U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Metabolic Clinical Research Unit

The Metabolic Clinical Research Unit (MCRU) opened Aerial view of the NIH Clinical Center.in 2007 as a key component of the Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research​.  The NIDDK worked closely with the Clinical Center to design the Unit, which houses state-of-the-art facilities and equipment for a wide range of metabolic clinical research studies.  The MCRU brings together experts in a wide range of fields including metabolism, endocrinology, nutrition, cardiovascular biology, gastroenterology, hepatology, genetics, and behavioral sciences.  It supports protocols designed by researchers from across all NIH institutes investigating the factors that contribute to weight gain, obesity, and associated diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even certain types of cancer.

MCRU Personnel

Additional NIDDK Investigators:

Key Facilities

Body Composition

  1. DXA (450-lb capacity)
  2. Bod Pod
  3. Bioelectical Impedance (single and multi-frequency)
  4. Stable isotopes

Physical Activity and Fitness Assessments

  1. Exercise testing lab
  2. Accelerometers
  3. Continuous heart rate and blood pressure


  1. Metabolic kitchen
  2. Computerized vending machines
  3. Food preference/array

Whole-body Energy Metabolism

  1. Three whole-room indirect calorimetry suites
  2. Metabolic carts
  3. Doubly-labeled water

Nursing (inpatient and outpatient)​​​​​