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 hursting steve

Jean Andrews Distinguished Professor 2024

 stephen hursting, phd

Stephen Hursting, PhD, MPH, is an international leader in the areas of nutrition, obesity, metabolism, and cancer. He is the Director of the UNC Nutrition Research Institute, and he is also a Professor in the Departments of Nutrition and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. His lab focuses on the molecular and metabolic mechanisms underlying obesity-cancer associations, and the impact of obesity-energy balance modulation (e.g., calorie restriction and exercise) or pharmacologic agents on cancer development, progression, and responses to chemotherapy. Dr. Hursting’s lab has demonstrated that weight loss can reverse or reduce risk for obesity-associated metabolic, inflammatory, and pro-cancer effects. While weight loss can be challenging for many, Dr. Hursting is working to develop weight loss strategies that are both achievable and effective and to understand at the molecular level how the reduction of adiposity can impede cancer development and progression.


Past Speakers



Dr. Jamy Ard

Jamy Ard photo Dr. Jamy Ard is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in obesity research and treatment. He is a Professor of Epidemiology and Prevention and the Association Dean of Research at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. His clinical research is focused on studying strategies to treat obesity in adults using a variety of state-of-the-art approaches, ranging from surgery and medications to lifestyle therapy with remote monitoring. His approach to treatment is highly informed by his research, which includes asking relevant research questions that expand how we treat obesity. Dr. Ard’s special expertise is in treating adults where obesity treatment is particularly challenging. This includes individuals from ethnic minority groups, older adults, and those with severe obesity. In the clinic, he is also exploring how to use new obesity treatments to improve the control, or bring about the resolution, of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes. Dr. Ard is President of The Obesity Society, one of the largest professional organizations for obesity researchers and clinicians.


Dr. Emily Oken


Dr. Emily Oken is a Professor in the Departments of Nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and Population Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute.  Dr. Oken’s ground-breaking research examines the role of nutrition, toxicants, and other modifiable factors on pregnancy, early childhood, and long-term maternal and child health. 


Dr. Anne McTiernan

Dr. Anne McTiernan is an internist and epidemiologist at the University of Washington Schools of Public Health and Medicine. Her research is focused on the role of obesity, diet, and exercise on breast cancer risk and prognosis. 


Dr. Kevin Hall



Dr. Kevin Hall is the Integrative Physiology Section Chief and a Senior Investigator in the Laboratory of Biological Modeling at the National Institutes of Health. He is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the factors that regulate energy balance.


Dr. Rob Knight
 Rob Knight Dr. Rob Knight is a Professor at the University of California, San Diego. A world leader in gut microbiomes, he is the co-founder of the American Gut Project and the Earth Microbiome Project.
Dr. Edward Giovanucci
 Giovannucci Dr. Edward Giovanucci is a Professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He spoke about nutritional, hormonal, and genetic factors related to various malignancies, especially those of the prostate and large bowel. 
Dr. Bruce Spiegelman
 Spiegelman Dr. Bruce Spiegelman is the Stanley J. Korsmeyer Professor at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Dr. David Heber
 Heber Dr. David Heber is a Professor of Medicine and Public Health and Founding Chief of the Division of Clinical Nutrition in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr. Randy Jirtle
 Jirtle Dr. Randy Jirtle is Professor of Epigenetics at the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Bedfordshire, Bedford, UK and a senior scientist at McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Dr. Walter Willett
 Willett Dr. Walter Willett is the Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health.
Dr. John Milner
Milner Dr. John Milner is Chief of the Nutritional Science Research Group in the Division of Cancer Prevention of the National Cancer Institute. 




History of lectureship

The Jean Andrews Centennial Faculty Fellowship in Human Nutrition was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System on June 17, 1983, for the benefit of the Department of Nutritional Sciences and the College of Natural Sciences. Gift funds were provided by Jean Andrews, Ph.D. of Austin, Texas, a 1944 graduate of The University of Texas at Austin College of Natural Sciences. 

 JeanAndrewsDr. Jean Andrews