Nutrition and Preventive Medicine Research

The Division of Nutrition and Preventive Medicine is the home of the nation's largest and most sophisticated weight control center. A multidisciplinary team of physicians, mid-level providers, psychologists, dietitians, and exercise physiologists care for approximately 2,000 patients per year. Patients are referred for obesity and its related problems including dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, sleep apnea, and a multitude of other comorbidities.

A broad focus of our research centers on commonality of obesity and cardiovascular diseases in our current populations. Epidemiological studies, studies of clinical decision-making and randomized trials involving preventive and therapeutic interventions are considered. The overlapping interests and patients of Nutrition and Preventive Medicine with Cardiology allows for a natural synergy to pursue collaborative projects.

Key Research Areas

Investigation into the underlying clinical science of obesity including studies on epidemiology and secular trends; the genetic, physiologic, psychological and sociocultural pathogenesis; associated comorbidities including Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, surgical issues (e.g. gallbladder disease and abdominal hernias), sleep disorders, and malignancies (breast, colon, prostate, uterus), and the abnormal circulatory physiology of obesity. The goal is to take results from such research studies and integrate them into novel treatments for obesity. We focus on both pediatric and adult multi-disciplinary approaches to weight control and promoting healthy lifestyles. Adult interventions include food, diets and exercise; meal replacements; medical therapies; and bariatric surgery. 





Research Interests

Wendy M. Miller, M.D.

Director, Nutrition and Preventive Medicine

Professor, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Director, Beaumont Healthy Kids Program

Obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiometabolic risk, nutraceutical meal replacement diets, inflammation, childhood obesity, diabetes

Barry A. Franklin, Ph.D.

Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation

Professor, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Heart disease, atherosclerosis, exercise, cardiac rehabilitation

Katherine E. Nori, M.D.

Director of Nutritional Medicine

Associate Professor, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Obesity, diabetes, weight loss, meal replacement diets

Kerstyn Zalesin, M.D.

Director of Bariatric Medicine

Associate Professor, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Bariatric medicine, bariatric surgery, obesity, diabetes, vitamin D, metabolic bone disease

Tracy R. Juliao

Director of Psychology

Assistant Professor, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Integrated health care, lifestyle change, obesity, diabetes, health psychology

Silvia Veri, RD

Nutrition Supervisor

Nutrition, diet, meal replacement, macronutrient, micronurtrient

Martin Lillystone, MA

Exercise Physiologist Supervisor 

Exercise therapy, weight loss

Research Accomplishments

  • Dr. Nori demonstrated a breakthrough in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Using interventional (nonsurgical) weight loss approaches, she has demonstrated that remission of type 2 diabetes is possible. Her study patients have normal measure of blood sugar control and no longer require insulin or other diabetic medications. Dr. Nori is currently studying micronutrient status of obese patients and bariatric surgery patients.
  • Dr. Zalesin has completed a project in morbidly obese patients with diabetes undergoing bariatric surgery and has also shown reduction in Framingham Risk Score in the bariatric surgery population. Her research has focused on remission and improvement of obesity-specific comorbidities and post-operative complications in bariatric surgery patients.
  • Dr. Franklin represented Beaumont on the American Heart Association Council on Clinical Cardiology, Subcommittee on Exercise, Cardiac Rehabilitation, and Prevention; the Council on Cardiovascular Nursing; the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism; and the Stroke Council, producing the published scientific position statements on exercise and heart disease.
  • Dr. Miller was recognized by the Michigan State Surgeon General as leading one of the top, innovative programs (Beaumont Healthy Kids Program) for improving health behavior in the state of Michigan and also received the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan 2007 Innovations in Healthcare Award.  She was appointed to the Governor’s Childhood Obesity Prevention Workgroup and also serves on the Michigan Healthy Weight Partnership Committee. She has published outcomes on the Beaumont Healthy Kids Program as well as the adult Beaumont Weight Control Program.