Dr. Robert Ross, Ph.D.

Dr. Robert Ross
Area of Expertise: 
Exercise Physiology
Contact Information
KHS 301E

Research summary

Our research work is focused on the characterization and management of obesity and related co-morbidities in adults. In recent years we have conducted a number of randomized controlled trials to determine the efficacy and effectiveness of lifestyle-based interventions designed to reduce abdominal obesity and related health risk. Our objective is to continue this type of research for the foreseeable future.

Our intervention-based research is performed within 5000 square feet of space in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies. This space includes the aerobic exercise equipment necessary to perform multiple intervention trials.  Equipment for measurement of indirect calorimetry both during exercise and at rest is in place. Also included are 4 MRI- and CT-image analysis workstations. We also have routine access to MRI, CT and DEXA facilities at Kingston General Hospital.  Our metabolic-based research is performed within our Clinical laboratory space located within our laboratory and includes 2 beds, office space for our research nurses and two metabolic testing suites dedicated to performing our metabolic studies including hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp studies, glucose tolerance, glucose oxidation, resting metabolic rate measurement etc.

Graduate student training opportunities

As the prevalence of obesity, diabetes and aging continue to increase worldwide, the importance of research designed to develop graduate students trained in these research areas is magnified. The research objectives of our laboratory are consistent with this observation and thus, graduate students in our lab are trained in fertile research areas that will develop the skills required within a broad spectrum of the research community. To date 24 M.Sc and 6 PhD students have graduated from our laboratory.

Current funding

Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)

Recent publications

Selected Publications (2007 to present):

McGuire KA, and Ross R.   Incidental physical activity patterns and abdominal obesity in inactive men and women.  Obesity, In Press.

Janiszewski PM, Ross R,  Després J-P, Lemieux I, Orlando G, Carli F, Bagni P, Menozzi M, Zona S. and Guaraldi G. The hypertriglyceridemic waist phenotype identifies HIV-infected patients at greatest cardiometabolic risk. PLoS One. 6(9):e25032, 2011

McGuire KA, and Ross R.  Incidental physical activity is positively associated with cardiorespiratory fitness.  Med Sci Sports Exerc. 43(11):2189-94, 2011.

Hougham K, and Ross R.  Evidence that the association between exercise intensity and improvement of insulin sensitivity is gender dependent, Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 36(5):730-5, 2011.

McGuire KA, and Ross R.  Sedentary Behavior is not associated with Cardiometabolic Risk in Adults with Abdominal Obesity.  PLoS One 6 (6): e20503, 2011

Bouchard D, McGuire KA, Davidson L, and Ross R. Cardiorespiratory fitness, obesity and functional limitation in older adults. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity 19, 336-346, 2011.

Tonorezos ES, Vega GL, Sklar CA, Chou JF, Moskowitz CS, Mo Q, Church TS, Ross R, Janiszewski PM, and Oeffinger KC. Adipokines, body fatness, and insulin resistance among survivors of childhood leukemia. Pediatric Blood and Cancer, In Press, DOI 10.1002/pbc.22964.

Leiter LA, Fitchett DH, Gilbert RE, Gupta M, Mancini GBJ, McFarlane PA and Ross R, and the working group.  Cardiometabolic Risk in Canada:  A Detailed Analysis and Position Paper by the Cardiometabolic Risk Working Group. Can J Cardiol. 27: e1– e33 2011.

Leiter LA, Fitchett DH, Gilbert RE, Gupta M, Mancini GBJ, McFarlane PA and Ross R, and the working group.  Identification and Management of Cardiometabolic Risk in Canada: A Position Paper by the Cardiometabolic Risk Working Group (Executive Summary) Cdn J Cardiol 27(2): 124-131, 2011.

Bouchard D, Ross R. and Janssen I.  Coffee, Tea, and Their Additives: Association with BMI and Waist Circumference. Obesity Facts. 3(6):345-52, 2010.

Janiszewski PM, and Ross R.  Effects of Weight Loss among Metabolically Healthy Obese Men and Women. Diabetes Care 33:1957-1959, 2010.

Church TS, Thompson AM, Priest E, Saunders T, Ross R. and Earnest CP.  Exercise without weight loss does not reduce CRP: The INFLAME study.  Med Sci Sports Exerc.  42(4) 708-716, 2010. 126.     Janiszewski PM, and Ross R.  The utility of physical activity in the management of global cardiometabolic risk. Obesity 3:S3-S14, 2009.

 Ross R, and Després J-P.  Abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, and the metabolic syndrome: contribution of physical activity/exercise. Obesity 3:S1-2, 2009.

McGuire AS, Janssen I, and Ross R.  Does physical activity predict cardiovascular disease beyond commonly evaluated cardiometabolic risk factors? Am J Cardiology  104(11):1522-6, 2009.

Janiszewski PM, Saunders TA, and Ross R. Association between breast volume, cardiometabolic risk factors and fat distribution in premenopausal women. Obesity Oct 22 Epub ahead of print, 2009.

Kuk JL, Church TS, Blair SN, and Ross R. Measurement site and the association between visceral and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue with metabolic risk in women. Obesity Nov 12 Epub ahead of print, 2009. 

Kuk JL, Saunders TJ, Davidson L, and Ross R. Age-related changes in total and regional fat distribution.  Aging Research Reviews 8(4):339-48, 2009.

Saunders TJ, Davidson LE, Janiszewski PM, Després J-P, Hudson R, and Ross R.  Associations of the limb fat to trunk fat ratio with markers of cardiometabolic risk in  elderly men and women. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 64(10):1066-70, 2009.

Arsenault BJ, Coté M, Cartier A, Lemieux I, Després J-P, Ross R, Earnest C, Blair SN, Church TS. Effect of exercise training on cardiometabolic risk markers among sedentary, but metabolically healthy overweight or obese postmenopausal women with elevated blood pressure. Atherosclerosis.  Published online ahead of print June 15, 2009.

Oeffinger KC, Adams-Huet B, Victor RG, Church TS, Snell PG, Dunn AL, Eshelman-Kent DA, Ross R, Janiszewski PM, Turoff AJ, Brooks S, Vega GL. Insulin resistance and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in young adult survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. J Clin Oncol 27:3698-3704, 2009.

Kuk JL, and Ross R.  Influence of sex on total and regional fat loss in overweight  and obese men and women.  Int J Obese 33: 629–634, 2009.

Janiszewki PM, Janssen I, and Ross R. Waist circumference and physical inactivity are associated with erectile dysfunction independent of body mass index.  J Sex Med 6:1990–1998, 2009.

Ross R and Bradshaw A. The future of obesity reduction: Beyond weight loss. Nature Reviews Endocrinology 5(6):319-25.2009.

Ross R.  The challenge of obesity treatment: Avoiding weight regain.  Invited Commentary CMAJ 180(10): 997-998, 2009.

Després J-P, Ross R, Boka G, Alméras N, Lemieux I for the ADAGIO-Lipids Investigators. Effect of rimonabant on the high triglyceride/low HDL-cholesterol dyslipidemia, intra-abdominal adiposity and liver fat: the ADAGIO-lipids trial  Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 29:416-423, 2009.

Ross R, Blair SN, Godwin M, Hotz S, Katzmarzyk PT, Lam M, Lévesque L, and MacDonald S. Prevention and reduction of obesity through active living (PROACTIVE): Rationale, design and methods.  Br J Sports Med 43:57-63, 2009.

Davidson LE, Hudson R, Kilpatrick K, Kuk JL, McMillan K, Janiszewski PM, Lee S, Lam M, and Ross R.  Effects of exercise modality on insulin resistance and functional limitation in older adults: A randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med 169(2): 122-131, 2009.

Matrangola SL, Madigan ML, Nussbaum MA, Ross R, Davy KP. Changes in body segment inertial parameters of obese individuals with weight loss.  J Biomechanics 41(15):3278-3281, 2008.

opposite associations of hip and waist circumference with metabolic syndrome components and with inflammatory and atherothrombotic risk factors in overweight and obese women.  Metabolism 57:1315–1322, 2008.

Ross R, and Janiszewski PM.  Is weight loss the optimal target for obesity-realted cardiovascular disease risk reduction?  Cdn J Cardio 24:  25D-31D,2008.

Janiszewski PM, Kuk JL and Ross R. Is the reduction of lower-body subcutaneous adipose tissue associated with elevations in risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease? Diabetologia 51:1457-1482, 2008.

Ross R.  Is physical activity without weight loss a useful strategy for obesity reduction? Obesity Management 4(2): 56-58, 2008.

Kuk JL, Kilpatrick K, Davidson LE, Hudson R, and Ross R.  Whole-body skeletal muscle mass is not related to glucose tolerance or insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese men and women.  Appl Physiolo Nutr Metab 33: 769-774,2008.

Kuk JL, Church TS, Blair SN, and Ross R.  Associations between changes in abdominal and thigh muscle quantity and quality. Med Sci Sport Exerc 40(7):1277-81, 2008.

Must A, Bandini LG, Tybor DJ, Janssen I, Ross R, and Dietz WH.  Behavioural risk factors in relation to visceral adipose tissue deposition in adolescent females.  Int J Pediatr Obes 3:28-36, 2008.

Kuk JL, Davidson LE, Hudson R, Kilpatrick K, Bacskai K, and Ross R. Association between dietary fat intake, liver fat and insulin sensitivity in sedentary, abdominally obese, older men.   Appl Physio Nutr Metab 33(2):239-45, 2008.

Ross R, Berentzen T, Bradshaw A, Janssen I, Kahn HS, Katzmarzyk PK, Kuk JL, Seidell JC, Snijder MB, Sørensen TIA and Després J-P. Does the relationship between waist circumference, morbidity and mortality depend on measurement protocol for waist circumference?  Obes Rev 9(4):312-325, 2008.

Janiszewski PM, Saunders T, and Ross R. Lifestyle treatment of the metabolic syndrome. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 2(2): 99-108, 2008.

Jerry A, Goldberg R, Jackson L, and Ross R. The relationship between cardiometabolic and hemostatic variables influence of race.  Metabolism 57: 200-206, 2008.

Janiszewski PM, Janssen I, and Ross R. Does waist circumference predict diabetes and cardiovascular disease beyond commonly evaluated cardiometabolic risk factors? Diabetes Care 30(12):3105-3109, 2007.

Prud’homme D, Doucet E, Dionne I, and Ross R. Physical activity and exercise therapy - Adults. (Chapter 13 of Canadian clinical practice guidelines on the management and prevention of obesity in adults and children). CMAJ 176(8):online64-66, 2007.

Hill AM, Coates AM, Buckley JD, Ross R, Thielecke F, Howe PRC.  Can EGCG reduce abdominal fat in obese subjects?  J Am Coll Nutr 26(4): 396S-402S, 2007.

Janiszewski PM, Oeffinger KC, Church TS, Dunn AL, Eshelman DA, Victor RC, Brooks S, Turoff AJ, Sinclair E, Murray JC, Bashore L, and Ross R.  Abdominal obesity, liver fat and muscle composition in survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 92: 3816-3821, 2007.

Kuk JL, Janiszewski PM, and Ross R.  Exercise, visceral adipose tissue and metabolic risk.  Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports. 1: 254-264, 2007.

Kuk JL, Janiszewski PM, and Ross R. Body mass index and hip and thigh circumferences are negatively associated with visceral adipose tissue after control for waist circumference. Am J Clin Nutr, 85:1540-1544,2007.

Janiszewski PM, and Ross R. Physical activity and obesity reduction: beyond weight reduction.  Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 32:512-522, 2007.

McMillan KP, Kuk JL, Church TS, Blair SN, and Ross R.  Independent associations between liver fat, visceral adipose tissue, and metabolic risk factors in men.  Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 32:2650-272, 2007.

Dekker MJ, SoJung L, Hudson R, Kilpatrick K, Graham TE, Rosse R, and Robinson L. An exercise intervention without weight loss decreases circulating interleukin-6 in lean and obese men with and without type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metabolism 56(3):332-8, 2007.

Byrne, NM, Meerkin JD, Laukkanen R, Ross R, Fogelholm M, and Hills AP.  Weight loss strategies for obese adults:  Personalized weight management program versus standard care.  Obesity 14(10): 1777-88, 2007.