Research News

UB psychology professor to head premier research organization on ingestive behavior


Published July 26, 2018

portrait of UB psychology professor Derek Daniels.

Derek Daniels

Derek Daniels, a professor in the UB Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, has been named president-elect of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB).

SSIB is the world’s largest professional organization dedicated to scientific research on eating, drinking, appetite and their associated biological, psychological and social processes.

In his new position, Daniels will be responsible for the society’s daily activities, as well as coordinating multiple committees in preparation for the group’s annual meeting.

His three-year term includes a year as president-elect, followed by a year each serving as president and past-president. He has previously served twice as SSIB secretary, and is also a former board member of the organization.

Ingestive behavior (IB) research focuses on fundamental questions surrounding human health and includes multiple aspects of eating and drinking behaviors, like how people make decisions about what, and what not, to eat and drink. Research also looks into the neuromechanisms responsible for causing hunger, thirst and feeling full.

Daniels says his appointment is a great individual honor, but in a broad sense it speaks to the innovative research in the field happening at UB.

“The SSIB presidency for me is as much a group achievement as an individual honor and the appointment pays a well-deserved tribute to the community of people at UB doing world-class ingestive behavior research,” said Daniels, an expert on the neural control of thirst.

The highly distinguished group of ingestive behavior researchers at UB (UBIB) consists of more than a dozen faculty members and roughly 50 trainees in eight departments across all three of the university’s campuses.

The group holds regular meetings, invites guest speakers and presents an annual UBIB Research Day.

“Each year, the Research Day is an opportunity for members of individual labs to present their research to the public and provides an excellent avenue for feedback from local experts,” says Daniels.

Daniels is proud of UBIB’s work and impressed with how quickly the researchers have come together as a cohesive group in just three years.

Ann-Marie Torregrossa, an assistant professor in UB’s psychology department, brought the group together following a casual conversation at a new faculty meeting with Stephanie Anzman-Frasca, an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The two talked about who at UB was involved in IB research and the group started coming together almost immediately.

“Forming that group and the work we’ve done are additional elements showing the strength of ingestive behavior research at UB,” says Daniels.  “These researchers and their work are deserving of wider recognition.”