Thomas A. Wadden, PhD, Former Director

Thomas A. Wadden, PhD
Thomas A. Wadden, PhD

Thomas A. Wadden, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He served as director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders from 1993 to 2017 and was appointed in 2011 (through 2021) as the inaugural Albert J. Stunkard Professor in Psychiatry. He received his A.B. in 1975 from Brown University and his doctorate in clinical psychology in 1981 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Wadden’s principal research is on the treatment of obesity by methods that have included lifestyle modification, very-low-calorie diets, physical activity, medication, and surgery. He has also investigated the metabolic and psychosocial consequences of obesity and of intentional weight loss, the latter as represented by findings from the 16-year long Look AHEAD study. He has published over 500 scientific papers and book chapters and has co-edited seven books, the most recent of which is the Handbook of Obesity Treatment (with George A. Bray). His research has been supported for more than 35 years by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Wadden has served on expert panels for the National Institutes of Health, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine). He served as president of the Obesity Society in 2005-2006 and as associate editor of Obesity (the Society’s journal) from 2008-2012 and again from 2020 to the present.

Recent publications include:

Heymsfield SB, Wadden TA. Mechanisms, pathophysiology, and management of obesity. N Engl J Med 2017;376:1492.

Look AHEAD Research Group, Wadden TA, Chao AM, Anderson H, Annis K, Atkinson K, Bolin P, Brantley P, Clark JM, Coday M, Dutton G, Foreyt JP, Gregg EW, Hazuda HP, Hill JO, Hubbard VS, Jakicic JM, Jeffery RW, Johnson KC, Kahn SE, Knowler WC, Korytkowski M, Lewis CE, Laferrère B, Middelbeek RJ, Munshi MN, Nathan DM, Neiberg RH, Pilla SC, Peters A, Pi-Sunyer FX, Rejeski WJ, Redmon B, Stewart T, Vaughan E, Wagenknecht LE, Walkup MP, Wing RR, Wyatt H, Yanovski SZ, and Zhang P. Changes in mood and health-related quality of life in Look AHEAD six years after termination of the lifestyle intervention. Obesity 2021;29:1294-1308.

Wadden TA, Bailey TS, Billings LK, Davies M, Frias JP, Koroleva A, Lingvay I, O’Neil PM, Rubino DM, Skovgaard D, Wallenstein SOR, Garvey WT. Effect of subcutaneous semaglutide vs placebo as an adjunct to intensive behavioral therapy on body weight in adults with overweight or obesity: The STEP 3 randomized clinical trial. JAMA 2021;325:1403-1413.

Wadden TA, Bray GA (eds). Handbook of Obesity Treatment (second edition). New York, NY. Guilford Press, 2018.

Wilding JPH, Batterham RL, Calanna S, Davies M, Van Gaal L, Lingvay I, McGowan BM, Rosenstock J, Tran MTD, Wadden TA, Wharton S, Yokote K, Zeuthen N, Kushner RF. Once weekly semaglutide in adults with overweight or obesity. N Engl J Med 2021;384:989-1002.

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