Ongoing Research

Dr. Jena Tronieri

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are offering a 72-week weight loss program that is designed to help all participants lose weight. All participants will receive lifestyle modification (diet, exercise, and behavioral treatment). Participants will also be prescribed an FDA-approved weight loss medication (semaglutide) or placebo.

You may be eligible to participate if you are:

  • Between the ages of 18-70
  • Overweight
  • Interested in losing weight
  • Are available for study-related visits and assessments for 72 weeks


  • You do not have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

If interested, please call (610) 557 3251 or click here for more information about the STABLE Weight Loss Study!

Dr. Ariana Chao

The purpose of this intervention research project is to conduct a randomized controlled trial in adults with obesity and food insecurity to assess whether behavioral weight loss treatment and providing food or resources for food can improve weight loss, diet quality, and perceived physical and mental health in individuals with obesity and food insecurity. Food insecurity is defined as a lack of regular access to enough safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and an active and healthy life.

All participants will receive behavioral weight loss counseling. The behavioral weight loss program consists of 14 individual lifestyle counseling sessions. Each session will be approximately 15-20 minutes. Visits will be scheduled weekly for the first 4 weeks and every other week from weeks 6-24. With the exception of the three assessment visits (screening, week 12, and week 24) all counseling sessions can be conducted virtually. 

Participants will be randomized (like the flip of a coin) to one of three groups. Groups include:

1.    Behavioral weight loss counseling as described above;

2.    Behavioral weight loss counseling + grocery store gift cards worth $40 every 2 weeks

3.    Behavioral weight loss counseling + groceries mailed to your house. Every 2 weeks you will get to choose 1 out of 4 boxes that have approximately $40 worth of food

In addition, we will ask you to complete 3 assessment visits; one at the beginning, one in the middle (week 12), and one at the end of the study (week 24). These assessment visits must  be conducted in person at the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania's campus.

Assessments include:

  • Questionnaires that ask about your physical and mental health, eating behaviors, mood, physical activity, and ability to afford and access food. These take about 30 minutes to complete.
  • Measures of your weight, height, waist circumference, blood pressure
  • Measure of your health using non-invasive scans of your finger
  • 24-hour diet recall conducted in-person
  • 24-hour diet recall conducted by phone

Patients are eligible to receive $120 compensation for participation in the study.

Please contact Alex at or (215) 573 7403.

Dr. Kelly Allison

Overview: POWERS (Physiology Of the WEight Reduced State) is a national research study funded by the NIH. The study involves a behavioral weight loss intervention at Drexel University, a weight-stable period, and an observational phase. Participants will monitor their weight at home with an internet-connected scale and come to Penn Medicine for 6 assessment visits involving physiological and behavioral testing.


Who is eligible?


You are eligible if you:

For more information go to or read below!


What does the study involve?


Phase 1:

  • Screening and informed consent including some biomedical measures
  • An overnight hospital visit where you will complete physiological and behavioral tests
  • 20-week behavioral weight loss intervention
    • Lose approximately 7% of your current weight
    • Weekly meetings, daily food logs and activity measurement, meal replacements

Weight stabilization:

  • Once weight loss ends, remain at your reduced weight for two weeks prior to your second assessment
  • Another overnight hospital visit with physiological and behavioral tests

Phase 2:

  • 12 months of weight maintenance
    • Behavioral weight loss intervention ends. Weekly weight and activity monitoring and monthly food recalls are done at home or over Zoom.
  • Two more overnight hospital visits at months 4 and 12 with physiological and behavioral tests

Interested? Go to


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