30 am - 9:30 am

Ketogenic Approaches to Weight Management

Jeff Volek, PhD, RD

9:30 am - 10:00 am


10:00 am - 11:00 am

Obesity and the Microbiome: Precision Probiotics

Nikky Contractor, PhD

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Inflammation and Resolution in Obesity

Joan Claria, PhD

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Inflammation Management in Obesity (non-CME)

Robert Bonakdar, MD

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Food & Mood: Scientific and Clinical Strategies for Eating Issues Related to Obesity (non-CME)

Deanna Minich, PhD, FACN, CNS, IFMCP

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm


4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Tools for Ketogenic Weight Management (non-CME)

Jeff Volek, PhD, RD

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Lifestyle Medicine Approach to Weight Management (non-CME)

Cory Rice, DO

6:00 pm

End of Session


Robert Bonakdar, MD

Robert Bonakdar,

A member of the Division of Integrative Medicine, Dr. Bonakdar received his medical degree from the University of Nevada School of Medicine and his undergraduate degree in psychobiology from Occidental College in Los Angeles. He received the Richter Fellowship for Independent International Research in the field of Southeast Asian heath practices and studied in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, and Indonesia.

He completed a clinical and research fellowship in integrative medicine at Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in La Jolla and a residency in family practice at the Sharp Grossmont Family Practice Residency Program in San Diego. Board certified by the American Board of Family Practice, Dr. Bonakdar is a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the California Academy of Family Physicians, the American Holistic Medical Association, and the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture. He has conducted award-winning research and presented at numerous conferences in the area of herbal and natural medicines.

Joan Clria, MD

Joan Clària,

Dr. Joan Clària is currently a Senior Consultant at the Clinical Laboratory Service: Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics of the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona. He is also Professor at the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the School of Medicine of the University of Barcelona. He was trained as a specialist in Clinical Biochemistry and initiated his scientific career as a research fellow from 1987 to 1992 at the Liver Unit of the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona.

From 1993 to 1996 he performed his post-doctoral studies as a Fulbright scholar at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA) with Professor Charles N. Serhan, a leading scientist in the resolution of inflammation. He has also been a Visiting Scientist at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC) (2001) and The Jackson Laboratory (Bar Harbor, ME) (2007) and a Visiting Professor at the Harvard Institutes of Medicine (Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School) (Boston, MA) (2010-2011). His laboratory is mainly interested in the study of lipid mediators implicated in the resolution of inflammation, with a special emphasis on the role of specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) derived from omega-3-PUFA in obesity-associated liver complications. He is the innate immune Section Editor of the Journal of Immunology and member of the Editorial Boards of Gut, Lipids Insight, World Journal of Immunology and Frontiers in Lipidology and Metabolism. He is the current President of the European Society for Lipid Mediators.

Nikky Contractor, PhD

Nikky Contractor,

Dr. Contractor joined Metagenics in in 2014 to lead the development of scientifically validated, nutritional solutions for gastrointestinal health as the Digestive Health Therapeutic Platform lead. In 2016, Dr. Contractor assumed responsibility for oversight of all Therapeutic Platforms. Through extensive external collaborations, her team is responsible for the identification of new technologies, the design and execution of research programs, and the scientific substantiation required to support Metagenics products.

Dr. Contractor has extensive experience running research programs in both academic- and industry-research settings across the spectrum of preclinical to clinical research with over 10 years in the development of nutritional products. She has held leadership positions at Wyeth, Pfizer and Nestle and has authored over 15 peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Contractor earned her PhD in Immunology from the University of Pennsylvania where she studied the role of gut microbiota in models of inflammation and the function of the intestinal immune system. She continued these research interests as a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.

Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD, FACE

Osama Hamdy,

Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD, FACE is the Medical Director of the Obesity Clinical Program, at Joslin Clinic and Director of Inpatient Diabetes Management. He is a Clinical Investigator and attending Adult Endocrinologist at Joslin Diabetes Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Hamdy is a co-investigator of 2 landmark studies; the National Diabetes Prevention Program and the Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) Study. He translated the successful clinical research results of these lifestyle modification clinical trials into a clinical practice model through the initiation of the Why WAIT Program (Weight Achievement and Intensive Treatment), the world's first multidicplinary clinical practice model for diabetes weight management. Dr. Hamdy chaired the task force that developed the Joslin New Nutrition Guidelines and is a member of the Nutrition Guidelines Committee of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) that created the AACE Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Americans, the Guidelines for Obesity Management and the Guidelines for Bariatric Surgery.

Dr. Hamdy has over 100 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and clinical proceedings about diabetes and obesity. He is a member of editorial review boards for several medical journals including JAMA, Diabetes Care, Expert Opinion Journals and Obesity Research.

Deanna Minich, PhD, CNS

Deanna Minich,

Dr. Deanna Minich is a functional medicine-trained clinician and researcher with a unique approach to clinical medicine that combines physiology and psychology. She has trained in functional medicine for the past decade with the “Father of Functional Medicine,” Dr. Jeffrey Bland, as her mentor, and has served on the Institute of Functional Medicine’s Nutrition Advisory Board and curriculum committee, in addition to being a faculty member, teaching nutrition for the Advanced Practice Module for Detoxification. Her academic background is in nutritional science, including a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Illinois at Chicago (1995), and a Ph.D. in Medical Sciences (Nutrition) from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands (1999).

In conjunction with her academic degrees and extensive teaching experience at the university level, she is both a Fellow (F.A.C.N.) and a Certified Nutrition Specialist (C.N.S.) through the American College of Nutrition. Dr. Minich has over ten years of experience working in both the food and dietary supplement industries. In 2014, she led The Detox Summit, an online event featuring 30 experts on detox, which was attended by almost 70K people worldwide. Following The Detox Summit, she collaborated with the Institute for Functional Medicine to lead 3000 people through The Detox Challenge, a 21-day, online, functional medicine-oriented, holistic detoxification program. Results collected from almost 700 people in this program indicated a significant improvement in all body systems. Her book, Whole Detox: A 21-Day Personalized Program to Break Through Barriers in Every Area of Your Life (HarperOne, 2016), was published in March 2016. In addition, she spends her time as a Board member for the American College of Nutrition and the Nutritional Therapy Association, and as adjunct faculty at the University of Western States. She is the author of five books on nutrition, wellness, and psychology, and is passionate in helping others to live well using therapeutic lifestyle changes.

Cory Rice, DO

Cory Rice,

Dr. Cory Rice graduated from Baylor University with a bachelor’s degree in forensic science and then completed medical school at the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine in Glendale, Arizona. He attended Methodist Medical Center of Dallas for his internship and residency in Internal Medicine. He was chosen as Chief Resident of his Internal Medicine residency program during his final year. He spent two years in outpatient traditional Internal Medicine (including inpatient work in critical care and hospitalist medicine) before he and his medical partner, Dr. Villanueva, opened a private practice after identifying a profound need for a more directed focus on prevention and wellness as it related to outpatient medicine. They now put food first in virtually all of their medical recommendations and are continually amazed at the power of nutrition as it relates to improving function in the body and ultimately restoring health to their patients which, often times, leads to less prescription medicines.

Dr. Rice’s professional interests include nutrition based chronic disease management as well as bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for men and women. His clinical expertise is in most areas of chronic disease and, ultimately, the treatment and reversal of some of the more commonly encountered conditions in clinical practice today. His main focus in his practice is on wellness and prevention, nutrition, therapeutic lifestyle change and appropriate hormone balancing for men and women. His practice is a blend of both functional and lifestyle medicine.

Dr. Rice has been featured on local television as well as local and national radio to discuss a wide range of health care topics, including obesity in adults and children, healthy eating, healthy exercise, hormones, and lifestyle medicine. He remains actively involved in the education of young trainees and established healthcare practitioners on the benefits of lifestyle medicine as it relates to patient care and 21st century chronic disease. Dr. Rice frequently mentors in-state and out of state physicians from a variety of specialties looking to implement a similar treatment philosophy at their respective practice(s).

Dr. Rice currently serves on BioTE Medical’s Advisory Board. He has also been certified as a physician mentor through BioTE Medical, a leading provider of natural hormone replacement therapy using subcutaneous pellets, where he helps certified health care providers on the use of bioidentical pellets for both men and women.

Dr. Rice was awarded the 2015 Vision Award by BioTE Medical at their Annual Medical Conference in Marco Island, Florida. This is a Medical Excellence Award that recognizes his and his practice’s vision when it comes to educating patients and fellow physicians/practitioners in the area of appropriate, evidence-based hormone balancing for both men and women.

Dr. Rice is also an owner of Optimal Wellness and Hormone Balancing, PLLC in Dallas, TX. Visit their website at

You can read more about his accomplishments and recognitions here.

Jeff Volek, PhD, RD

Jeff Volek,

Dr. Jeff Volek is a registered dietitian and professor in the Department of Human Sciences at the Ohio State University. For the last two decades, he has performed cutting edge research elucidating how humans adapt to diets restricted in carbohydrate with a dual focus on clinical and performance applications. His work has contributed to the existing robust science of ketones and ketogenic diets, their use as a therapeutic tool to manage insulin resistance, plus their emerging potential to augment human performance and resiliency.

Dr. Volek has secured several million dollars in research funds from federal sources, industry, and foundations. He has been invited to lecture on his research over 200 times at scientific and industry conferences in a dozen countries. His scholarly work includes 300+ peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts and five books.

Accreditation Information

Physician Accreditation Statement

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Global Education Group (Global) and MMI.  Global is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Physician Credit Designation

Global Education Group designates this live activity for a maximum of 4.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nursing Continuing Education
Global Education Group is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s COA.

This educational activity for 4.0 contact hours is provided by Global Education Group. Nurses should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Pharmacist Accreditation Statement

ACPEGlobal Education Group is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

Credit Designation
Global Education Group designates this continuing education activity for 4.0 contact hour(s) (0.4 CEUs) of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. (Universal Activity Number - 0530-xxx-xx-xxx-xxx)
This is a knowledge based activity.

Please note, ACPE does not allow participants to claim partial credit. If you are a pharmacist, you must attend the full day’s sessions in order to claim credit. Credit is broken out by day (Day one – 4 hours).

Global Contact Information
For information about the accreditation of this program, please contact Global at 303-395-1782 or [email protected].

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A4M World Congress 2017 - The Venetian and Palazzo Resort

Venetian/Palazzo Resort

3355 Las Vegas Blvd. So.
Las Vegas, NV 89109, US
Phone: 702-414-4100

Rm Rate: $205/night
Room Rate Expires: 11-13-17
Group Code: RTARS

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