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Nutrition Obesity Research Centers

Resources and programs to foster interdisciplinary basic, clinical, public health research related to nutritional sciences and/or obesity.

NIDDK Program Staff

  • Mary Evans, Ph.D.Multi-center Clinical Studies in Nutrition & Obesity; Nutrition Obesity Research Centers; Diet & Physical Activity Assessment Methodology

Funding for Nutrition Obesity Research Centers

NIDDK funds the Nutrition Obesity Research Centers (NORC) via P30. For required tables and documentation, please see the NORC Application Resources.

Centers are funded on the following review schedule:

  • NORC RFA, issued in 2016
  • The next RFA will be issued in Spring 2019

Resources and Services Available from Nutrition Obesity Research Centers

Visit the centralized NORC website for detailed information about the 12 NORCs, including research resources, and services available to the broader research community.

The NORC program supports 11 Centers providing research infrastructure, including research services, enrichment programs, and collaborative activities, at academic/medical institutions throughout the U.S. The goal of the program is to foster interdisciplinary basic, clinical, and public health research. Center programs are expected to bring together established and new investigators who are actively conducting high-quality research programs related to common nutritional sciences and/or obesity theme(s). NORCs are aimed at improving the quality and multidisciplinary nature of research in nutritional sciences and/or obesity by providing shared access to specialized technical resources and expertise. The NORC program ultimately strengthens and provides cost-effective research resources to multidisciplinary groups at institutions with an established, comprehensive research base in nutritional sciences and/or obesity and related research topics.

Boston Research Center
  • Research Aims: Our Center is organized to address four cross-cutting themes that represent key gaps in understanding the relationship between nutrition and health, and the pathogenesis of obesity and its associated metabolic diseases:
    • Nutrient Metabolism in Health and Disease
    • Brain Control of Feeding Behavior and Metabolism
    • Environmental and Genetic Influences on Obesity and Related Chronic Diseases
    • Multi-level, Lifecourse Approaches to Obesity- and Nutrition-Related Diseases
  • Activities & Services
    • Adipose Tissue Biology and Nutrient Metabolism Core (ABM)
    • Transgenic (at BIDMC)
    • Epidemiology and Genetics (at HSPH)
    • Clinical and Community Research (at Tufts and MGH)
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program
Harvard Medical School
  • Research Aims: The overall mission of the NORC at Harvard is to promote and enhance nutrition research within the greater Boston community. The research at this center is based on multiple themes:
    • Cancer Biology
    • Clinical and Epidemiologic Investigation
    • Immunology and Microbiology
    • Nutrient-Gene Interaction
    • Nutrition Metabolism
    • Obesity
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores       
      • Biostatistics Core
      • Molecular Biology and Genomics Core
      • Cell Biology and Morpohology Core
      • Mass Spectrometry and Metabolomics Core
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program
Mid-Atlantic, Maryland
  • Research Aims: The mission of the Mid-Atlantic NORC is to foster multidisciplinary research that leads to discoveries that enhance our knowledge of how nutrition impacts risk for chronic disease (including obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular disease, sleep disordered breathing, and osteoporosis) and translate this knowledge into effective clinical treatments and prevention efforts
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores       
      • Adipose Biology and Basic Mechanisms Core
      • Biostatistics & Medical Informatics Subcore
      • Clinical & Translational Research Core
      • Molecular Genetics & Nutrigenomics Core
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program
New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center
  • Research Aims: Our goal is to expand the knowledge base relating to the causes, complications and treatment of obesity.
  • Activities & Services
Pennington Biomedical Research Center
  • Research Aims: The mission of the Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (NORC) is to facilitate and promote collaborative and multidisciplinary interactions that will foster new research ideas and enhance the translation of basic nutritional research findings into the clinical arena and ultimately into practical application.
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores       
      • Clinical Cores provide full support for clinical research studies and trials beginning with protocol development, IRB submission, and budgeting and contract assistance.
      • Basic Science Cores provide researchers with access to cutting edge technology and very focused technical procedures to further their research interests.
      • Population Science Cores are directed at providing researchers with access to statistical and database expertise
University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Research Aims: The University of Alabama at Birmingham's NORC fosters a multidisciplinary approach to basic, clinical, and translational research with an emphasis on understanding the metabolic factors, environmental influences, and associated genetic traits underlying nutrition and obesity-related health problems.
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores       
      • Biostatistics Core
      • Metabolism Core
      • Animal Models Core
      • Physical Activity & Exercise Core
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program
University of Colorado
  • Research Aims: The major goal is to create an environment in which researchers are able to work together to conduct high-quality research in nutrition and obesity. The NORC helps create that environment by facilitating interaction and collaboration among investigators working at different levels of basic and clinical investigation, from gene to cell to organ to animal model to human to clinical to community intervention.
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores       
      • Metabolic Core
      • Energy Balance Core
      • Weight Management Clinical Core
University of Michigan
  • Research Aims: Provide researchers with infrastructure, expertise, and training to integrate, analyze, and model data from properly designed basic, clinical, and population-based studies in obesity and metabolism-related diseases with a goal to identify better ways for prevention and treatment of obesity.
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores       
      • Animal Phenotyping Core
      • Human Phenotyping Core
      • Integrative Biostatistics and Informatics Core
      • Molecular Phenotyping Core
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program
University of California San Francisco Nutrition Obesity Research Center
  • Research Aims: The mission of the UCSF Nutrition & Obesity Research Center is to provide a cohesive and efficient support of basic, translational, and clinical research programs focused on nutrition, obesity or metabolism at UCSF.
  • Activities & Services
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Research Aims: Dedicated to facilitating the development and transfer of cutting-edge nutrition and obesity research from the laboratory to the general public. The deployment this novel research methodology is organized around seven central themes:
    • The Causes and Prevention of Obesity
    • Metabolic Responses and Requirements for Nutrients
    • Pregnancy, Child Growth and Development
    • Nutritional Interventions and Nutrition Behaviors
    • Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations
    • Clinical Nutrition
    • Molecular Mechanisms for the Regulation of Metabolism
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores       
      • Diet and Physical Activity Core
      • Metabolic Molecular Phenotyping Core
      • CHAI Core
      • Animal Metabolism Phenotyping Core
      • Nutrigenetics Core
      • Biostatistics Program
      • Clinical Nutrition Research Facilitation Program
      • Research Facilitation Program
    • Pilot & Feasibility Grant Program       
Washington University at St. Louis
  • Research Aims: Enhance our understanding of the basic and clinical aspects of nutrition in the prevention, etiology, pathophysiology and therapy of nutrition-related diseases. The NORC is focused around three major interactive Program Themes:
    • Obesity: Pathophysiology, Complications, and Therapeutics
    • Nutrient Metabolism in Health and Disease
    • Growth, Development, and Aging
  • Activities & Services
    • Cores       
      • Adipocyte Biology Molecular Nutrition Core (ABMN)
      • Animal Model Research Core (AMR)
      • Biomolecular Analysis Core (BMA)
      • Clinical Science Research Core (CSR)
    • Pilot & Feasibility Program

Related Links


Research Resources

NIDDK makes publicly supported resources, data sets, and studies available to researchers to accelerate the rate and lower the cost of new discoveries.

  • Ancillary Studies to Major Ongoing Clinical Studies to extend our knowledge of the diseases being studied by the parent study investigators under a defined protocol or to study diseases and conditions not within the original scope of the parent study but within the mission of the NIDDK.
  • NIDDK Central Repository for access to clinical resources including data and biospecimens from NIDDK-funded studies.
  • NIDDK Information Network (dkNET) for simultaneous search of digital resources, including multiple datasets and biomedical resources relevant to the mission of the NIDDK.

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