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Meet the Staff: BioDesign’s Director of Nutrition, Cameron Ackerson

Cameron Ackerson, CSCS, is Director of Nutrition here at BioDesign Wellness Center, where he runs our nutrition/weight loss division. Cameron joined us in October of 2017 as a Nutrition Coach specializing in weight loss. Our doctors were so impressed with his knowledge, professionalism, and his kind candor with our patients that he was promoted to his current position in July of 2018 — less than a year after his arrival at our Tampa functional medicine practice.

Cameron educates our patients on how to find a meal plan that is not only sustainable for them but also enjoyable to prepare and consume. His job involves taking complex dieting concepts and breaking them down into smaller, more practical courses of action. He meets with many of our patients on a weekly basis and holds them accountable to a mutually agreed-upon diet so they can attain the best results possible when it comes to adhering to our doctors orders.

We asked Cameron to tell us a little about his education and work history, along with other personal details concerning his life — and a few silly questions to round out the picture. Here’s what he had to say:

BioDesign Wellness Center: What did you do for work before coming to BioDesign?

Cameron Ackerson: I moved to Tampa to pursue my graduate degree at the University of Tampa. While attending school, I worked as a research scientist at The Applied Science and Performance Institute, specializing in ketogenic dieting and the use of exogenous ketones as a form of therapeutic supplementation in helping alleviate the symptoms and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Later, I was promoted to the position of sports scientist. We conducted randomized human trials that gave me first-hand experience working with research. That in turn, gave me a much better understanding of the broad scope of data that has already been studied in my respective field.

BioDesign: Why did you choose to apply to and then come to work for BioDesign?

Cameron: I came from a sports background, working with NFL, MLB, NHL, and other high-level professional athletes where trainers and nutritionists are traditionally underappreciated. I wanted to work in an industry where I could help people, but also be appreciated at the same time. I find my joy in helping patients overcome chronic illness and their own personal obstacles while also helping them achieve a healthy lifestyle.

BioDesign: Where did you attend college as an undergrad, and in which field of study did you receive a degree?

Cameron: I received my Bachelor of Science degree from Illinois State University in Exercise Science. During my undergraduate degree, I also achieved my Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and worked closely with professional bodybuilders and other professional athletes. I then received my Master of Science degree from the University of Tampa in Exercise and Nutrition Science.

BioDesign: Where did you grow up and what did you want to be — career-wise — when you grew up?

Cameron: I grew up in a very small village named Ogden in rural Illinois (halfway between Champaign and Danville in the eastern part of the state). When I was younger I really had no idea what I wanted to be, but I knew that I wanted to help people in some way.

BioDesign: Please tell us about your hobbies or interests outside of work?

Cameron: Outside of work I lead an active lifestyle – anything that is on or in the water. I love to travel as much as possible, so that keeps me very busy. When I am not traveling, I enjoy getting together with friends and playing Dungeons & Dragons. (That’s a long-kept secret of mine but it goes to show that stereotypes should not be taken so seriously. Never judge a book by its cover.)

BioDesign: If you moved to Sesame Street, who would you want as your neighbor and why?

Cameron: I haven’t watched Sesame Street lately; however, I would have to say the grumpy garbage monster guy (Oscar the Grouch). I think he would keep my yard clean.

BioDesign: What’s something most people would be surprised to know about you?

Cameron: I broke my collarbone riding a sheep when I was in the first grade. Back where I’m from, we called it Muttin’ Bustin’ and all the cool kids did it – I was the coolest.

BioDesign: If you could pick three famous people to be a part of your entourage, who would you pick and why?

Cameron: The three famous people I would pick would have to be The Rock, Jason Mamoa, Josh Brolin, and Rachel McAdams. The Rock, because he is The Rock. Jason Mamoa, because he is hilarious, and his sense of adventure is inspiring. Josh Brolin, because he is Thanos (should stay on his good side). And last but not least, Rachel McAdams, because you can’t just limit it to three people and she is perfect!