Dr. Kyle Burger

Kyle S. Burger, PhD, MPH, RD

Department of Nutrition
Associate Chair for Research
Department of Nutrition
2204 McGavran-Greenberg Hall
CB# 7461
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


The Neuropsychology of Ingestive Behavior Laboratory led by Kyle Burger focuses on the neural and behavioral underpinnings of habit formation and decision-making processes associated with food choice and eating habits as well as the neurobehavioral consequences of those behaviors, such as weight gain. His lab uses functional MRI where we administer primary reinforcers (in the form of taste) in combination with implicit (eye tracking) and explicit (taste tests, ad lib food consumption) measures of behavior, as well as physiological measures such as appetitive hormones and genetics. Lastly, his lab leverages innovative statistical techniques such as functional connectivity, graph theory and machine learning to better characterize the interpretation of the data collected.

Honors and Awards

Junior Faculty Development Award
2015, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Obesity Society Ethan Sims Young Investigator Award (finalist)
2012, TOS

Basic Science Abstract Award for Excellence in Obesity Research
2012, TOS

Representative Courses

Nutrition 801, Introduction to Advanced Nutrition Intervention and Policy Research Methods

Nutrition 802, Introduction to Advanced Nutrition Intervention and Policy Research Methods

Nutrition 803 Advanced Nutrition Intervention and Policy Research Methods

Research Interests:

Behavior Science, Diabetes, Genomics, Heart Disease and Stroke, Neurological Disorders and Mental Health, Nutrition and Physical Activity, Obesity

Key Publications

A functional neuroimaging review of obesity, appetitive hormones and ingestive behavior. L Berner, K Burger (2014). Physiology & behavior.

Neural responsivity during soft drink intake, anticipation, and advertisement exposure in habitually consuming youth. K Burger, E Stice (2014). Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 22(2), 441-50.

Relative ability of fat and sugar tastes to activate reward, gustatory, and somatosensory regions. K Burger, E Stice, S Yokum (2013). The American journal of clinical nutrition, 98(6), 1377-84.

Elevated energy intake is correlated with hyperresponsivity in attentional, gustatory, and reward brain regions while anticipating palatable food receipt. K Burger, E Stice (2013). The American journal of clinical nutrition, 97(6), 1188-94.


  • PhD, Nutritional Sciences, Colorado State University/University of Colorado-Denver, 2009
  • RD, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, 2005
  • MPH, Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, San Diego State University, 2004
  • BS, Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Nevada, 2001