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Metabolic Clinical Research Unit Volunteers

The Metabolic Clinical Research Unit (MCRU), located at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, conducts clinical research focused on obesity and endocrinology related conditions. We welcome volunteers to participate in our studies.

The clinical staff supporting the MCRU understands that there are many factors that can lead to obesity and weight gain. We believe that weight gain is not simply a failure of individual will and seek to demonstrate that it has no single cause or solution. Through the knowledge we gain in our research, we strive to provide a better understanding of this condition to both the public and health care providers. Through our efforts we hope to de-stigmatize obesity and decrease the frequency and severity of obesity and related conditions.

The MCRU was designed with the comfort of our volunteers in mind. The unit features:

  • special re-enforced construction, amenities and equipment which are designed to accommodate our volunteers no matter what their size
  • 10 private rooms providing privacy and comfort to our volunteers during their stay
  • special dining areas including group dining, experimental dining, and vending machines which are available to certain studies and their volunteers
  • a metabolic kitchen where dietitians can carefully determine the quantity and nutritive value of foods provided to the volunteers on studies for which the meals are controlled
  • an exercise and fitness testing area with different types of equipment to accommodate volunteers of different sizes
  • 3 metabolic rooms where a volunteer's metabolic rate is measured accurately on a minute by minute basis
  • other state-of-the-art equipment for determining body composition.

Learn about our four areas of metabolic research:

If you have additional questions around volunteering at the MCRU, please contact Dr. Stephanie Chung.


This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.