Dr. Ninh Nguyen, chief of gastrointestinal surgery at the UC Irvine Medical Center, and colleagues are seeking participants in a nationwide clinical study to test a new, minimally invasive way to treat morbid obesity without altering the stomach through gastric bypass surgery or laparoscopic banding. The Empower study will employ a novel VBLOC Therapy, in which implanted electrodes will block nerve signals carried between the brain and the digestive system that control sensations of hunger, satisfaction and fullness. The five-year safety and efficacy study is being held at five U.S. locations and a site in Australia.