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Denise Wilfley, PhD

Current Position
Scott Rudolph University Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine, Pediatrics, and Psychological & Brain Sciences

University Roles
Director, Weight Management & Eating Disorders Program

Education and Training
University of Missouri, Ph.D.
Stanford University, Postdoctoral training

Major Awards
FIRST Independent Research Award, NIH
Fellow, Academy for Eating Disorders
Fellow, The Obesity Society
Eating Disorders Research Society, Board Member
K24 Midcareer NIH Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (2004-present)
Scholar, Institute for Public Health, Washington University School of Medicine
Clinical Care Councilor, The Obesity Society (2011-present)
Secretary/Treasurer, The Obesity Society - Pediatric Obesity Section (2010-11)
Vice President, The Obesity Society - Pediatric Obesity Section (2011-12)
President, The Obesity Society – Pediatric Obesity Section (2012-13)
President-elect, Eating Disorders Research Society (2013-14)
Vice-Chair, MO Eating Disorders Council (2013-present)
Fellow, Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research (2013-present)
Advisory Board, Center for Children's Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition, KUMC
MO Eating Disorders Association Founder's Award (2016)

Areas of Clinical Interest
Etiology, prevention, and treatment of eating disorders and obesity.


Areas of Research Interests
Dr. Wilfley’s program of research centers on the causes, prevention, and treatment of eating disorders and obesity among children, adolescents, and adults. Current programs of research include: (1) the classification, characterization, assessment, and risk factors of eating and weight disorders; (2) the development of effective treatments for individuals suffering from eating disorders and obesity; and (3) the development of innovative and cost-effective methods for early intervention and prevention of eating disorders and obesity.

More articles and abstracts at the National Library of Medicine

Key Publications
Wilfley DE, Staiano AE, Altman M, Lindros J, Lima A, Hassink SG, Dietz WH, Cook S, , (2017 Jan). Improving access and systems of care for evidence-based childhood obesity treatment: Conference key findings and next steps. Obesity (Silver Spring). 25(1): 16-29.  Full Article ->

Kazdin AE, Fitzsimmons-Craft EE, Wilfley DE, (2017 Mar). Addressing critical gaps in the treatment of eating disorders. Int J Eat Disord. 50(3): 170-189.  Full Article ->

Taylor CB, Kass AE, Trockel M, Cunning D, Weisman H, Bailey J, Sinton M, Aspen V, Schecthman K, Jacobi C, Wilfley DE. (2016). Reducing eating disorder onset in a very high risk sample with significant comorbid depression: A randomized controlled trial. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2016 May;84(5):402-14. PMCID: PMC4836995.  Full Article ->

Goldschmidt, AB, Wilfley, DE, Paluch, RA, Roemmich, JN, Epstein, LH (2013). Indicated prevention of adult obesity: How much weight change is necessary for normalization of weight status in children? JAMA Pediatrics, 167(1):87-88. PMID: 23129001.  Full Article ->

Wilfley, DE, Van Buren, DJ, Theim, KR, Stein, RI, Saelens, BE, Ezzet, F, Russian, AC, Perri, MG, Epstein, LH (2010). The use of biosimulation in the design of a novel multilevel weight loss maintenance program for overweight children. Obesity, 18(S1):S91-S99. PMCID: PMC3044501.  Full Article ->

Wilfley, DE, Stein, RI, Saelens, BE, Mockus, DS, Matt, GE, Hayden-Wade, HA, Welch, RR, Schechtman, KB, Thompson, PA, Epstein, LH (2007). Efficacy of maintenance treatment approaches for childhood overweight: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 298:1661-1673. PMID: 17925518.  Full Article ->

Funded Research Projects
NHLBI 1T32HL130357-01 (PI)
WUSTL Transdisciplinary Pre- and Postdoctoral Training Program in Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease

NHLBI 5U01HL131552-02 (Co-PI)
The Effectiveness of Family-based Weight Loss Treatment Implemented in Primary Care

AHRQ 1R13HS022816 (PI)
Evidence-based Childhood Obesity Treatment: Improving Access to Systems of Care

NHLBI 2 T32 HL007456-26 (PI)
Nutrition-Behavioral Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

NIMH 1R01MH095748-01 (PI)
Implementation of Evidence-based Treatments for On-campus Eating Disorders

NIMH 1R01MH100455-01 (PI)
Using Technology to Improve Eating Disorders Treatment

NICHD 2 R01 HD036904-06 (PI)
Childhood Obesity Treatment: A Maintenance Approach

NIDDK 1 U01 DK61230 (Subcontract PI)
Studies to Treat or Prevent Type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents & Youth

NIDDK 1R01DK104115-01 (Co-I)
Preventing Obesity in Military Communities – Adolescents

NICHD R01HD080292-01 (Co-I)
Using Prospection to Improve Obesity Treatment

National Eating Disorders Association (PI)
Harnessing Technology for Training Clinicians to Deliver Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Shire Pharmaceuticals (PI)
Training in Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) to Treat Binge Eating Disorder

General Mills Champions for Healthy Kids Grant (PI)
KIPP Victory Academy Healthy Habits Program

Norwegian Regional Health Authorities (Co-I)
Treatment of Severely Obese Children and Adolescents in Common Health Care Settings: An Effectiveness Study Employing Family based Behavioral Social Facilitation Treatment (FBFST)