AADR Presents Honorary Membership to Robert Lustig


AADR contact: Ingrid L. Thomas  

+1.703.299.8084 or [email protected] 

March 23, 2017

Alexandria, Va., USA – The American Association for Dental Research (AADR) has announced Robert Lustig as the recipient of the 2017 AADR Honorary Membership. He was recognized at the Association’s 46th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, Calif., USA, on March 22, 2017, at the Opening Ceremonies. This meeting is being held in conjunction with the 95th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research and the 41st Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research. 

Lustig is professor of pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology and member of the Institute for Health Policy Studies at University of California, San Francisco, USA. He received his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College and obtained his Masters in Studies of Law from University of California Hastings College of the Law.

As a neuroendocrinologist, with basic and clinical training relative to hypothalamic development, anatomy and function, Lustig theorized that hypothalamic damage led to the inability to sense the hormone leptin, which in turn, led to the starvation response. Since repairing the hypothalamus was not an option, he looked downstream, and noted that these patients had increased activity of the vagus nerve (a manifestation of starvation), which increased insulin secretion. By administering the insulin suppressive agent octreotide, he was able to get them to lose weight but more remarkably, they started to exercise spontaneously. He then demonstrated the same phenomenon in obese adults without central nervous system lesions.

The universality of these findings has enabled Lustig to weave these threads together into a novel unifying hypothesis regarding the etiology, prevention, and treatment of the current obesity epidemic. This has led him to explore the specific role of fructose as a specific mediator of both chronic disease, and continued caloric consumption. This was emphasized in his widely viewed 2009 YouTube video titled “Sugar – The Bitter Truth” and TEDx Bermuda talk in 2013 “Sugar – the Elephant in the Kitchen.” He is also the author of New York Times Bestseller “Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease.”

“AADR is pleased to honor Robert Lustig for his dedication to public health,” said AADR President Jack Ferracane. “Dr. Lustig has contributed toward our understanding of the role fructose plays in the obesity epidemic. His findings have had positive implications on the health of the public and we commend him for his efforts. AADR is proud to welcome Dr. Lustig as a member.”

AADR Honorary Membership is decided by the three most recent living AADR past presidents who are no longer serving on the Board, and given to a person who has made significant contributions to and/or supports dental research.

About the American Association for Dental Research

The American Association for Dental Research (AADR), headquartered in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit organization with nearly 3,500 members in the United States. Its mission is: (1) to advance research and increase knowledge for the improvement of oral health; (2) to support and represent the oral health research community; and (3) to facilitate the communication and application of research findings. AADR is the largest Division of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR). To learn more about the AADR, visit www.aadr.org.