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Robert Huizenga, M.D., also known as Dr. H, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at UCLA and author of a book as well as multiple scientific papers on the aggressive non-surgical approach he has championed over the last 12 seasons on "The Biggest Loser." He is also the former team physician for the Los Angeles Raiders and inspiration for Oliver Stone's film "Any Given Sunday."
Huizenga grew up in Rochester, New York and was valedictorian and all-county football, wrestling and track at Penfield High. At the University of Michigan, he was in honors math and biology and an NCAA All-American wrestler. While at Harvard Medical School, he was an immunology major and all-star rugby player. He did his medical residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, focusing on internal medicine and sports medicine, and was appointed Chief Medical Resident, after which he entered a pulmonary fellowship before leaving to serve as a team physician from 1983 to 1990 for the Los Angeles Raiders, as well as to be the national medical correspondent for "Breakaway" (FOX) and later for "The Home Show" (ABC).
After serving for eight years as the LA Raiders team physician and four years as president and president-elect for the NFL Physician's Society, he wrote "You're OK, It's Just a Bruise - A Doctor's Sideline Secrets about Pro-Football's Most Outrageous Team," which provoked a national debate on anabolic steroids and other ergogenic (sport-enhancing) aids over a decade before the Senate "steroid" hearings. This book was the basis for Oliver Stone's "Any Given Sunday"; Matthew Modine played Huizenga in the movie. Huizenga continues to be active in the world of professional sports, being called in 2009 as an expert witness by the House Judiciary Committee looking into catastrophic brain injuries in football players. Huizenga has repeatedly been interviewed as a health expert on CBS, NBC and ABC Evening News, "Nightline" and "Larry King Live," as well in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and other national print media. He has also been called as a medical expert in multiple high profile legal cases; O.J. Simpson defense lawyer Robert Shapiro chose to take Simpson to Huizenga for medical examination three days after the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, and Huizenga delivered testimony of his findings over three days at the trial. He has recurring roles as writer, correspondent and advisor on numerous TV shows and movies, including "The Biggest Loser," "Extreme Makeover," "Work Out," "American Gladiators," "Student Body," " Dance Your Ass Off," "Fourth and Long," "Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best" and "Into the Wild." Past consulting jobs include "Trapper John, M.D.," "Nurses," "Empty Nest" and "House of God."
In 2008, Huizenga authored "Where Did All the Fat Go? The Wow! Prescription to Reach Your Ideal Weight and Stay There," about his straightforward obesity treatment based on knowledge gained while working with professional athletes and on five years of research on over 300 overweight applicants to NBC's "The Biggest Loser." The WOW! Rx merges cutting-edge exercise, nutrition, attention to sleep and psychology and group dynamics together with old-fashioned hard work. More recently, he has teamed with researchers from the National Institutes of Health, Pennington Obesity Center, Vanderbilt University, Tufts University, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Pathways Genetics to document new weight loss findings in scientific publications. Huizenga teaches and lectures throughout the country while continuing to maintain a busy private medical practice in Beverly Hills, California.
Huizenga has deep sports and science-writer roots; his father John Robert Huizenga was an all-star basketball and baseball player before serving as a member of the Manhattan Project and later received the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award (the U.S. Nobel prize) for nuclear physics for his nuclear fusion research (including co-discovery of Einsteinium and Fermium, element numbers 99 and 100).