UNC Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC)
The UNC Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) provides support and expertise to scientists studying the role of nutrition and obesity in public health.

Our center is one of 11 centers in the country funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases that is specifically designed to enhance the efficiency, productivity, effectiveness and multidisciplinary nature of nutrition and obesity-related research.

Our Goals

Since the NORC’s inception in 1999, the Center has facilitated the development and transfer of cutting-edge research from the laboratory to the general public for a wide range of research studies.

The goals of the UNC NORC are to:

  • Provide resources and support to investigators conducting multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research in nutritional sciences and obesity;
  • Enhance the impact and presence of nutrition and obesity research at UNC;
  • Strengthen clinical nutrition training programs for medical students, practicing physicians and allied health personnel; and
  • Translate findings from obesity and nutrition research to the general public to use to improve their overall health and well-being.

Our Research Cores, Labs and Support Programs

The UNC NORC provides expertise, infrastructure, and services to nutrition and obesity investigators through four biomedical research cores – the Animal Metabolism Phenotyping Core, the Clinical and Community Human Assessment and Interventions Core, the Metabolism and Metabolomics Core, and the Precision Nutrition Core – as well as the Center’s Enrichment Program and Pilot & Feasibility (P&F) Program. An overview of the UNC NORC’s governance and organizational structure is presented in this downloadable figure.

Administrative Core

The Administrative Core is responsible for the overall business administration and daily management of the NORC.

The Administrative Core includes the Enrichment Program and the Pilot and Feasibility Program .

Animal Metabolism Phenotyping Core

The Animal Metabolism Phenotyping Core provides contemporary phenotyping techniques for metabolism and energy balance in mouse models of nutrition and disease.

The Animal Metabolism Phenotyping Core offers services in two areas: assessment of energy expenditure and live-cell metabolic phenotyping.

Clinical and Community Human Assessment and Interventions (CHAI) Core

The Clinical and Community Human Assessment and Interventions Core offers services in three areas: behavioral assessment, clinical assessment, and interventions.

Metabolism and Metabolomics Core

The Metabolism and Metabolomics Core provides cutting edge metabolomics, biochemistry methods, and molecular biology techniques for nutrition research.

The Metabolism and Metabolomics Core includes the Atomic Absorption Spectrometry Lab and offers targeted and broad spectrum analysis and untargeted analysis via mass spectrometry

Precision Nutrition Core

The Precision Nutrition Core is an all-encompassing support system for investigators conducting research on nutrigenetic and microbiome aspects of obesity and obesity-related diseases.

The Precision Nutrition Core offers microbiome analysis and nutrigenomics services.

Message from the Co-Director

Our Approach

The UNC NORC is organized around four interdisciplinary approaches to solving problems in nutrition/obesity research:

  • Basic Science and Fundamentals of Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in Populations
  • Precision Nutrition: Metabolic Responses, Metabolic Variation, and Requirements for Nutrients
  • Understanding and Changing Diet- and Obesity-Related Behavior
Two students demonstrate proper safety procedures while conducting an experiment in a lab at the Gillings School.

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