A Generous Grant from NY State to New York Presbyterian Hospital
Will Support Unique Program for Treatment and Research in Childhood Obesity

Dr. Michael Rosenbaum, Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, and a diabetes investigator at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, is the project director of a unique, 2-year, $838,389 grant from the state of New York to develop a multi-disciplinary, treatment and clinical research program for children who are obese. Dr. Rosenbaum is also the Principal Investigator.

The Award is from ECRIP (Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program), created by the Department of Health (DOH) in New York, “to promote the training of physicians in clinical research in order to advance biomedical research in the state,” according to the ECRIP website.

“The program will be a simultaneous treatment center and a research project,” said Dr. Rosenbaum. “These two arms are intertwined to create a more efficient, more cost-effective, and more informative translational program to understand, treat, and prevent pediatric obesity and its complications.”

Like diabetes and most chronic illnesses, obesity is a complex disease with many different causes and consequences. To support the clinical needs of the research participants, the ECRIP grant is being structured to support the work of postdoctoral fellows in cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology and genetics. Each fellow will be both a researcher and a clinician and work with a mentor from a corresponding division in the department of pediatrics.

The research center (which will be established in the new Seidenberg Center for Nutritional Wellbeing at Columbia) will allow junior and senior investigators to engage in active research across multiple specialties, while streamlining care so that each child can be both a patient and a collaborator to optimize their treatment.

One of the research goals of the program is to establish and develop a database with each participant’s family history, genetics and various other important traits, that will be useful in “tailoring the treatment to each child,” said Dr. Rosenbaum “with the goal of diminishing both fatness and the likelihood of complications of excess weight.”

Dr. Michael Rosenbaum is an expert on obesity, which he has been studying at Columbia since 1997.  Dr. Rosenbaum is well known, along with Dr. Rudy Leibel, Co-Director of the Berrie Center, for the research that explains why the vast majority of people who lose weight, gain it back.