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Organization and Goals

The mission of the Michigan Nutrition Obesity Research Center (MNORC) is to identify improved methods for the prevention and treatment of obesity, supporting a continuum of care from primary, secondary, tertiary prevention. The MNORC began in 2010, funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The MNORC is one of 12 U.S. centers designed to inspire and support translational, multi-disciplinary research in obesity and nutrition, across the continuum of basic science to applications in individuals (medicine) and populations (public health)

The goals of the Michigan NORC are to:

  • Facilitate the interaction between basic, clinical and population-based researchers in nutrition, obesity and related metabolic disorders.
  • Support Core Laboratories to provide a range of basic, clinical and translational research tools to Research Base investigators.
  • Provide expertise and infrastructure to promote the integration of basic research technologies into clinical studies.
  • Provide biostatistical design, database management and bioinformatics tools for the Research Base.
  • Support a Demonstration Unit, the Weight Management Program, which will combine state of the art clinical care and translational research in developing methodologies and tools to integrated, advanced human phenotyping in the clinical setting.
  • Facilitate access to human subjects and phenotypic data for obesity and obesity-related research.
  • Evaluate, refine, and apply new knowledge regarding nutrition interventions, obesity and related disorders in clinical and population-based research.
  • Enrich the intellectual and educational environment for researchers in obesity and nutrition through seminars, symposia, classes, clinical research, and clinical care opportunities for faculty, students, and other trainees.
  • Recruit, train, motivate and retain basic, clinical and population-based researchers in the area of nutrition interventions, obesity, and other metabolic disorders.
  • Disseminate knowledge to the research community and to the public about the causes, consequences and treatments of nutrition, obesity, and obesity-related disorders so that public policy decisions about health care resources can be made in an informed environment.

Core Facilities

Adipose Tissue Core

The University of Michigan Adipose Tissue Core brings together laboratories across campus to research diabetes, obesity, and adipocyte biology.

Childhood Obesity Research Core

The Childhood Obesity Research Core (CORC) supports basic, clinical, and translational researchers focused on childhood nutrition and obesity and enhances integration of research into the clinical delivery system.

Molecular Phenotyping Core

The Molecular Phenotyping Core performs functional metabolic studies in in vitro systems and provides analytical tools which permit structural identification and quantification of metabolites.

Nutrition, Exercise, and Phenotype Testing (NExT) Core

The NExT is a collaborative network of laboratory and research facilities on campus, which provide expanded support for clinical and translational research studies utilizing nutrition interventions and/or focused on obesity or obesity-related metabolic disorders in humans.

Weight Management Program

The Weight Management Program is a Demonstration Unit that provides state of the art clinical care for patients with obesity. Patients can opt into a translational research program in which they undergo extensive baseline and interval biological and behavioral phenotyping during weight loss in order to determine their metabolic and neuro-psychosocial phenotype. Over 1,300 individuals have participated and 48,000 biological samples are available to investigators interested in nutrition, obesity and metabolism.

Contact Us

Randy Seeley, PhD

Henry King Ransom Professor of Surgery
Professor of Internal Medicine
Professor of Nutritional Sciences

Contact Information • Phone: (734) 615-2880



Administrative Offices

University of Michigan
North Campus Research Center
Building 26 Room 347N
2800 Plymouth Road
Ann Arbor MI 48109-2800

Sandra Wankel, MSA, Program Manager, MNORC • Phone: (734) 763-9312