About Magdalena Pasarica, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Magdalena Pasarica began her medical career at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila” in Bucharest, Romania and completed her residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She is board certified in Family Medicine. In the pursuit of excellence in medical research, Dr. Pasarica earned a Ph.D. in Nutrition at Wayne State University and completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Endocrinology at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. She has performed clinical, translational and basic research studies in the area of pathophysiology of adipose tissue, obesity and diabetes mellitus type 2. Her work was recognized by numerous peer reviewed publications and invited talks to prestigious national and international organizations (including NIH – National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease). In addition to research, Dr. Pasarica has dedicated her career to academic medicine through her work in training undergraduate and graduate students, as well as resident physicians at Florida Hospital.

The University of Central Florida College of Medicine welcomed Dr Pasarica in 2014. An award-winning physician educator, Dr. Pasarica serves as Director for the Internal/Family Medicine Clerkship  and has a key role in teaching lifestyle, obesity and primary care topics in the medical program. As the Family Medicine Chair of Education and the Family Medicine Interest Group Advisor, Dr. Pasarica has been successful in developing a series of opportunities for increasing the number of students entering family medicine residencies of their choice and becoming leaders in the field. Dr. Pasarica is the Medical Director and Co-Advisor for the KNIGHTS student-run free clinic, where she mentors students to perform clinical care to the underserved, and she has led its growth as a nationally recognized opportunity to design, execute and publish quality improvement projects for improved clinical outcomes. In addition to teaching and mentoring students, Dr. Pasarica is actively seeing patients in primary care and contributes to designing ways for the delivery of evidence based care. Dr. Pasarica performs research in the area of medical education (nutrition, lifestyle, obesity medicine) and quality improvement in primary care. Dr. Pasarica was instrumental in founding the Flagship: Medical Scholarly Proceeding channel for the pub-med journal “Cureus”, and now serves as the Editor.

Dr. Pasarica accomplishments are having a national impact through her presentations, publications, and service on national educational committees (including the Obesity Medicine Education Collaborative – Obesity Society), scientific advisory board (Advance Innovation and Promote Solutions in the Health Care System Grants), International Journal of Obesity Editorial Board and grant review panels (including National Academy of Science and the Obesity Society).


Selected Honors and Awards:

  • 2019 Teaching Incentive Productivity (TIP) Award
  • University-Level Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award
  • College-Level Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award
  • Associate Editor for Internal Journal of Obesity
  • Invited talks on “Obesity Management”  for the Florida Academy of Family Physicians, Florida Department of Health, Orlando VA CME program and others
  • Clinical Educational Leadership Award –  University of Central Florida College of Medicine (2016)
  • Innovation Award for Healthcare Provider Training and Education from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the American College of Sports Medicine (2017)
  • Medical Education Scholarship Award- Outstanding presentation award for undergraduate medical education from Southern Group on Educational Affairs, Austin, TX (2016)
  • Guest editor for Florida Academy Physician Journal “Obesity Management” issue (2016)
  • First place – New Investigator Award from the International Obesity Society – Selection based on original research presentation – Australia (2006)
  • Medical Honoris Causa from the Romanian Medical Association (2007)



  1. Weinstein M, Pasarica M. A case of the forgotten thyroid: The sequelae of chronic untreated hypothyroidism. Cureus 11(3): e4240. DOI 10.7759/cureus.4240
  2. Pasarica M, Denise K, Cameron R. Using Active Pedagogies to Advance Learning for Lifestyle Medicine: an Approach for Medical Students. Adv Physiol Educ. 2019 Jun 1;43(2):191-195. doi: 10.1152/advan.00195.2018.
  3. Pasarica, M. & Kay, D. Med.Sci.Educ. Lifestyle Medicine Education: Finding Learning Outcomes in Unexpected Places (Jan 31, 2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40670-019-00697-2
  4. Pasarica M, Bailey M, Cendán J C. (January 24, 2019) Increasing Students’ Publication Productivity: Could Launching a University Scientific Journal be a Catalyst?. Cureus 11(1): e3953. DOI 10.7759/cureus.3953
  5. Anand A*, Wagner C*, Kong S*, Griffith E*,  Harimtepathip P*,  Baker KK*,  Rineer S*,  Simms-Cendan J,  Pasarica M@. Improving Screening for Latent Tuberculosis Infection in a Student-run Free Clinic. 2018 Apr 16;10(4):e2488. doi: 10.7759/cureus.2488.
  6. Lopez YN, Garufi G, Pasarica M, Seyhan AA. Elevated and Correlated Expressions of miR-24, miR-30d, miR-146a, and SFRP-4 in Human Abdominal Adipose Tissue Play a Role in Adiposity and Insulin Resistance. International Journal of Endocrinology, vol. 2018, Article ID 7351902, 7 pages, 2018. doi:10.1155/2018/7351902.
  7. Lu K B, Thiel B, Atkins C A, Deasai A, Botwin A, Pavlov MR, Simms-Cendan J, Pasarica M– Satisfaction with Healthcare Received at an Interprofessional Student-run Free Clinic: Invested in Training the Next Generation of Healthcare Professionals. Cureus 10(3): e2282. doi:10.7759/cureus.2282
  8. Pasarica M, Topping DB. Innovative Education of Patient Care Competencies in Lifestyle Medicine: a Collaborative Learning Activity for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Events. Medical Science Educator. (20 September, 2017) https://doi.org/10.1007/s40670-017-0475-4
  9. Pasarica M. Letter from the Guest Editor. Obesity management. Florida Family Physician Journal. Vol 66, Issue 3, Fall 2017
  10. Klapheke M, Pasarica M. Opioid risk mitigation strategies and overdose resuscitation. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2017;13:10621. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10621
  11. Lee JS, Combs K, KNIGHTS Research Group 2016, Pasarica M@. Improving Efficiency While Improving Patient Care in a Student-Run Free Clinic. J Am Board Fam Med July-August 2017; 30:513-519; doi:10.3122/jabfm.2017.04.170044
  12. Pasarica M, Harris DM, Franklin AL. Medical students teaching peer athletes: an innovative way of instructing the physiology of exercise, nutrition, and sleep as fundamentals for lifestyle medicine. Adv Physiol Educ. 2017 Sep 1;41(3):432-435. doi: 10.1152/advan.00201.2016.
  13. Bajpeyi S, Pasarica M, Conley KE, Newcomer BR, Jubrias SA, Gamboa C, Murray K, Sereda O, Sparks LM, Smith SR. Pioglitazone-induced improvements in insulin sensitivity occur without concomitant changes in muscle mitochondrial function. Metabolism Clinical and Experimental. 2017 Apr;69:24-32. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2016.11.016 (Impact Factor: 4.375)
  14. Brown A, Ismail R, Gookin G, Hernandez C, Logan G, Pasarica M@. The Effect of Medical Student Volunteering in a Student-Run Clinic on Specialty Choice for Residency. Cureus. 2017 Jan 9;9(1):e967. doi: 10.7759/cureus.967.
  15. Pasarica M@, Combs K, Lee J, Guevara A. An innovative education on the core competency “systems-based practice”. Medical Science Educator. available online on November 10, 2016; DOI: 10.1007/s40670-016-0354-4.
  16. Feradov DF, Saikaly SK, Kacheria SA, Pasarica M@– A Crucial Lesson in Patient Safety: The Importance of Communication Between Providers. The Journal of Family Practice. In-press October 30, 2016. (Impact Factor: 0.658) To be published in the 2018 edition.
  17. Pasarica M@, Lee E, Lee M. Introduction to mindfulness: evidence-based medicine lecture and active session. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2016;12:10472. http://dx.doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10472
  18. Seyhan A, Nunez-Lopez Y, Xie H, Yi F, Mathews C, Pasarica M, Pratley R. Pancreas-enriched miRNAs are altered in the circulation of subjects with diabetes: a pilot cross-sectional study. Sci Rep. 2016 Aug 25;6:31479. doi: 10.1038/srep31479. (Impact Factor: 5.222)
  19. Pasarica M@, Harris DM, Simms-Cendan J, Gorman AL. Collaborative learning activity utilizing evidence-based medicine to improve medical student learning of the lifestyle management of obesity. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2016;12:10426. http://dx.doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10426.
  20. Birs A, Liu X, Nash B, Sullivan S, Garris SN, Hardy M,  Lee MW, Simms-Cendan J, Pasarica M@. Medical Care in a Free Clinic: A Comprehensive Evaluation of Patient Experience, Incentives, and Barriers to Optimal Medical Care with Consideration of a Facility Fee. Cureus. 2016 Feb 19;8(2):e500. doi: 10.7759/cureus.500.
  21. Garufi G, Smith SR, Seyhan A, Pasarica M@. Elevated secreted frizzled-related protein 4 in obesity and diabetes: a role in adipose tissue rarefaction. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Jan;23(1):24-7. doi: 10.1002/oby.20915. (Impact Factor: 3.614)
  22. Covington JD, Tam CS, Pasarica M, Redman LM. Higher circulating leukocytes in women with PCOS is reversed by aerobic exercise. Biochimie. 2016 May;124:27-33. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2014.10.028. (Impact Factor: 3.017)
  23. Pasarica M, Narciso P. Are low carbohydrate diets safe and effective methods for losing weight?. Evidence Based Practice – FPIN. 2012 March 15(3): 10-11.
  24. Pasarica M, Narciso P. How safe and effective is finasteride for hair loss in post-menopausal women. Spotlight on Pharmacy. Evidence Based Practice. FPIN. 2011 May; 14(5): 14.
  25. Bajpeyi S, Pasarica M, Moro C, Conley K, Smith SR. Skeletal muscle mitochondrial capacity and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2011 April; 96(4): 1160-8. doi: 10.1210/jc.2010-1621. (Impact Factor: 5.967)
  26. Pasarica M, Rood J, Ravussin E, Schwarz JM, Smith SR, Redman LM. Reduced oxygenation in human obese adipose tissue is associated with impaired insulin suppression of lipolysis. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2010 August; 95(8): 4052-5. doi: 10.1210/jc.2009-2377 (Impact Factor: 6.495)
  27. Costford SR, Bajpeyi S, Pasarica M, Albarado DC, Thomas SC, Xie H, Church TS, Jubrias SA, Conley KE and Smith SR. Skeletal muscle NAMPT is induced by exercise in humans. American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2010 January; 298(1): E117-26. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00318.2009. (Impact Factor: 4.686)
  28. Pasarica M, Gowronska-Kozak B, Burk D, Remedios I, Hymel D, Gimble J, Ravussin E, Bray GA, Smith SR. Adipose tissue collagen VI in obesity. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2009 December; 94(12): 5155-62. doi: 10.1210/jc.2009-0947. (Impact Factor: 2.588)
  29. Pasarica M, Tchoukalova YD, Heilbronn LK, Fang X, Albu JB, Kelley DE, Smith SR, Ravussin E; Look AHEAD Adipose Research Group. Differential effect of weight loss on adipocyte size subfractions in patients with type 2 diabetes. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2009 October; 17(10): 1976-8. doi: 10.1038/oby.2009.219. (Impact Factor: 3.366)
  30. Sparks LM**, Pasarica M**, Sereda O, deJonge L, Thomas S, Loggins H, Xie H, Miles J, Smith SR. Effect of adipose tissue on the sexual dimorphism in metabolic flexibility. Metabolism. 2009 November; 58(11): 1564-71. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2009.05.008. (Impact Factor: 3.366)
  31. Moro C, Galgani J, Luu L, Pasarica M, Mairal A, Bajpeyi S, Schmitz G, Langin D, Liebisch G, Smith SR. Influence of gender, obesity and muscle lipase activity on intramyocellular lipids in sedentary individuals. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2009 September; 94(9): 3440-7. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2009.05.008. (Impact Factor: 6.202)
  32. Moro C, Pasarica M, Elkind-Hirsch K, Redman LM. Aerobic exercise training improves atrial natriuretic peptide and catecholamine-mediated lipolysis in obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2009 July; 94(7): 2579-86. doi: 10.1210/jc.2009-0051. (Impact Factor: 6.202)
  33. Pasarica M, Xie H, Hymel D, Bray G, Greenway F, Ravussin E, Smith SR – Lower total adipocyte number but no evidence for small adipocyte depletion in patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2009 May; 32(5): 900-2. doi: 10.2337/dc08-2240. (Impact Factor: 6.718)
  34. Knotts TA, Lee HW, Kim JB, Oort PJ, McPherson R, Dent R, Tachibana K, Doi T, Yu S, Reddy JK, Uno K, Katagiri H, Pasarica M, Smith SR, Sears DD, Grino M and Adams SH. Molecular characterization of the tumor suppressor candidate 5 gene: regulation by PPARƴ and identification of TUSC5 coding variants in lean and obese humans. PPAR Research. 2009;2009:867678. doi: 10.1155/2009/867678. (Impact Factor: 2.727)
  35. Pasarica M, Sereda O, Redman L, Albarado D, Hydel D, Roan L, Rood J, Burk D, Smith SR. Reduced adipose tissue oxygenation in human obesity – evidence for rarefaction, macrophage chemotaxis and inflammation without an angiogenic response. Diabetes. 2009 March; 58(3): 718-25. doi: 10.2337/db08-1098. (Impact Factor: 8.505)
  36. Sparks LM, Pasarica M, Ukropcova B, Smith J, Hymel D, Xie H, Bray G, Miles J, Smith SR. Relation of adipose tissue to metabolic flexibility. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice. 2009 January; 83(1): 32-43. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2008.09.052. (Impact Factor: 2.160)
  37. Pasarica M, Loiler S, Dhurandhar NV. Acute effect of infection by adipogenic human adenovirus Ad36. Archives of Virology. 2008; 153(11): 2097-102. doi: 10.1007/s00705-008-0219-2. (Impact Factor: 2.020)
  38. Pasarica M, Mashtalir N, McAllister E, Kilroy G, Koska J, Permana P, de Courten B, Yu M, Ravussin E, Gimble J, Dhurandhar NV. Adipogenic human adenovirus Ad-36 induces commitment, differentiation and lipid accumulation in human adipose derived stem cells. Stem Cells. 2008 April; 26(4): 969-78. doi: 10.1634/stemcells.2007-0868. (Impact Factor: 7.741)
  39. Rogers PM, Fusinski KA, Rathod MA, Loiler SA, Pasarica M, Shaw MK, Kilroy G, Sutton GM,  McAllister EJ, Mashtalir N, Gimble JM, Holland TC, Dhurandhar NV. Human adenovirus Ad-36 induces adipogenesis via its E4 orf-1 gene. International Journal of Obesity. 2008 March; 32(3): 397-406. (Impact Factor: 3.640)
  40. Pasarica M, Zachwieja J, deJonge L, Redman S, Smith SR. Effect of growth hormone on body composition and visceral adiposity in middle aged men with visceral obesity. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2007 November; 92(11): 4265-70. (Impact Factor: 5.493)
  41. Pasarica M, Shin A, Yu M, Ou Yang H, Rathod M, Mohankumar S, Mohankumar PS, Catherine J and Dhurandhar NV. Human adenovirus 36 induces adiposity, increases insulin sensitivity, and alters hypothalamic monoamines in rats. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2006 November; 14(11): 1905-13. (no impact factor because journal just changed the name in 2006)
  42. Vangipuram S, Yu M, Tian J, Stanhope K, Pasarica M, Havel PJ, Heydari A, Dhurandhar NV. Adipogenic human adenovirus-36 reduces leptin expression and secretion and increases glucose uptake by fat cells. International Journal of Obesity. 2007 January; 31(1): 87-96. (Impact Factor: 3.333)


Book Chapters

  1. Pasarica M, Smith S – Drugs for Weight Loss and Maintenance: Present and Future. In “Treatment of the Obese Patient, 2nd Edition.” Eds. Kushner and Bessessen, Springer Publishing. 2014, pp. 225-246.
  2. Pasarica M, Dhurandhar RN, Mashtalir N, and Dhurandhar NV – Viral Induction of Obesity and Adipogenesis. In “Adipose Tissue in Health and Disease.” Eds. T. Leff and J.G. Granneman. Wiley-Blackwell, Weinheim, Germany. 2010, pp 307-332.
  3. Pasarica M, Dhurandhar NV – Infectobesity: obesity of infectious origin. Advance in Food and Nutrition Research. 2007; 52: 61-102.