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University of California, Irvine professor to present obesity research at Dixie Forum

 Challenging the principle that obesity is a simple function of positive energy balance, University of California, Irvine professor Dr. Bruce Blumberg will discuss his research on obesity at the next installment of Dixie State University’s weekly lecture series Dixie Forum: A Window on the World.

Blumberg’s presentation, “Gene-Environment Interaction and the Obesogen Hypothesis,” is set to take place at noon on April 16 in the Dunford Auditorium, located in the Browning Resource Center on the Dixie State campus. Admission is free, and the public is encouraged to attend. 

In his lab, Blumberg and his team study the biology of nuclear hormone receptors. He proposed the Obesogen Hypothesis, which holds that exposure to chemical "obesogens" may predispose individuals to gain weight and become obese. His laboratory found that exposure to obesity-causing chemicals led to increased fat storage. Furthermore, they discovered that maternal exposure to these chemicals led to changes that modified chromatin structure. These changes can be inherited across generations, predisposing exposed animals to obesity and modifying individual’s responses to diet and fasting.

At UC, Irvine, Blumberg is a professor of Developmental and Cell Biology, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering. Blumberg, who earned his doctorate from UCLA, has published more than 150 works. He received postdoctoral training in the molecular embryology of vertebrate development at UCLA before training in molecular endocrinology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. There, he identified new hormones that act through so-called orphan nuclear receptors.

Dixie Forum is a weekly lecture series designed to introduce the St. George and Dixie State communities to diverse ideas and personalities while widening their worldviews via a 50-minute presentation. At the next installment of Dixie Forum, David Hatch, who has served as a presidential appointee in Washington, D.C., will present “Globalism and Personal Resilience: Some Lessons from the Holocaust” at noon on April 23 in the Dunford Auditorium.