Having trained in clinical nutrition as a scholar at the University of Cambridge, James A. Levine, M.D., Ph.D., has dedicated his scientific career to promoting health in adults and children through education and innovation. Dr. Levine currently serves as a principal investigator for National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded studies focused on improving health for immigrant families through increased activity and better nutrition, interactions between sleep and obesity, and multilevel approaches to reduce obesity in working mothers and their children. Recent additional research includes contributions to a Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University (ASU) pilot program looking at nutrition and activity data for homeless children, physical activity in depressed female smokers, and an investigation of integrated approaches to "close the loop" in type 1 diabetes.
Dr. Levine is a world authority on obesity, serving as a named expert at the United Nations, an invitee to the President's Cancer Panel, and a consultant to governments internationally. He is the Dr. Richard F. Emslander Professor of Endocrinology and Nutrition Research at Mayo Clinic. He holds five tenured professorships at ASU, is the Dean's Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, and the Regents Professor at Umea University, Sweden. He also serves as the co-director of Obesity Solutions, a collaboration between Mayo Clinic and ASU, and is the international director of Obesity Solutions' sister center in Sweden.
Dr. Levine is also an international advocate for child rights and safety. He serves on the board of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children and is the author of "The Blue Notebook," an internationally best-selling novel, and in 2014, the novel “Bingo's Run,” both about exploited children.
- Harm caused by too much sitting. Through three decades of research funded by the NIH, Dr. Levine's team has pioneered the science of nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) and harm associated with sedentariness. Low NEAT and sedentariness are major causes of obesity, diabetes, breast cancer, and two dozen other chronic disease and conditions. This work, published in journals such as Science and Nature, has resulted in broad societal impact and policy change.
- Child advocacy. Through work with the United Nations, Dr. Levine's team identified the impact of child labor on child education and health in impoverished populations. Their work benefits refugee children, children in underserved neighborhoods in the U.S., and underserved Native American children. It has advanced efforts to prevent and protect children enslaved in prostitution. This advocacy has impacted policy in more than a dozen countries.
Significance to patient care
The work of Dr. Levine's laboratory has directly impacted the health of 2 million to 3 million people through direct programs and technology development. The lab's work has been featured in media outlets on every continent, including The New York Times and the BBC.
- Author, "Bingo's Run," fiction, 2014; "Get Up! Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It," nonfiction, 2014; "Makass," novella in the collection "Dignita," with Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa, 2013; "The Blue Notebook," published in 29 languages and 37 countries, 2009; "Move a Little, Lose a Lot," nonfiction, 2009
- French National Libraries literary award, 2013
- Connect Design Enable (CoDE) Award, Center for Innovation, Mayo Clinic, 2010-2011
- Walkley Award for Excellence in Journalism, 2009
- International Innovator of the Year award for FitWork Walkstation, with Steelcase Inc., NeoCon World Trade Fair, 2008
- Create the Future Design Award for treadmill desk, NASA Tech Briefs-Emhart Teknologies, 2006
- Judson Daland Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Investigation, the American Philosophical Society, 2005