Hartford HealthCare Center for Obesity Research, Innovation, and Education (CORIE)

Our team recognizes that obesity is a complex disease. Every individual’s risk for development and persistence of obesity is influenced by a variety of factors ranging from eating behaviors, physical activity levels and sleep patterns to gender, age, developmental factors, genetic makeup, and the environments in which we live, work, learn, and play.

Our research team is focused on uncovering ways to tailor weight loss and management interventions to those individual needs so we can help patients achieve lasting success.

Mission & Goals

Our mission centers on research to:

  • Advance understanding of the behavioral, biological and psychosocial aspects of obesity.
  • Enhance the success and durability of obesity-related treatments.
  • Promote the overall health and well-being of people living with obesity.

With this in mind, our goals are to:

  • Study variability in obesity and treatment outcomes using rigorous and state-of-the-art assessment and analytic methodologies.
  • Use patient data to inform development of more effective, personalized obesity treatments based on lifestyle, biological, sociodemographic and environmental variables.
  • Develop, test, evaluate and refine innovative and evidence-based multimodal approaches to treating obesity and related metabolic comorbidities using surgical, pharmacological and behavioral interventions.
  • Foster a multidisciplinary academic environment that provides research opportunities for students and scholars interested in investigating the epidemiology, pathophysiology and treatment of obesity and its comorbidities.


Explore the diverse contributions our researchers have made to advancing the field of weight loss.

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Honors and Recognitions

Explore our award-winning contributions and prestigious appointments to obesity research.

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Our Team

Meet the dynamic team collaborating to pioneer innovative, personalized approaches to combat obesity.

Participating in Research

Research is an important way for us to test theories that could eventually improve the way we diagnose and care for diseases such as obesity. By participating, you can have a significant impact on the experience of future patients. Talk to your provider about participating in one of our studies.

Current Studies

We currently have several research studies that are active, including:

EVOLVE (Exercise Values of Life & Vitality Everyday)

Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to Promote Autonomous Motivation for Increased Physical Activity and Improved Weight Loss Maintenance in Bariatric Surgery Patients: A Randomized Trial

Not Yet Recruiting

  • Investigators: Dale Bond, Pavlos Papasavas, Yin Wu, Anna Schwartz
  • Sponsor: NIH/NIDDK
  • Funding dates: March 1, 2024—December 31, 2028
  • Description: This project tests an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)-based intervention designed to motivate patients who have undergone metabolic bariatric surgery (MBS) achieve higher levels of physical activity to prevent significant recurrence of weight gain.

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Neuroimaging Predictors of Bariatric Surgical Outcomes

Actively Recruiting

  • Investigators: Pavlos Papasavas, Dale Bond, Godfrey Pearlson, Michael Stevens, and Darren Tishler
  • Sponsor: NIH/NIDDK
  • Funding dates: July 25, 2018—June 30, 2024
  • Description: This project examines whether individual differences in neural activity measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) reliably predict sustained weight loss and other outcomes after metabolic bariatric surgery.

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RESTRAIN (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to Reduce Relative Reinforcing Value of Food)

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Reducing the Relative Reinforcing Value of Food in Adults with Obesity Pursuing Metabolic Bariatric Surgery: A Pilot Within-Participants, Sham-Controlled Trial

Actively Recruiting

  • Investigators: Dale Bond, Pavlos Papasavas, Vaughn Steele
  • Sponsor: Jim Bowers and Becky Swanson-Bowers Research Fund
  • Funding dates: July 1, 2022—June 30, 2024
  • Description: This project involves an initial test of whether repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation can target neural reward circuits to reduce behavioral and neural measures of food reward in adult patients with obesity who have high levels of hedonic hunger and are pursuing metabolic bariatric surgery.


Tai Chi as a Novel Strategy to Increase Physical Activity among Adults Pursuing Metabolic Bariatric Surgery: A Feasibility and Acceptability Study

Actively Recruiting

  • Investigators: Yin Wu, Dale Bond, Pavlos Papasavas
  • Sponsor: Hartford HealthCare Research Medical Staff Funds
  • Funding dates: September 1, 2023—August 31, 2025
  • Description: This project explores whether Tai Chi is a feasible and acceptable form of exercise that can help patients pursuing metabolic bariatric surgery to become more physically active by reducing barriers to physical activity such as pain and fatigue.


Study of Acceptability and Feasibilty of a Preoperative Very Low Calorie Diet Intervention on Surgical Weight Loss Outcomes

Not Yet Recruiting

  • Investigators: Devika Umashanker, Dale Bond, Pavlos Papasavas, Darren Tishler, Yin Wu, Tara McLaughlin
  • Sponsor: Hartford HealthCare Research Medical Staff Funds
  • Funding dates: September 1, 2023—August 31, 2025
  • Description: This project explores whether a 12-week very low calorie diet before sleeve gastrectomy is feasible, acceptable and associated with postoperative weight loss for patients with BMI >50kg/m2.

Recent presentations by our team include:

  • Umashanker D, Wu Y, Papasavas PK, Tishler D, Santana C, McLaughlin T, Bond DS (2024). “Is Physical Activity Associated with Lower Migraine Risk in Adults who are Pursuing Surgical or Medical Obesity Treatment?” Oral presentation at the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery annual meeting, San Diego, CA. *Selected for Top IH abstracts session.
  • Bond DS, Steele VR, Wu Y, Michalak I, Mitchell JE, Pearlson G, Stevens M, Tishler D, Papasavas PK (2024). “Evaluating importance of food wanting and liking in relation to number and severity of food addiction symptoms after sleeve gastrectomy.” Oral presentation at American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery annual scientific meeting, San Diego, CA. *Selected for Top IH abstracts session.

Investing in Innovation

With the backing of a $2.9 million federal grant, we're conducting groundbreaking research into how to support patients who have undergone metabolic bariatric surgery.

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