Dr. Nikhil Dhurandhar. First Scientist to Discover a Virus that May Cause Obesity/Excess Weight.
Dr. Nikhil Dhurandhar is a U.S.-based physician and obesity researcher today, but he started his career in a very different place. In 1983, he was an eager new physician ready to start medical practice. Throughout childhood, he had heard from his father (Dr. Vinod Dhurandhar) about how people with obesity were abused, tricked, and fooled by quackery.
People desperate to lose weight were being misled, and the only things getting thinner were their wallets. Following his father’s footsteps, he decided to become a bariatric physician and learned from his father.
After making a breakthrough discovery – discovering the first virus in history that was associated with human obesity – he moved to America in 1992 to continue research. He is considered the “founding father” of the field of Infectobesity (obesity of infectious origin).
As a researcher, Dr. Nikhil has written and given 412 research publications. One of the highest number of publications and presentations by any Indian researcher in obesity.
Dr. Nikhil is a best-selling author, and the first Indian to become President of The Obesity Society – North America’s largest professional obesity association.
National Geographic made a full-length documentary about his life and work.
He is currently Professor and Chairman of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA
His past appointments include:
John Henry Hernandez Endowed Professor and Chief of the Infection and Obesity Lab at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.A.
William Hardy Endowed Chair in Obesity Research at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
Executive Director of the Rochester Center for Obesity Research and Treatment, Rochester Hills, Michigan, U.S.A.
His Awards and Honors Include:
1. Inductee of the National Academy of Inventors (2017)
2. Korean Nutrition Society Award (highest honor in nutrition from the largest nutrition society in Korea) (2017)
3. Bluebonnet Award from the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (highest honor in Dietetics from the State of Texas) (2017)
4. The Osborne and Mendel Award for outstanding research by the American Society for Nutrition (largest Nutrition society in the world). (2015)
5. President (four year, sequential stages) of The Obesity Society 2012-2016.
6. Esquire Magazine “Best and Brightest Minds in the U.S.” (2007)
7. Dr. D.V. Tamhane Memorial Award for best research in food and biotechnology, 1991.