U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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, thermic effect of food and appetite-regulating hormones; circulating factors and their receptors involved in regulatory pathways controlling feeding behavior, satiety, energy expenditure and thermogenesis; 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; obesity associated inflammation; 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. Studies that explore host microbiome interactions that impact energy balance, circadian variations, macronutrient metabolism and body weight and impact of microbial metabolites on gut-brain axis to impact energy balance are also of interest.
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

Carol Renfrew Haft, Ph.D.Adipocyte development and biology in various fat depots; protein trafficking, secretion, processing and ER stress in metabolic diseaseChristine Hunter, Ph.D., ABPPBehavioral research on the prevention and treatment of obesity and diabetes; Centers for Diabetes Translational ResearchJames F. Hyde, Ph.D.Neurobiology of energy balance and body composition in obesity; Diabetes Research CentersMaren Laughlin, Ph.D.Integrative metabolism and physiology, and in vivo molecular and functional imaging, as relevant to energy balance in metabolic diseasePadma Maruvada, Ph.D.Nutrient Metabolism; Clinical Obesity and Nutrition
Stavroula K. Osganian, M.D., Sc.D., M.P.H.Pediatric Clinical ObesityCorinne M. Silva, Ph.D.Signaling pathways, nuclear receptors and nutrient sensing in metabolic tissues; role of intrauterine environment in offspring metabolic diseaseLuke E Stoeckel, Ph.D.Cognitive and clinical neuroscience of the non-homeostatic (i.e., extra-hypothalamic) contributions to obesity and diabetes and their complicationsKaren L. Teff, Ph.D.Effects of bariatric surgery on diabetes and metabolism, clinical and basic science of hepatic metabolism and hypoglycemia, human sleep and diabetesSusan Z. Yanovski, M.D.Obesity and Eating Disorders


 Related Funding Opportunities

Posted DateTitleFull Announcement
2/1/2017Development of Highly Innovative Tools and Technology for Analysis of Single Cells (STTR) (R41/R42) (Summary) PA-17-148
2/1/2017Development of Highly Innovative Tools and Technology for Analysis of Single Cells (SBIR) (R43/R44) (Summary) PA-17-147
1/24/2017Lead Optimization and Preclinical Development of Therapeutic Candidates for Diseases of Interest to the NIDDK (R43/R44) (Summary) PA-17-130
1/24/2017Lead Optimization and Preclinical Development of Therapeutic Candidates for Diseases of Interest to the NIDDK (R41/R42) (Summary) PA-17-131
1/17/2017Biomarkers for Diabetes, Digestive, Kidney and Urologic Diseases Using Biosamples from the NIDDK Repository (R01) (Summary) PAR-17-123
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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
Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Centers

The MMPC is a National Institutes of Health-sponsored resource that provides experimental testing services to scientists studying diabetes, obesity, diabetic complications, and other metabolic diseases in mice.

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…
Action for Health in Diabetes
Look AHEAD is a 16-center, randomized clinical trial investigating the long-term health effects of an intensive lifestyle intervention designed to produce weight loss. Look AHEAD enrolled 5,145 overweight or obese participants with type 2 diabetes…
Diabetic Complications Consortium
The goal of the NIDDK-sponsored Diabetic Complications Consortium (DiaComp) is to foster communication and collaboration between investigator communities involved in complications research.  Toward this goal, DiaComp: (1) sponsors annual meetings in…

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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.