Donna Ryan is Professor and Associate Executive Director for Clinical Research at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Dr. Ryan's interest in obesity research was mentored by George Bray, beginning with a 1992 dose-ranging study of sibutramine. She has been an Investigator on DPP (Diabetes Prevention Program), Co PI of POUNDS Lost (macronutrient approaches to weight loss) and Co-PI of Look AHEAD (a study of lifestyle intervention designed to produce ~10% weight loss in diabetic persons). Dr. Ryan is PI of LOSS (Louisiana Obese Subjects Study), a pragmatic clinical trial of intensive medical therapy for severe obesity conducted in six Louisiana primary care clinics as part of their routine practice. Dr. Ryan also developed an interest in obesity education and, in particular, in training primary care physicians to incorporate obesity management into their medical practices. Since 1998 she has served as Co PI for the CORE program (Centers of Obesity Research and Education), which brings continuing education in obesity management to health care professionals. She is an editorial board member for Obesity Management and Obesity Reviews. Dr. Ryan's scholarly activities include authorship of 104 original publications and 27 chapters and reviews, primarily in the field of obesity.
Dr. Ryan has served The Obesity Society (TOS) on the Education Committee from 2000-2003 and the annual TOS meeting Program Committee from 2003-2006, assuming chair duties in 2006. She has chaired the Hospitality Committee for the 2007 meeting.
Dr. Ryan has served to interface academic and industrial components in addressing the obesity epidemic, serving as an advisor to drug, device, and food companies. She is a member of the Louisiana Task Force on Obesity and testifies regularly on obesity-related issues before the state legislature. Dr. Ryan is also an active mentor; she chairs the Clinical Mentoring Committee at PBRC and is a role model, in particular, for junior women scientists.