Adolescent Bariatrics: Assessing Health Benefits and Risks

The Teen Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (Teen-LABS) consortium is made up of six clinical centers and a data coordinating center. Teen-LABS is built upon the framework constructed by the LABS consortium, a group of surgeons, physicians, and scientists dedicated to study of adult bariatric surgical outcomes.

The goal of Teen-LABS is to facilitate coordinated clinical, epidemiological, and behavioral research in the field of adolescent bariatric surgery, through the cooperative development of common clinical protocols and a bariatric surgery database that will collect information from participating clinical centers performing bariatric surgery on teenagers.

Teen-LABS will help pool the necessary clinical expertise and administrative resources to facilitate the conduct of multiple clinical studies in a timely, efficient manner. Also, the use of standardized definitions, shared clinical protocols, and data-collection instruments will enhance investigators' ability to provide meaningful evidence-based recommendations for patient evaluation, selection, and follow-up care.

In addition to investigating surgical outcomes, another broader goal of Teen-LABS is to better understand the etiology, pathophysiology, and behavioral aspects of severe obesity in youth and how this condition affects human beings over time.

The consortium was funded in June 2006 under a cooperative agreement (U01) by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The Teen-LABS consortium members include:


For more information, email Jenn Black, Central Study Coordinator.

Lab Members

Michael Helmrath, MD, MS

Director of Surgical Research, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Stavra Xanthakos, MD, MS

Director, Steatohepatitis Center; Medical Director, Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Heidi Kalkwarf, PhD

Scientific Director, Bionutrition & Body Composition Core Laboratory, CCTST; Associate Director, Digestive Health Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Todd Jenkins, PhD

Co-director, Data Coordinating Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Changchun Xie, PhD

Co-director, Data Coordinating Center, University of Cincinnati

Stephanie Sisley, MD

Medical Director of the Center for Genetic Disorders of Obesity and Medical Director of the Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program, Texas Children's Hospital

Mike Chen, MD

Director, Division of Pediatric Surgery; Children's of Alabama

Marc Michalsky, MD

Surgical director, Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition, Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Anita Courcoulas, MD

Chief, Section of Minimally Invasive Bariatric and General Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Physicians

Mary Brandt, MD

Pediatric Surgeon, Children’s Hospital New Orleans

Mac Harmon, MD, PhD

Chief, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo

John Gunstad, PhD

Director of the Applied Psychology Center, Kent State University

James Mitchell, MD

Research Scientist, Sanford Research

John Dixon, MBBS, PhD

Monash University, Swinburne University

Jenn Black, MSSA

Central Study Coordinator, Teen-LABS Study, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

Jennifer Knox, BA

Deputy Central Study Coordinator, Teen-LABS Study; Research Coordinator, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Lynda Krol, CMA

Site Coordinator, Teen-LABS Study, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Giovanna Febbraro, MSEd

Site Coordinator, Teen-LABS Study, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Citrine Elatrash, MBBCh, CCRP

Site Coordinator, Teen-LABS Study, Baylor College of Medicine

Rebecca Harvey, RN, BSN

Site Coordinator, Teen-LABS Study, Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Kathy Lancaster, BA

Manager of Research Operations; Research Coordinator, Sanford Research