John M. Jakicic, Ph.D. is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Health and Physical Activity. Dr. Jakicic is also the Director of the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Jakicic has also been on the faculty at Brown University, the University of Kansas, and the University of Nebraska-Kearney.
Dr. Jakicic received his B.S. degree in Physical Education and Health and his M.S. degree in Exercise Science from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. He received his PhD in Exercise Physiology from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Jakicic is primarily funded by the National Institutes of Health and his research focuses primarily on the role of exercise, eating behavior, and physiological mechanisms related to body weight regulation and related chronic diseases, with additional research on applying technology to interventions related to health-related behaviors (physical activity and nutrition). He is currently the Principal Investigator on the multi-center Look AHEAD Trial, along with serving as the Principal Investigator on two other large clinical trials.
Dr. Jakicic has a national and international reputation as a leading scholar in this area of physical activity and weight control, and this builds on a line of research to determine the appropriate dose of physical activity for long-term body weight regulation. Within this line of research Dr. Jakicic studies the interaction between energy expenditure and energy intake, and the influence of these factors on body weight regulation. Specifically, Dr. Jakicic’s early research was key to the public health recommendation that physical activity can be beneficial when separated into multiple 10-minute sessions per day. Dr. Jakicic is also an expert in the implementation of strategies to improve long-term adherence to physical activity, and the understanding of behavioral and physiological mechanisms that are involved with linking physical activity to body weight regulation. He has also been at the forefront of applying technology to physical activity interventions. Dr. Jakicic has served on various national and international committees to develop physical activity guidelines for the prevention and treatment of obesity that include serving as a consultant to the Advisory Committee for the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, the recent guidelines for obesity and lifestyle that were initiated by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, an NIH initiative related to sedentary behavior, and he is currently Co-Chairing a working group for an NIH-wide initiative related to mechanisms by which physical activity influence health-related outcomes. Dr. Jakicic has also served as the primary author of the 2001 obesity position stand of the American College of Sports Medicine, a co-author of the 2009 obesity position stand of the American College of Sports Medicine, and is currently the primary author on a position stand writing group that is focused on physical activity and bariatric surgery.