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 adviser 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.
 

A 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 Committee

  Anne Anders, Ph.D.
 

Anne AndersAnne Anders, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of economics in the College of Business and the economic research director and scientist in the ENHI. In this role, Anders works to establish the research infrastructure across all projects to tie personal health benefits to health care expenditure savings. Moreover, longitudinally, she is interested in quantifying the effect of preventive versus reactive care on personal health, wellness, quality of life, and productivity with the intention of affecting health care policy.

A former professional and collegiate soccer player, Anders' research also investigates how youth sport participation affects later life outcomes. She holds a B.S. in sports management and marketing from Seton Hall University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Clemson University. Although her degrees are in business, you will often find her in the laboratory collecting physiologic and biomechanical data or on the floor assisting with strength training and conditioning.

  David Casebeer
 

David Casebeer came to the low-carb community in an effort to take control of his health.  After watching his parents suffer from the complications caused by obesity and diabetes, he was determined to take control of his many metabolic issues.  After searching any available resources on interventions to control and reverse metabolic disease, he found supporting evidence for the use of a low carbohydrate, high nutrient density, and high fat eating strategy to control and reverse metabolic disease symptoms.

Casebeer works to share his knowledge of nutrition that he has gained over the years with anyone who is interested or in need.  He has been active in the low-carb community since he attended his first conference in 2017.  He now participates in a monthly seminar held by Dr. Nadir Ali, runs the Low Carb Space City support group and is a founding member of the planning committee for the Low Carb Houston conference.

Casebeer is a project manager in Houston’s navigation industry who received a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering from Texas A&M University and is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Texas. 

  Denise Cazes
 

Denise CazesDenise Cazes is a nutritionist in the ENHI. A senior lecturer and director in the Fitness and Human Performance undergraduate program, she has been teaching health education courses at the college level since 2000. Her goals are to help students and clients feel better, look better, and perform better.

Cazes provides education and support in the areas of nutrition, exercise, health risk reduction and stress management, enabling individuals to make lifestyle changes necessary to achieve better health. The principles and behavior change she teaches in her classes can result in weight loss, lower blood pressure levels, a reduction in insulin resistance, and improved energy levels. She has a B.S. in psychology and a M.A. in fitness and human performance from UH-Clear Lake.

  Kirk L. English, Ph.D.
 

Kirk EnglishKirk English, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of exercise and health sciences in the Department of Clinical, Health and Applied Sciences at UHCL. He is also the experimental research director for the Exercise and Nutritional Health Institute (ENHI). English's research focuses on exercise and nutrition as preventatives to losses in muscle mass and function due to aging, illness and spaceflight.

Previously, he conducted this work at the University of Texas Medical Branch, where he completed his Ph.D. in rehabilitation sciences with a concentration in nutrition and metabolism. He also conducted work at NASA Johnson Space Center, where he studied and developed exercise countermeasures to the deleterious effects of long-duration spaceflight. Along with Amonette, English has pioneered and advocated the evidence-based practice approach for the field of exercise science. He also trains endurance athletes and is a regular reviewer for numerous biomedical, exercise science and spaceflight-related scientific journals.

  Isabelle Kusters, Ph.D., MPH
 

Isabelle KustersIsabelle Kusters, Ph.D., MPH, is an assistant professor of public health in the Department of Clinical, Health and Applied Sciences at UHCL. She is also the population health research director for the ENHI at UHCL, and holds a joint appointment at Baylor College of Medicine as a Health Policy Scholar in the Center for Medical Ethics & Health Policy. Kusters' current research focuses on health insurance coverage and access to care for immigrant and other underserved populations. She is also interested in the ways that translation and interpretation services affect access to, and quality of, care for patients with limited English proficiency.

Kusters' teaching and research interests include the social determinants of health and health disparities, cultural competency in healthcare, health policy, and comparative international healthcare systems. She completed her postdoctoral research fellowship at the Department of Veterans Affairs' Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety and at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. She earned her graduate degrees at the University of Texas School of Public Health and an undergraduate diploma from the University of Texas at Austin.

 

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

 

 
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