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Metabolism, Energy Balance, and Obesity

The Metabolism, Energy Balance, and Obesity program supports basic and clinical studies related to energy balance and physiological mechanisms modulating weight gain, loss, and maintenance.  Specific areas of interest include factors that affect energy regulation such as food choices, diet composition, food intake, eating behavior, appetite, satiety, body composition, nutrient partitioning, sedentary behavior, and physical activity.  Other supported research topics include, but are not limited to, hormonal regulation of body composition, such as interactions between nutrition, exercise, and appetite-regulating hormones; circulating factors and their receptors involved in regulatory pathways controlling feeding behavior, satiety, and energy expenditure; interactions between the gut-brain axis and peripheral secretory metabolic signals (e.g., insulin, leptin, glucocorticoids, ghrelin, and other small bioactive peptides); integration of appetite-regulating  and metabolic signals in the regulation of food intake and energy balance; the impact of circadian rhythms on nutrient sensing and food intake; and the impact of gustatory signals on food consumption and energy balance.  Studies investigating the mechanism by which interventions, including drugs, devices, and surgery, affect food consumption or food preferences, physical activity, body composition, or other aspects of energy regulation are also supported by this program.
The program also supports investigator-initiated research on the biomedical and behavioral aspects of obesity and disordered eating behaviors, such as binge eating, in animal models.  Also of interest are studies that use improved methods to assess body composition, examine health-risk factors with specific degrees of obesity or body composition, and determine the effects of exercise on body composition.
This program also supports studies that explore mathematical models contributing to the understanding of whole-body energy balance and metabolism as well as the metabolic pathways in cells, tissues, and organs.  A particular focus of interest is on models that allow the integration of data gained from a variety of technical approaches, such as tracer studies, calorimetry, plasma hormone/cytokines, metabolomics, genomics, epigenomics, and proteomics, and on those models that would be of clinical utility, including prediction of plasma glucose levels in diabetes, nutritional partitioning, and weight management.

 NIDDK Staff

Christine Hunter, Ph.D., ABPPClinical research on behavioral treatments and prevention for obesity and diabetes; Centers for Diabetes Translational Research.James Hyde, Ph.D.​Neurobiology of energy balance and body composition in obesity; diabetes centers; career development (“K”) programs
Maren Laughlin, Ph.D.Integrative metabolism and physiology, and in vivo molecular and functional imaging, as relevant to energy balance in metabolic disease
Padma Maruvada, Ph.D.Nutrient Metabolism; Clinical Obesity and NutritionCorinne M. Silva, Ph.D.Signaling pathways and nutrient sensing in metabolic tissues; mechanisms involved in the role of intrauterine environment in offspring metabolic diseaseSusan Z. Yanovski, M.D.Obesity and Eating Disorders


 Related Funding Opportunities

Posted DateTitleFull Announcement
8/14/2014Understanding Factors in Infancy and Early Childhood (Birth to 24 months) That Influence Obesity Development (R01) (Summary) PAR-14-323
7/30/2014NIDDK Central Repositories Non-renewable Sample Access (X01) (Summary) PAR-14-301
7/29/2014NIDDK Clinician Scientist Mentoring Award to Promote Workforce Diversity (K05) (Summary) RFA-DK-14-005
7/17/2014High Throughput Screening (HTS) to Discover Chemical Probes (R01) (Summary) PAR-14-284
7/2/2014Innovative Therapies and Tools for Screenable Disorders in Newborns (R01) (Summary) PAR-14-270
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​The resources listed below include reagents, data, protocols, etc.  If you would like to utilize any of these resources, contact the person associated with the resource.

 Research Resources

Resource NameDescription
Hyperglycemia and Pregnancy Outcomes Follow-Up Study Consortium

The goal of this follow-up study of mothers who participated in the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes (HAPO) study, is to determine the levels of blood sugar during pregnancy that are linked to increased body fat in the child, and to a…

Diabetes Prevention Program
The DPP showed that lifestyle change or metformin delay the development of type 2 diabetes. The DPPOS is a long-term follow-up study of the DPP participants.
NIDDK Information Network

The NIDDK Information Network (dkNET), serves the needs of basic and clinical investigators by providing seamless access to large pools of data relevant to the mission of NIDDK. The goal of dkNET is to develop a community-based network for…

Efficacy and Mechanisms of Glutamine Dipeptide in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit

The GLND trial is a multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled, intent-to-treat Phase III trial, designed to determine the effect of parenteral glutamine (GLN) dipeptide on important clinical outcomes in patients requiring surgical intensive care…

Action to Control Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Diabetes Follow-up Study
ACCORDION (sponsored by NHLBI) is a prospective, observational follow-up study of at least 8000 participants who were treated and followed in the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) Trial.  Treatment in ACCORD ended in 2009 and…

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 NIDDK Active Trials in Metabolic Disease

​View related clinical trials from ClinicalTrials.gov.


 Related Study Sections

Study sections conduct initial peer review of applications in a designated scientific area. View related study sections​ from the NIH's Center for Scientific Review.