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April 2017 Bulletin


We are now accepting applications for P&F awards!

Please encourage junior investigators to apply! Visit the P&F Application page on our website for information and to view the application form.

Our contact information has been updated, including a new email address:
*Please feel free to reach out with any and all questions/suggestions/comments. The goal of the NORCH is to facilitate YOUR research and knowledge sharing, so we welcome constructive feedback from all our members and subscribers.

Be sure to check out our updated website as well at:!

Thank you to the Arnold Foundation & UAB NORC!

Funds to support two attendees were graciously provided by the Arnold Foundation, through the NORC at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, for the 2017 Annual Arthur M. Sackler Lecture: The Challenge of Reproducibility in the Biomedical Sciences. This event took place on Wednesday, March 8th in Washington, D.C. Two junior investigators, Dr. Maria Agostina Santoro from Dr. Lee Kaplan’s lab and Dr. Renuka Subramaniam from Dr. Ali Tavakkoli’s lab, were able to represent the NORCH at this event, which was hosted by the National Academy of Sciences.

Find more information about this past event and to view recordings of the lectures.

Core Feature: Pilot & Feasibility Program

Directed by Dr. Takara Stanley

The purpose of this program is to promote cutting edge research in nutrition, metabolism and obesity at Harvard, while promoting and retaining a new generation of researchers in the field.  Previous P&F Recipients have been highly successful in leveraging their P&F funding into further grant funding and projects that significantly advanced the field.   P&F recipients are encouraged to utilize NORCH Core Services as well as Statistical Consultation.  A P&F Symposium held in the Fall of each year serves to highlight works in progress and update the NORCH community on novel research findings.

By the numbers…did you know?…

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pf awards

Our Annual Pilot and Feasibility Symposium is held in October and provides an opportunity to hear from the investigators funded by P&F awards.
Check out out P & F page on our website.

harvard_news and events

Events @ NORCH Affiliates 

Harvard School of Public Health

Monday 4/3/17— Nutrition and Global Health Seminar Series; Tailored Functional Recipe: A Sustainable Approach to Modulate some Global Health Challenges. Dr. Ihab Tewfik
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Monday 4/17/17 & 4/24/17 — Department of Nutrition: Monday Nutrition Seminars; Luc Djousse & Lisa Harnack
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Harvard Medical School

Saturday 4/1/17Medical Myths and Milestones: Symposium on Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
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Tuesday 4/4/17— 2017 Child Health Symposium Putting Kids First: Facilitating Multisite Pediatric Studies; Joseph B. martin Conf. Center
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Tuesday 4/4/17— Harvard Digestive Diseases Center; Spring Symposium
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Saturday 4/22March for Science Boston; Keynote speaker on HMS Quad @ 11 AM (main event taking place on Boston Common)
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Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Research Institute

Friday 4/7/17CVDM: Frontiers in Biomedical Science Seminar Series; Joseph Loscalzo, MD, PhD and Jane Leopold, MD
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Thursday 4/20/17Research Rumble; Cambridge Public Llibrary 
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Friday 4/28/17Annual Obesity Research Incubator Session; talks by select junior investigators
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Joslin Diabetes Center

Saturday 4/7/173rd Annual Kids Dance Party; a fundraiser created by Jana Brinkhaus to raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes
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Research Highlight

Please visit our NORCH grant-cited publications on PubMed for the full article and many others! Or search Grant DK040561.

Adipose Tissue-Derived miRNAs Regulate Gene Expression in Other Tissues

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate translation and thereby contribute to the regulation of metabolic processes. Dr. Kahn and others recently demonstrated in Nature that adipose tissue is an important source of circulating miRNAs.  Mice with an adipose-tissue-specific knockout of the miRNA processing enzyme Dicer (ADicerKO) demonstrated substantial reductions in levels of circulating miRNAs. Moreover, in collaboration with Drs. Grinspoon at MGH and Gorden at NIH, the study demonstrated downregulation of miRNA’s in humans with HIV-associated lipodystrophy and congenital generalized lipodystrophy. Transplantation of fat from normal mice into ADicerKO animals largely restored levels of circulating exosomal miRNAs, confirming that adipose tissue is an important source of circulating exosomal miRNAs.  Exosomal miRNAs can thus be considered as a previously undescribed form of adipokine, released into the circulation from fat depots and regulating metabolic processes in other tissues, including liver and muscle.

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Click here to view article online!

Recent Publications Citing the NORCH

Click on the links below to view

  1. Association of Maternal Gestational Weight Gain With the Infant Fecal Microbiota
    Robinson A, Fiechtner L, Roche B, Ajami NJ, Petrosino JF, Camargo CA Jr, Taveras EM, Hasegawa K. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2017 Mar 7. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000001566. [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Mutation of a nucleosome compaction region disrupts Polycomb-mediated axial patterning.
    Lau MS, Schwartz MG, Kundu S, Savol AJ, Wang PI, Marr SK, Grau DJ, Schorderet P, Sadreyev RI, Tabin CJ, Kingston RE. Science. 2017 Mar 10;355(6329):1081-1084. doi: 10.1126/science.aah5403. Epub 2017 Mar 9.
  3. Fracture risk after bariatric surgery: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass versus adjustable gastric banding.
    Yu EW, Lee MP, Landon JE, Lindeman KG, Kim SC. J Bone Miner Res. 2017 Mar 2. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.3101. [Epub ahead of print]
  4. Secretions of Bifidobacterium infantis and Lactobacillus acidophilus Protect Intestinal Epithelial Barrier Function.
    Guo S, Gillingham T, Guo Y, Meng D, Zhu W, Walker WA, Ganguli K. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2017 Mar;64(3):404-412. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000001310.
  5. The Association Between IGF-1 Levels and the Histologic Severity of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.
    Dichtel LE, Corey KE, Misdraji J, Bredella MA, Schorr M, Osganian SA, Young BJ, Sung JC, Miller KK. Clin Transl Gastroenterol. 2017 Jan 26;8(1):e217. doi: 10.1038/ctg.2016.72.
  6. Effects of pitavastatin and pravastatin on markers of immune activation and arterial inflammation in HIV.
    Toribio M, Fitch KV, Sanchez L, Burdo TH, Williams KC, Sponseller CA, McCurdy Pate M, Aberg JA, Zanni MV, Grinspoon SK. AIDS. 2017 Mar 27;31(6):797-806. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000001427.
  7. The cold-induced lipokine 12,13-diHOME promotes fatty acid transport into brown adipose tissue.
    Lynes MD, Leiria LO, Lundh M, Bartelt A, Shamsi F, Huang TL, Takahashi H, Hirshman MF, Schlein C, Lee A, Baer LA, May FJ, Gao F, Narain NR, Chen EY, Kiebish MA, Cypess AM, Blüher M, Goodyear LJ, Hotamisligil GS, Stanford KI, Tseng YH.


PLEASE CITE THE NORCH GRANT when publishing papers! *DK040561

2017 Symposium – Don’t Forget to Register!

Surgical Treatment of Obesity: Physiological Mechanisms & Clinical Effects

Our 18th annual symposium will beheld on Wednesday, July 12th – Thursday, July 13th at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center located at 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur Boston, MA.

Registration is free and we encourage you to attend, along with any students/faculty/other professionals whom you think may benefit from 2 days of thoughtful research presentations and interactive discussion. Please disseminate info about this event!

Contact: with any inquiries.
harvard_research symposium

Click Here to REGISTER NOW

The News from other NORC’s

New York Obesity Research Center @ Columbia University

  • Seminar Series Event- 4/5/17- presented by: Ira Tabas, MD; “Resolution and Healing in Physiology and Cardiometabolic Disease
  • Seminar Series Event- 4/1917- presented by: Jon T. Giles, MD, MPH; “Atherogenic lipid profile, lipid management, and the “lipid paradox” in rheumatoid arthritis
  • Seminar Series Event- 4/26/17- presented by: Ryan Temel, PhD; “Impact of MiR-33a/b antagonism on atherosclerosis regression in coronary and cerebral arteries

Nutrition Obesity Research Center @ University of Alabama at Birmingham

Nutrition Obesity Research Center @ the University of Michigan

Nutrition Obesity Research Center @ the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Nutrition Obesity Research Center @ the University of Washington

Central NORC

Subscribe to NORCH Monthly Newsletter Here

Our mailing address is:
Nutrition Obesity Research Center at Harvard Medical School
Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114

(617) 724-9109

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