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Joseph E. Donnelly Jr, E.d.D., MS

Joseph Donnelly Jr portrait
Professor, Physical Activity & Weight Management

Professional Background

Joseph E. Donnelly is Professor, Department of Internal Medicine and Director, Division of Physical Activity and Weight Management. He founded the “Weight Control Research Project,” in 1986 and since 1997 it continues as “The University of Kansas Weight Management Programs, (KWMP).” Medically managed and behaviorally focused, the weight management programs use evidence-based strategies for prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity and related comorbid diseases. The programs are deeply embedded in research funded primarily by The National Institutes of Health. This combination of clinical services and research provides state-of-the-art programs for individuals in need of weight management.

BS in Physical Education, Davis and Elkins College, Elkins WV
MS in Exercise Physiology, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL
ED.D. in Exercise Physiology, West Virginia University

Education and Training
  • BA, Physical Education, Davis & Elkins Col., Elkins, WV
  • MS, Exercise Physiology, Eastern Illinois Univ., Charleston, IL
  • EdD, Exercise Physiology, West Virg. Univ., Morgantown, WV



Dr. Donnelly has several venues of research conducted since 1984 that have been supported by The National Institutes of Health, industry and various not-for-profit foundations. Areas of interest include nutrition, physical activity, comorbidities and weight management in elementary school children, individuals with intellectual and developmental disorders, individuals with mobility related disabilities, and rural populations. Additional interests include remote delivery strategies and the volume of physical activity necessary for weight management.

Current Research and Grants
  • Teacher versus remotely delivered classroom physical activity breaks, NIH, PI