Dr. Frank Moody
Dr. Frank Moody

Frank G. Moody, M.D., professor of surgery, who helped battle obesity in the 1970s by promoting weight loss surgery, has been honored by the American Surgical Association (ASA).

In recognition of his seminal contributions to surgery, Moody was presented the 2016 ASA Medallion for Advancement of Surgical Care at the ASA annual meeting April 14 in Chicago.

Other doctors from the Texas Medical Center who have received a similar ASA award include Denton A. Cooley, M.D., and the late Michael E. DeBakey, M.D.

“Dr. Moody was one of the first bariatric surgeons in Houston. He performed gastric bypass on hundreds of patients and began a weight loss program at UTHealth that has evolved into one of the largest and most comprehensive bariatric programs in the country,” said Erik B. Wilson, M.D., professor of surgery and holder of the Lynn and Oscar Wyatt Chair in Metabolic Research at McGovern Medical School.

“He was one of the original surgeons who stood up against the conventional ignorance that obesity was a life choice and not a physical disease as we know now and have proven over the past two decades. We treat more than a thousand patients every year for the diseases of obesity and metabolic abnormalities, and it all started with Dr. Frank Moody as our patriarch,” added Wilson, who is the medical director of bariatric surgery at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.

Prior to joining the faculty of UTHealth in 1983, Moody led an obesity research program at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. There, he studied the genetics of obesity.

Almost 80 million adults in the United States are obese and at increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and other health issues.

Moody received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College. Moody is a past chairman of the Department of Surgery at McGovern Medical School.

The American Surgical Association was founded in 1880 and is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious surgical organization.