Nutrition Obesity Research Center

Director: Samuel Klein, MD

The Washington University Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) activities enhance our understanding of the basic and clinical aspects of nutrition in the prevention, etiology, pathophysiology and therapy of nutrition-related diseases. Since its inception in 1999, the NORC has served as a nucleus for the growth and development of nutrition and obesity research at Washington University.

Our center focuses on five major areas of research through interdisciplinary research teams:

  • Obesity-related metabolic and organ system dysfunction
  • Adipose tissue biology and immune function/inflammation
  • Obesity prevention and therapy
  • Maternal, fetal, childhood nutrition and obesity
  • Aging and nutrition

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

Newly emerging areas of major interest include

  • Gut microbiome
  • Community health

The overall goals of the NORC are to

  • Stimulate new and innovative nutrition and obesity research and to support collaborative research among investigators from different disciplines and in different University Departments. To this end, the NORC will
    • Foster communication and interaction between basic and clinical investigator;
    • Provide state-of-the-art and cost-effective core laboratory services to support nutrition and obesity research;
    • Enhance the translation of discoveries in basic science to human clinical investigation to clinical practice/community health.
  • Attract new investigators to the field of nutrition and obesity and enhance their development as independent and creative investigators through access to specialized hands-on training, core laboratory resources, shared facilities, and training and educational programs.
  • Improve the training and education of students, house staff, postdoctoral research fellows, physician faculty, and allied health personnel in clinical nutrition, clinical obesity and nutrition/obesity research.
  • Improve nutritional aspects of patient care by enhancing clinical nutrition services and by improving physician and health care provider nutrition knowledge.
  • Partner with Barnes-Jewish Hospital (BJH), the Institute for Public Health, the Center for Diabetes Translation Research, and the Center for Obesity Prevention and Policy Research to coordinate and promote community education and research to promote health and reduce obesity in the greater St. Louis Metropolitan area.

For more information on the Nutrition Obesity Research Center, please contact: spaton@wustl.edu

NORC Cores

The NORC Cores provide outstanding technical services and assist investigators in areas of research including isotope tracers, mathematical modeling, rodent models and mass spectrometry. The four NORC research cores are:

Accessing NORC Services

Access to NORC services is open to all investigators; however, in times of high demand, priority will go to Washington University investigators who are also members of the NORC. Any grant/project for which you wish to request services will need to be registered and approved prior to receiving services.

Please acknowledge the Washington University NORC, Nutrition Obesity Research Center,  in your publications by: “Supported by NIH grant P30 DK056341 (Nutrition Obesity Research Center).”

Learn more about membership »