Scientific Advisory board

Sara Bleich is a Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor and social sciences advisor at the Radcliffe Institute and a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

A leading expert on obesity prevention policy, Bleich focuses on the escalation of obesity and its related diseases. In 2015–2016, she served as a White House Fellow. Bleich’s research devotes particular attention to the drivers of obesity, disparities in patterns of obesity care, and environmental strategies to reduce caloric intake. Working at the crossroad of science and public policy, she also examines the assessment, global trends, consequences, and prevention of adult and childhood obesity.

Bleich earned her BA from Columbia University and her PhD from Harvard University. She taught at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University from 2007 to 2016. Prior to joining the Johns Hopkins faculty, she worked as a research associate at the RAND Corporation and The Measurement Group. She has received numerous competitive awards from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Frank  Sacks is Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health. He is also Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a senior attending physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he has had a specialty clinic in hyperlipidemia with the cardiovascular division. He is involved in research and public policy in nutrition, cholesterol disorders, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.

His research program is a combination of laboratory research on human lipoprotein metabolism, and clinical trials in nutrition and cardiovascular disease. The laboratory research concerns the acute and long-term effects of diet on the function of lipoproteins including VLDL LDL and HDL in humans; and biochemical epidemiology of lipoprotein particle types and CVD.



Jean Schaffer is a Senior Investigator and Associate Research Director at Joslin Diabetes Center and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Prof. Schaffer’s research focuses on metabolic regulation and complications of diabetes. Her work has elucidated the ways in which high levels of sugars and fats in the bloodstream damage tissues of many organs, and her laboratory has developed models for study of the connections between diabetes and heart disease.

She has used bold strategies and innovative approaches to discover links between metabolic regulation and regions of “junk” DNA, which does not encode proteins. These studies have the potential to provide new approaches to prevent diabetes and novel strategies for improving the health of persons affected by the disease. Dr. Schaffer is an investigator at the Joslin Diabetes, where she moved after 24 years on the faculty at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri, where she was the inaugural holder of the Virginia Minnich Distinguished Professorship in Medicine and Director of the NIH-funded Diabetes Research Center.

Dr. Schaffer’s work has been recognized with prestigious awards including the American Heart Association’s Louis N. Katz Basic Science Research Prize, the Heinrich Wieland Prize, the Harold Rifkin Award and most recently the Avanti Award in Lipids. She was elected as a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians and as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.