Best Thesis Competition finalists – Maja Bramming

Best Thesis Competition finalists – Maja Bramming

The Best Thesis Award Session will take place on Friday 6th May from 16.15- 17.50 Room 0.4 and is immediately followed by the Poster Networking Reception Programme.

The session will see presentations from our three finalists, and after yesterday’s interview with Dr Louise Tully, here we meet Maja Bramming who works at Denmark’s National Institute of Public Health.

Q: Hi Maja, welcome to this year’s congress and congratulations on being a finalist for this year’s Best Thesis Award. Please tell us a little about yourself.

A: Hello! I’m Maja Bramming. I’m 36 years old. I am from Denmark, and I live and work in Copenhagen, Denmark. I work at the National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark.

Q: Tell us about how you first entered the world of obesity research.

A: I have always been interested in health, sport, and nutrition. During my Master thesis I worked on a large study called GO Bypass at the University of Copenhagen. I worked closely with study subjects for nearly a year and followed them from before to after they had bariatric surgery. I learned a lot during that year and gained a whole new perspective on the complexity of obesity and bariatric surgery.

Q: And of course – tell us the subject of your thesis – why is this area important in obesity research?

A: The main subject of my thesis is bariatric surgery. More specifically, I investigate labour market participation, relationship status, and alcohol use disorder in relation to bariatric surgery. The overall health benefits of surgically induced weight loss have been well documented, however, less obvious outcomes – like socioeconomic and psychosocial outcomes – of bariatric surgery is less studied. It is important to fully understand all pros and cons of bariatric surgery that may affect the everyday lives of patients.

Q: What are your aims for the first part of your career?

A: I aim to continue my research on bariatric surgery. There are many other aspects I would like to explore, such as mental health, fertility, and addiction among bariatric surgery patients.However, I also aim to broaden my research field to include other aspects of obesity – not only bariatric surgery.

Q: Have you been involved in any studies so far?

A:  During my time as a PhD-student I published four articles. One study is investigating the relationship between BMI and labour market transitions, and three articles are looking at different long-term outcomes of bariatric surgery: 1) labour market participation, 2) relationship status, and 3) alcohol use disorder.

Q: What are some of the sessions that you would like to attend in this year’s congress?

A: There are so many interesting sessions on metabolic surgery, and I would like to see them all! I watched yesterday’s presentation on the WHO Obesity Report. I am involved in a similar project on Danish data, so it is interesting to see if we find similar results. I am also looking forward to the plenary session (PL1): Towards personalized interventions: balancing (epi)genetics and environmental factors.

Q: Finally, enough work talk! Tell us what you like to do to relax.

A: I don’t get to relax much since I have a busy schedule and a very lively 1.5-year-old daughter. But when I do relax, I like to go out to cafés in Copenhagen. It’s a wonderful city! I also like to play board games, cook, and watch scary movies.   

Thanks so much Maja, and enjoy the congress!