September 8, 2021

Dr. S. Raza Shaikh

Dr. Raz Shaikh

Raz Shaikh, PhD, has been named co-director of the UNC Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC). Shaikh is an associate professor and associate chair for research in the Department of Nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and co-director of the NORC’s Pilot & Feasibility Program and the Animal Metabolism Phenotyping Core.

Shaikh will assume the role of co-director alongside Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, PhD, RD, Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor of nutrition and medicine and chair of the Department of Nutrition.

The NORC is one of 11 centers in the country funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) that is specifically designed to enhance the efficiency, productivity, effectiveness and multidisciplinary nature of nutrition and obesity-related research. It maintains facilities at both UNC-Chapel Hill and at the Nutrition Research Institute on the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis, North Carolina.

Shaikh’s lab fuses several broad approaches to address questions related to the prevention and treatment of complications associated with obesity, with a notable focus on chronic inflammation and susceptibility to influenza infection. He has expertise in the fields of nutrition, immunology, and lipid biochemistry and biophysics using mouse models, human samples and, more recently, clinical trials. He has published manuscripts as senior author in publications such as the Journal of Lipid Research, the Journal of Immunology and the Journal of Biological Chemistry over the past decade, and his research program is well recognized.

In 2012, Shaikh was awarded an Early Career Award for his research program on membrane biophysics by the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL). In 2018, he was awarded a Young Investigator Award from the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) for his research in the context of obesity, inflammation and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Dr. Elizabeth Mayer Davis

Dr. Beth Mayer-Davis

“The UNC NORC is very fortunate to have Dr. Shaikh taking on this leadership role,” said Mayer-Davis. “I am grateful for his service to the UNC NORC for the past four years, and I look forward to working with him in this new role.”

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