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Rexford Ahima


Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine
Department of Epidemiology, Bloomberg School of Public Health
Department of Community-Public Health, School of Nursing

A world-renowned physician-scientist, Rexford Ahima is known for uncovering connections between diabetes and obesity. As the leader of the Johns Hopkins Diabetes Initiative, Ahima strives to apply his crosscutting expertise from basic and translational research to the clinic, advancing the care and treatment of diabetes patients.

Ahima’s research is focused on the interrelationship between energy stores and regulation of feeding, energy balance and endocrine systems by the brain, as well as on glucose and lipid metabolism. He is interested in how adipokines and other circulating factors target the brain and peripheral organs to control feeding and metabolism, and the implications of these circulating factors for treatment and prevention of obesity and diabetes. Ahima’s research is at the interface of metabolism dysfunction and diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory diseases, cancer, aging, and other conditions, and contributes to evolving policies and practices for clinical care, education, and research in diabetes and weight management.

Ahima is the author of Can the Obesity Crisis Be Reversed?, which draws on his extensive laboratory and clinical experiences to examine the causes of obesity, including endocrine, environmental, genetic, neurological, and pharmacological factors, as well as cutting-edge approaches for prevention and treatment. He addresses the role of contributing behaviors, countering the myth of sole responsibility, and speaking to the counterproductive effects of blame and shame. He also offers insight into the widespread suffering that obesity imposes and its disproportionate impacts in minority and underserved communities. The book is part of the Johns Hopkins Wavelengths series.

Ahima joined Johns Hopkins University as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in 2016 from the University of Pennsylvania.

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