The Health meets Food Culinary Medicine Program Team

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS, Executive Director - George Washington University Culinary Medicine ProgramTimothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS

Executive Director – George Washington University Culinary Medicine Program
Creative Adviser – Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine
Chairman – Culinary Medicine Specialist Board


“Eating well and eating healthy is the same thing,” says Dr. Tim Harlan, aka Dr. Gourmet, who discovered his love of food long before embarking on a successful career as a physician. By the age of 18, Harlan was managing his first restaurant and had learned cooking techniques from some of the finest chefs. He subsequently opened an intimate French bistro at age 22.

Returning to school to pursue a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, Dr. Harlan found his way to medicine. While completing his degree at Emory University School of Medicine, he began writing about the clear link between food and health, blending his extensive knowledge of food and nutrition with his medical expertise.

Chef Kerri Dotson, RDN, LDN, Director of Operations and Executive Chef - George Washington University Culinary Medicine ProgramChef Kerri Dotson, RDN, LDN

Director of Operations & Executive Chef – George Washington University Culinary Medicine Program


Chef/RD Kerri Dotson has worked in diverse areas of nutrition and foodservice industries including restaurants, critical care, public health, maternal health, outpatient counseling, and community nutrition since receiving her B.S. in Culinary Nutrition from Johnson & Wales University and completing her Dietetic Internship at Tulane University. As Executive Chef and Director of Operations for the George Washington University Culinary Medicine Program – the premier interdisciplinary program bridging culinary arts, science, nutrition, and medicine – Kerri is fulfilling her dream by combining individualized counseling and nutrition education with hands-on cooking classes. Through this revolutionary program Kerri teaches medical students, healthcare and foodservice professionals, and the community at large, how to cook food that is affordable, healthful, easy to prepare, and most of all, delicious.

Seema Kakar, MD, Director of George Washington University's Culinary Medicine ProgramSeema Kakar, MD

Director – GW Culinary Medicine

Dr. Kakar is an internist and medical educator. She’s a native New Zealander and attended Auckland Medical School, then completed a research internship at Johns Hopkins and her Internal Medicine Primary Care Residency at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She remained on GW’s faculty and is an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine and has varied teaching and curriculum design roles. She and serves as the Director of Culinary Medicine elective and Co-Director of the Community Service Learning program.

Lawrence Deyton, MSPH, MD; Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Public Health at George Washington UniversityLawrence Deyton, MSPH, MD

Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Public Health, George Washington University

As Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Public Health, Dr. Deyton is creating new curriculum and pedagogy for medical education to teach medical students the principles of public health, population health, and leadership in medical care and health systems decision-making. These are the tools that are required of clinicians who practice in 21st Century health care systems. Dr. Deyton is well-positioned to work with Dr. Harlan and the GW Culinary Medicine team to facilitate, lead, and catalyze discussions on the scalability of culinary medicine across the spectrum of health professional education.

Jennifer Leon, BS, RDN, LN. Dietitian for the GW Cancer Center & GW Culinary MedicineJennifer Leon, BS, RDN, LN

Dietitian for the GW Cancer Center & GW Culinary Medicine

Ms. Leon provides nutrition education and counseling for patients treated at the GW Cancer Center. She works within each patient’s health history and current environment to use nutrition as prevention, treatment, and support. She leads the Nutrition Club support group where nutrition topics are presented and good food is enjoyed. Before becoming a dietitian, Ms. Leon was a management consultant, focusing on higher education institutions and government organizations.

Jodie Balis, RD, Chef-Dietitian of GW Culinary MedicineJodie Balis, RD

Chef-Dietitian – GW Culinary Medicine

Ms. Balis and has worked in public health nutrition as a culinary instructor and dietitian for 18 years. She has worked within the nonprofit sector to develop and manage cooking and nutrition education programs for underserved communities. Ms. Balis developed hundreds of low budget healthy recipes that were distributed throughout Giant Foods in the mid-Atlantic, and she has co-authored a cookbook highlighting healthy-budget friendly meals for the management and prevention of chronic diet-related diseases. She is currently also a wellness consultant, a personal chef, and a writer.

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