Meet the Awards committee

Dr. Donna Ryan, Chair

Professor Emerita, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, USA

Donna H. Ryan, MD is Professor Emerita at Pennington Biomedical in Baton Rouge, LA, and currently serves as Past President of World Obesity Federation. She is Associate Editor-in-Chief of the journal Obesity and has authored more than 200 publications, primarily on obesity. Dr Ryan’s research focuses on nutrition, obesity and obesity comorbidities. She has been an investigator for various US National Institutes of Health-sponsored studies, including Pounds Lost, DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), DPP (Diabetes Prevention Program) and the Look AHEAD study. Dr. Ryan’s continuing interests focus on translation of effective weight management into primary care practices.

Dr Ryan served as Co-Chair on the expert panel for the 2013 ACC/AHA/TOS evidence-based Guidelines on the Evaluation and Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults and was a panel member of the 2015 Endocrine Society Systematic Evidence Review and Guidelines for Medications that Affect Body Weight. She is Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for SELECT, a cardiovascular outcome trial of semaglutide.

Prof. Carel le Roux

Co-Director, Metabolic Medicine Group Diabetes Complications Research Centre, Conway Institute, University College Dublin, Ireland

Professor Carel le Roux graduated from medical school in Pretoria South Africa, completed his specialist training in metabolic medicine at St Bartholomew’s Hospitals and the Hammersmith Hospitals. He obtained his PhD from Imperial College London where he later took up a faculty position. He moved to University College Dublin for the Chair in Experimental Pathology and he is now the Director of the Metabolic Medicine Group.

He previously received a President of Ireland Young Researcher Award, Irish Research Council Laurate Award, Clinician Scientist Award from the National Institute Health Research in the UK, and a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellowship for his work on how the gut talks to the brain.

Prof. Tim Lobstein

Senior Policy Advisor, World Obesity Federation, London

Prof. Tim Lobstein is the Senior Policy Advisor at the World Obesity Federation, London. Prof. Lobstein is also an honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Innovation, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in London. He is also a Professor at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney Medical School, Sydney University, New South Wales, Australia.

Prof. Joe Proietto

Professor Emeritus, University of Melbourne, Australia

Joseph Proietto is Professor Emeritus at the University of Melbourne in the Department of Medicine Austin Health and an Endocrinologist specialising in Diabetes and Obesity. He established the first obesity clinic in Victoria at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and is now Head of the Weight control clinic at Austin Health. Professor Proietto was the inaugural Sir Edward Dunlop Medical Research Foundation, Professor of Medicine, and Head of the Metabolic Disorders Research Group in the Department of Medicine, Austin Health.

Research expertise includes Obesity, Body weight regulation, Type 2 Diabetes, Insulin resistance, Transgenic and Knockout mouse models. Professor Proietto has published over 200 articles and several book chapters on obesity and diabetes. He is the Author of “Body Weight Regulation: Essential Knowledge to lose weight and keep it off”.

Prof. Arya Sharma

Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Past-Chair in Obesity Research and Management, University of Alberta, Germany

Arya M. Sharma is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Alberta. He is also the Clinical Co-Chair of the Alberta Health Services Obesity Program. Dr. Sharma is founder and Scientific Director of Obesity Canada, a network of over 10,000 researchers, health professionals and other stakeholders. He is also the Past-President of the Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons.

His past appointments include positions as a Professor of Medicine and Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) at McMaster University (2002-2007), Professor of Medicine at the Franz-Volhard Klinik-Charite, Humboldt University Berlin (2000-2002) and the Free University of Berlin (1994-2000).

His research focuses on evidence-based prevention and management of obesity and it’s complications. Dr. Sharma is the leading voice in obesity science and medicine, has authored and co-authored more than 400 scientific articles, and has lectured widely on the etiology and management of hypertension, obesity, and related cardiovascular disorders.

Dr. Sharma is regularly featured as a medical expert in national and international TV and print media and maintains a widely-read blog at