Academic Lead: Arya M. Sharma, MD/PhD, FRCPC

Arya M. Sharma, PhD, is Professor and Chair of Obesity Research and Management at the University of Alberta. He is also the Medical Director of the Edmonton Regional Weight Wise Program, the Scientific Director of the Canadian Obesity Network, and President of the Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons. His research focuses on an evidence-based approach to managing obese patients.

Dr. Sharma is on the editorial boards of several international journals and has authored or coauthored more than 275 scientific articles. He has also lectured widely on the aetiology and management of hypertension, obesity, and related cardiometabolic disorders. Dr. Sharma is regularly featured as a medical expert in national and international TV and print media including the CBC, CTV, New York Times, and MSNBC.

Dr. Sharma maintains a widely-read blog where he regularly posts his ideas and thoughts on obesity prevention and management. Dr. Sharma can be contacted at

Specialized Care Suite

The HSERC Specialized Care Suite is designed to provide training opportunities for current and future health care professionals. Clinicians will be able to simulate the care of patients with severe obesity in a state-of-the-art facility specificity designed for the care of bariatric patients.

Obesity now affects over 6 million Canadians; 1 million of whom are considered severely obese.  Despite the considerable impact that this increase in obesity has on every aspect of the health care system, health professionals are currently poorly equipped and often lack basic knowledge and management skills in dealing with obese clients. 

Inappropriate handling of obese clients is also a major cause of injuries to clinical staff and poses a significant safety risk to patients.  It is therefore essential that healthcare professionals are specifically educated and guided to obtain competencies and skills in addressing the many complex issues and providing evidence-based management to obese clients.


Watch interviews of Dr. Arya Sharma sharing about his research: