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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) introduces the new Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics (NGx) Core. Located at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute (NRI) on the NC Research Campus in Kannapolis, the goal of the NGx Core is to assist investigators in conducting nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics studies that lead to a better understanding of the interaction between lifestyle and genetics on health and disease.

Saroja Voruganti, PhD

“We want to help investigators realize that neither nutrition nor genetics should be studied in isolation,” explained Saroja Voruganti, PhD, NGx director and Assistant Professor of Nutrition at the NRI.  “Our goal is to popularize this idea and help scientists understand how genetics play a role in how nutrients are metabolized.”

The NGx Core provides multiple services including:

  • Guidance related to the nutrigenetic potential in their study
  • Explanation of the most appropriate study design and sample selection, processing and quality checking, power calculation and generation of preliminary data
  • Study implementation, collection of data and samples
  • Processing of samples, direction towards to the right core for analysis of the samples
  • Data management and analyses
  • Explanation and interpretation of the analyses
  • Graphic representation of results
  • Proofreading of manuscripts
  • Assistance with grant applications based on the results
  • Advice on the clinical or translational application of the results

NGx provides benefits for a wide range of investigators such as nutrition epidemiologists, psychologists, geneticists and physicians who want to enhance their scientific capabilities by incorporating the Core’s expertise into their studies.

Current Projects

The Core is currently spearheading two projects to showcase the importance of genes and lifestyle in human health.

Children Health Study

This research proposes to identify genetic factors and lifestyle patterns (diet and physical activity) affecting obesity and other related health problems in children. We are recruiting children 5-19 years old along with their parents who will have to provide blood, saliva and urine samples as well as information on dietary and lifestyle habits.

Nutrigenetics, Nutrigenomics and Precision Nutrition Workshop

This annual workshop will be held in May 22-25, 2017 in Kannapolis, NC. This short course is designed for graduate students, health professionals and nutrition scientists from academia and industry. The workshop-style course provides fundamental concepts of nutrigenetics, nutrigenomics and personalized nutrition through cutting edge presentations and hands-on experiences. Attendees are afforded the opportunity to participate in a personal DNA test and examine their own nutrigenetic data.

Research Details

  • Research Center: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Featured NORC Member(s): Saroja Voruganti, PhD, Assistant Professor of Nutrition

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