Speakers and Sessions

General Session 1: Understanding Your Metabolic Health?
Catherine Champagne, PhD, RD
Dietary Assessment and Nutrition Counseling
Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Dr. Catherine Champagne is a Professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center working with Dietary Assessment and Food Analysis.  She also serves as the Coordinator of the Women’s Nutrition Research Program.

Dr. Champagne's research areas currently concentrate in studies which include dietary counseling and/or dietary intake assessment of subjects. She directs the Nutrient Database activities for the Center. She is also coordinator of the Women’s Nutrition Research Program at Pennington, a research, education, and outreach program specifically targeted to women. She supervises a team of dietitians, programmers and other support personnel and her areas of expertise include food composition, menu design for specialized nutrient targets, dietary assessment, counseling strategies for chronic disease conditions, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Her interests are women and children’s health, diet for weight loss and chronic disease, Mediterranean diet approaches for reduction of cardiovascular disease risk, physical activity, and nutritional assessment of diverse populations.

General Session 2: Mission and Impact of Pennington Biomedical Research Center
William Cefalu, MD
Executive Director
Endowed Professor, Diabetes and Nutrition
Pennington Biomedical Research Center

M.D., Louisiana State University Medical. School, New Orleans, LA, 1979, Medicine
B.S., Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA, 1975, Biology

Dr. Cefalu’s research is active at both the clinical and basic levels. On a clinical level, he is interested in clinical interventions to improve the metabolic state of individuals with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. On a basic level, he is interested in cellular mechanisms for insulin resistance. In addition, Dr. Cefalu also serves as Director for an NIH-funded Center for the Study of Botanicals and Metabolic Syndrome at Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

Solutions to the Expanding Waist Line

Solutions to the Expanding Waist Line
Bradley Meek, MD
Internal Medicine
OLOL Physician Group

Dr. Meek, Director of Our Lady of the Lake's medically supervised weight loss clinic, Lake Weight Solutions, is a native of Baton Rouge. He received his medical degree from LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport, La., and completed an Internal Medicine residency, serving as Chief Resident at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and has been in practice since 1999. Dr. Meek specializes in adult and adolescent primary care and preventive medicine. His special interest is in treatment of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, hypertension, high cholesterol and heart disease. Dr. Meek follows patients ages 18 and older.

Karl A. LeBlanc, MD, MBA, FACS
Bariatric Surgery, Surgeons Group of Baton Rouge
OLOL Physician Group

Dr. Karl LeBlanc is from Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, a graduate of the Louisiana State University Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana, and underwent his internship and residency at the same location. He also received his Masters of Business Administration from Louisiana State University in 1992.

Dr. LeBlanc is currently a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Society for Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons, a Member of American Society of Bariatric Surgery and is one of the founding members of the American Hernia Society. He ia a Master Surgeon for Laparoscopic Surgery and has been active in minimally invasive and laparoscopic surgery since its beginning.

Dr. LeBlanc has authored three textbooks on minimally invasive surgery and has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed medical literature. Dr. LeBlanc specializes in hernia surgery; his latest textbook, Management of Abdominal Hernias, was published January 31, 2013.

Dr. LeBlanc has been in practice in Baton Rouge since 1984.

Shoulder and Joint Pain
Jose Echenique, MD
Woman’s Hospital

Dr. Jose Echenique, Orthopedics has joined Woman’s Surgical Specialty Group. Dr. Echenique formerly practiced at Lemak Sports Medicine and Orthopedics Group in Birmingham. He graduated with Honors from Dartmouth Medical School, NH in 2004. He completed his residency in Orthopedic Surgery at George Washington University, Washington, DC, 2005-2009.

Dr. Echenique is board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons and fellowship trained in Sports Medicine by the American Sports Medicine Institute. He is fluent in English and Spanish and proficient in German.

Special Medical Interests
Dr. Echenique specializes in sports medicine and has a special interest in arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee and ankle. He is accepting new patients including women, men and children ages 12 and older. He treats operative and non-operative orthopedic problems.

  • Athletic injuries
  • Ankle and knee injuries
  • Shoulder, elbow, and wrist injuries
  • Arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Simple and complex fractures, dislocations and sprains

Board Certifications Orthopedic Surgery: American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Heart Murmurs & Palpitations: When to see a Cardiologist?

Lance LaMotte, MD
Interventional Cardiologist
Baton Rouge Cardiology Center

Dr. Lance LaMotte has cared for patients in the Greater Baton Rouge area for over 12 years.  In 2013, Dr. LaMotte joined the Baton Rouge Cardiology Center.

A native of New Orleans, Dr. LaMotte earned his Bachelor of Science in pharmacy from Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy in New Orleans.  He received his medical degree from Louisiana State School of Medicine in New Orleans and completed his internal medicine internship and residency from University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, Alabama.  Dr. LaMotte completed his cardiology fellowship at the Texas Heart Institute, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.  He completed his interventional cardiology fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, Alabama.

Dr. LaMotte is board certified in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and a member of the American Heart Association, Louisiana Emergency Response Network (LERN), Louisiana State Medical Society and Texas Heart Association Cardiac Society.  Dr. LaMotte is a board member for the Volunteer Health Corps of Baton Rouge and a medical executive committee member for the Baton Rouge General. 

Healthy Aging

Jeffrey Keller, PhD
Professor, Aging and Neurodegeneration

Director, Institute for Dementia Research
Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Dr. Keller’s laboratory is focused on aging, oxidative stress, proteasome, and Alzheimer’s disease research. He is working on understanding the ability of a high fat diet to modulate brain function and brain pathology during aging.

Dr Keller has worked with others at PBRC to establish the Institute for Dementia Research & Prevention. This institute will include a longitudinal study of aging and dementia in individuals in Louisiana aged 60 and over, as well as include a platform for the identification of therapeutics for the prevention of dementia.