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Claude Bouchard

Class of 2013-14

Claude Bouchard
Claude Bouchard

Louisiana State University
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Member, Order of Canada

For the last thirty-five years, Claude Bouchard has studied the genetics of obesity and the diseases commonly associated with obesity, including type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

Bouchard has also documented how genetics influence the ability of humans to adapt to regular exercise in terms of cardiorespiratory fitness and the changes experienced with regular exercise in risks for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. He obtained his results from several experimental twin studies and one large cohort of families exposed to a standardized exercise program. Bouchard’s research relies on physiological, metabolic, and genomics technologies.

In recognition of his work and its influence, the Canadian government selected Bouchard as a Member of the Order of Canada in 2001.

While serving as the executive director of Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center from 1999-2010, Bouchard established a human genomics laboratory. Today, as a professor and the center’s John W. Barton, Sr. Endowed Chair in Genetics and Nutrition, Bouchard conducts his full-time research activities in the human genomics laboratory. His current research seeks ways to predict the ability of humans to respond to regular exercise, the risks of an adverse response to an exercise program, and the conditions under which personalized exercise medicine and nutritional recommendations could become reality.

Over the past decade, he has discovered several genes and sequence variants contributing to the understanding of human variations in fat retention, energy metabolism, and responsiveness to regular exercise—particularly for cardiorespiratory endurance and insulin sensitivity.

Bouchard earned his doctorate in physical anthropology and population genetics from The University of Texas in 1977. He did postgraduate work in Cologne, Germany, and at the University of Montreal.

Among Bouchard’s many awards, he has received the Medal of the Rector from Belgium’s University of Liege in 1993; the Willendorf Award from International Association for the Study of Obesity in Toronto in 1994; the Canadian Atherosclerosis Society Sandoz Award from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1996; the Albert Creff Prize from the National Academy of Medicine in Paris in 1997; the 2004 Albert Stunkard Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Association for the Study of Obesity; the 2008 President’s Award from the Clinical Research Society of Quebec; and the 2011 E.V. McCollum Award from the American Society for Nutrition.

Bouchard is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Heart Association. He is also a foreign member of the Belgium Royal Academy of Medicine. He was president of the International Association for the Study of Obesity from 2002-06. Bouchard has received five honorary doctorates.

Having published more than 1,000 articles in peer-reviewed journals, Bouchard has served as the senior advisor for fifteen doctoral students and has mentored more than thirty postdoctoral fellows in his laboratory over the years.

Bouchard collaborated with Nicolaas Deutz, professor and director of The Center for Translational Research in Aging and Longevity (CTRAL),  and Mariëlle Engelen, associate professor and co-director, CTRAL, both in the College of Education & Human Development; Richard Kreider, professor and department head, Department of Health and Kinesiology; Timothy Lightfoot, professor; Michael Massett, assistant professor; and other researchers in the College of Education & Human Development to stimulate collaborative research among faculty and graduate students in kinesiology, nutrition, and genomics.

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Yanghoon Peter Jung – 2013-14