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. Alyssa Minnick

Study Overview:

This study is being conducted to test the feasibility of a 16-week behavioral sleep extension intervention in adults with obesity. It will also test the effects of this sleep program on the amount of time you sleep at night (sleep duration), daytime sleepiness, sleep disturbance, and health-related factors, such as weight, eating behaviors, overall wellbeing, and blood pressure.

Study Description:

All participants will receive a 16-week behavioral sleep extension treatment program. As part of the program, you will attend weekly individual sleep treatment visits for 6 weeks, followed by visits every 2 weeks for the remaining 10 weeks of the program. Therefore, there will be a total of 11 visits over the 16-weeks, most of which will be video telehealth visits. Participants will be asked to complete a daily sleep diary during the treatment program and measurements of sleepiness at each treatment visit.

Participants will complete an in-person screening visit, and if eligible, they will complete 3 in-person assessment visits during the study: at the start of the program (baseline), in the middle of the program (Week 8), and at the end of the program (Week 16). These in-person assessment visits will also include an individual sleep treatment visit.

Assessments include:

  • Measurement of your normal, daily activities (including sleep) via a wrist device for 1-week assessment periods at baseline, mid-treatment, and end of treatment
  • Questionnaires that ask about your sleep, health, eating behaviors, weight, wellbeing, and mental health
  • Measurements of your height, weight, waist circumference, neck circumference, and vital signs, including blood pressure, at in-person assessment visits  
  • 24-hour food recalls completed online during the assessment periods

Participation in this study is approximately 19 weeks, which includes screening procedures and (if eligible) the 16-week sleep treatment program with assessment visits. Participants are eligible to receive up to $100 for study participation. The sleep health treatment program is provided at no cost as part of the study.


  • Experience chronic short sleep at night (<6.5 hours/night)
  • Age 18-50 years old
  • Have high weight (BMI > 30 kg/m2)
  • Desire to increase the number of hours you sleep per night
  • Are available for study visits and assessments for 5 months
  • Are free of type 1 and type 2 diabetes

Additional Information:

As a form of medical clearance, participants will be required to provide a completed form for study participation from their primary care provider to indicate that it is medically safe for them to participate in this study

Click here to learn more.

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