Dan Jones, the outgoing Ole Miss Chancellor is set to join the University of Mississippi Medical Center's (UMMC) obesity research center.
Come fall, Jones will join as the Mississippi Center for Obesity Research (MCOR) director of clinical and population sciences as revealed on Thursday, June 4, by MCOR's John Hall.
Jones will start at MCOR from Sept. 15 once his contract as the chancellor finishes. His tenure as the Ole Miss Chancellor is set to end on Sept. 14; however, Jones will take leave from June 15 leaving Provost Morris Stocks to take charge in the interim.
The 66-year-old will spearhead the clinical research at MCOR and propel it forward in its aim to treat and prevent obesity. Jones is known for his notable heart study on African Americans.
Jones was also taken on board instead of the other candidates as he had ample expertise in the medical aspects of obesity management. Jones is competent in the field and has knowledge on how the treatment of several chronic ailments such as hypertension, strokes, dementia and diabetes can be countered through obesity prevention.
"This is a welcome opportunity for the next stage of my career. Over the last several weeks, I have explored several good opportunities in universities outside Mississippi. As I examined options, it became clear to me that my first priority was to seek a position where I could work on important issues where there was a real need," said Jones.
Mississippi has the notorious distinction of having the highest obesity rate in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics, in 2013, nearly 35 percent of the adult population in the state was found to be obese. While 35 percent of the adults are not obese, they can be classified overweight. The reason for the state boasting obese or overweight adults is attributed to the least amount of physical activity when compared to other states in the U.S. Adults in Mississippi also suffer from the third maximum rates of diabetes, as well as high blood pressure levels.
Jones will persevere to aid MCORs endeavors in what methods can help prevent obesity, as well as what are the possible treatments.