Conference Speakers

The Low Carb Houston conference will feature internationally renowned speakers who will lecture on a range of topics related to diet, nutrition, ketogenic metabolism, chronic disease and fasting. Below is a list of speakers who have confirmed for Low Carb Houston - 2019.  Stay tuned for more exciting additions to the speaking lineup.  

Conference Directors

Nadir Ali, M.D.

Nadir AliDr. Nadir Ali is a senior scientist and member of the core leadership team in the ENHI. He also holds an academic appointment as a research professor in the Department of Clinical, Health, and Applied Sciences. Dr. Ali's primary research interests include the effect of low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets on cardiovascular and metabolic health. An interventional cardiologist with over 25 years of experience, he also serves as the chairman of the Department of Cardiology for a major hospital system in Bay Area Houston, and as a director for the Low Carb Houston Conference.

Before working as a cardiologist, he served as an assistant professor of medicine for eight years at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where he also received his medical training. He has championed the low-carb lifestyle in the local Clear Lake area since 2013. Dr. Ali organizes a monthly nutritional seminar in the Searcy Auditorium of the Clear Lake Hospital that receives more than 100 visitors every month from the local community. He is a leader in the nutrition community whose research and passion have inspired many to profound health changes.

William E. Amonette, Ph.D.

William AmonetteWilliam (Bill) Amonette, Ph.D., is the executive director of the Exercise and Nutritional Health Institute (ENHI). In this role he serves as the chief science officer for the institute, leading the vision and the strategic direction for research, programming, and educational outreach. Amonette is also a tenured associate professor and director of the Exercise and Health Sciences graduate program. His research combines physiology and metabolism, biomechanics, and motor control to study the effect of novel exercise and nutritional interventions on health and rehabilitative outcomes in people with chronic disease and long-term injuries.

Prior to his work at UH-Clear Lake, he served at Wyle Life Sciences (NASA-JSC) as an exercise physiologist as well as an astronaut strength conditioning specialist and rehabilitation specialist. He was also a strength and conditioning coach for the Houston Rockets and Chinese National Basketball Team at the Olympic Training Center in Beijing, China. Amonette earned a Ph.D. at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in rehabilitation sciences, with a research emphasis in clinical exercise physiology and endocrinology. Amonette is a senior editor for the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, an ad hoc peer reviewer for many biomedical science journals, and the co-director of the Low Carb Houston Conference.

Conference Speakers and Topics

Peter Ballerstedt, Ph.D.

Peter BallerstedtPeter Ballerstedt received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1981 and Master of Science in 1983, both from the University of Georgia. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in 1986, specializing in forage management and utilization, minoring in ruminant nutrition. He was the forage extension specialist at Oregon State University from 1986 to 1992. He is currently the Forage Agronomist at Barenbrug USA. His study of human nutrition is fueled by his personal experience. What he's learned doesn't agree with the dietary advice we've been given for more than 50 years. This understanding, combined with his forage background, has strengthened his interest in THE truly sustainable agriculture – the production of ruminant animal products! Peter has spoken at many different events in the US and internationally. Many of his presentations are available on YouTube. He blogs at "Grass Based Health" and Facebook, and posts to twitter and Instagram @GrassBased. Peter and Nancy live in western Oregon with their two dogs Conor and Noni. His knowledge, enthusiasm, and speaking style will provide an entertaining and informative presentation.

Ivor Cummins

Ivor Cummins, a chemical engineer, has reshaped the discussions around the important risk factors that result in coronary artery disease and cancers. His insightful evaluation of the relative importance of LDL cholesterol, inflammation markers and insulin resistance has refined the understanding of a low-carbohydrate lifestyle. He and Jeffry Gerber, ("Denver's Diet Doctor") reintroduced the work of the late pathologist Joseph Kraft who discovered a new classification of insulin resistance. This classification is now a gold standard in evaluating pancreatic function in disease and health. Kraft was instrumental in educating the general public and healthcare professionals about the nuances of a low-carbohydrate lifestyle.

Maryanne Demasi, Ph.D.

Now a science reporter, Maryanne Demasi began her career after earning a doctorate in medical research from the University of Adelaide in Adelaide, SA, Australia. She then worked for a decade as a research scientist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, where she specialized in rheumatoid arthritis research. She also worked as an advisor to the Government of South Australia’s Minister for Science and Information Economy. Dr. Demasi's seminal work is related to investigative medical journalism. For years, she has evaluated the role of statins in treatment of coronary artery disease. Dr. Demasi's peer-reviewed article, "Statin Wars," has been published in the British Journal of Sport Medicine.

David Diamond, Ph.D.

David DiamondA professor of psychology, molecular pharmacology, and pharmacology at the University of South Florida, David Diamond has contributed much to the understanding of LDL cholesterol and heart disease. He makes that high cholesterol, even high LDL cholesterol, can actually be healthy. He also has an objective analysis presentation of the risks and benefits of statin from a perspective of clinical and epidemiological research. Diamond, along with medical doctors Malcolm Kendrick and Uffe Ravnskov, have co-authored landmark papers on LDL and cardiovascular mortality.

David Feldman

David Feldman is a systems software engineer. Through a personal journey, he has performed pivotal N=1 (single-patient) experiments in which he demonstrated the dynamic regulation of LDL ("bad cholesterol") by changing the macronutrient intake. His experiments have been duplicated by many of his followers. Feldman has been instrumental in defining and explaining lean mass hyper-responder (LMHR), a clinical situation in which lean and athletic individuals see a dramatic increase in LDL when they adopt a low-carb lifestyle.

Jeffry Gerber, M.D.

Best known as Denver's Diet Doctor, Jeffry Gerber, M.D. is a board-certified family physician in the Denver area and has been the main organizer of the Low Carb Down Under program since 2015. His primary focus is on prevention and treatment programs using low-carb high fat (LCHF), ancestral, The Paleo Diet, and primal diets to treat and prevent chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes and heart disease. He regularly helps patients lose weight and improve their cardio-metabolic markers using these diets. An early proponent and advocate for the science supporting the low-carb lifestyle, Dr. Gerber has been a central figure in educating the general public, world-wide about healthy nutrition. 

Amber O'Hearn

As a data scientist, Amber O'Hearn is an advocate for animal-sourced food to improve metabolic and mental health. She offers a persuasive argument against the relative merits of a plant-based diet, especially with regard to dietary fiber, anti-nutrients and toxins found in plant food. She makes a compelling point about the nutritional quality of animal- versus plant-based protein and fat macronutrients in the human diet. O'Hearn and several others started a carnivorous diet group that deserves the full attention of a broad section of general public and health care providers.

Jake Kushner, M.D.

A renowned expert in diabetes research, Dr. Jake Kushner’s primary focus is to leverage existing and future medically related investments and resources for McNair Interests to help individuals with chronic illnesses, especially type 1 diabetes. A McNair Scholar, Dr. Kushner’s work has been supported widely by renowned research centers, including the National Institutes of Health and the JDRF. Prior to joining McNair Interests, he served as Chief of Pediatric Diabetes and Endocrinology at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. Dr. Kushner has received numerous national honors, including a March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award. He also was elected as a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and served as President of the Society for Pediatric Research. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Kushner earned his Medical Doctorate from Albany Medical College, followed by a pediatric residency at Brown University, a pediatric endocrinology fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital, a five-year research fellowship at Joslin Diabetes Center – the latter two at Harvard Medical School – and seven years of assistant professorship at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Kushner’s ideal career outcome is to pioneer and advance human-centered health care that empowers people with type 1 diabetes to live long, healthy, and deeply fulfilling lives.  

*Conference speakers are subject to change. An updated list of speakers, lecture topics, and conference agenda items will be posted soon.


  • Health and Human Performance Institute

    Phone: 281-283-3381

    UHCL Recreation and Wellness Center
    2700 Bay Area Blvd
    Houston, TX 77058