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Organization and Goals

The Boston NORC (BNORC) is a consortium of five institutions – Boston University School of Medicine, Tufts University, the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The overall objectives of the BNORC are to:

  • Facilitate and support the conduct of cutting edge basic and translational research in the fields of nutrition and obesity science in the Boston area with the long term goal of promoting optimal health throughout the lifespan.
  • Contribute to and help coordinate utilization of resources that enrich the education and training of investigators, be they new to the field or established investigators from other fields, in order to promote the conduct of transdisciplinary nutrition and obesity research.

Our Center is organized to address three cross-cutting themes that represent key gaps in understanding the relationship between nutrition and health, and the pathogenesis of obesity and its associated metabolic diseases.

  • Nutrient Metabolism in Health and Disease
  • Brain Control of Feeding Behavior and Metabolism
  • Environmental and Genetic Influences on Obesity and Related Chronic Diseases

Core Facilities

The key areas of nutrition and obesity research across these themes are facilitated and fostered by our three research cores.

Adipose Tissue Biology and Nutrient Metabolism Core

The Adipose Tissue Biology and Nutrient Metabolism Core facilitates and fosters research on mechanisms regulating white or beige (cells in white adipose tissue with metabolic characteristics of brown) and brown adipose tissue mass, distribution, nutrient signaling and depot-specific metabolic and endocrine functions in health and diseases.

Epidemiology and Genetics Core

The Epidemiology and Genetics Core provides a central focus to translate the findings from clinical and cellular studies to applications in ongoing epidemiologic studies. It also provides consultation on study design, on the analytic approaches to data from clinical trials and epidemiologic and genetic studies, and the presentation of results.

Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics Core

The Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics Core provides services to investigators looking to expand their research using state-of-the-art genomic applications. It utilizes next generation technologies and sequencing platforms to help identify the complex molecular mechanisms underlying human disease.

Transgenic Core

The Transgenic Core provides a service facility that will utilize investigator-derived DNA constructs or investigator derived (or obtained) genetically modified embryonic stem cells to create founder transgenic and gene knockout or knockin mice (i.e mice bearing point mutants, lox-modified or ires/2A-Cre knockin alleles) that can be used to address questions relevant to obesity, diabetes and nutrition, including questions related to brain control of feeding, metabolism and reward.

Contact Us

Valentina Perissi, PhD

Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Boston University School of Medicine

Contact Information
Email • Phone: (617) 358-4567


Andrew S. Greenberg, MD

Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Professorship in Nutrition and Metabolism
Tufts University School of Medicine

Contact Information
Email • Phone: (617) 556-3144


Administrative Offices
Donna Gibson, Center Administrator
Email • Phone: (617) 358-7042