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Organization and Goals

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s NORC (UAB NORC) fosters a multidisciplinary approach to basic, clinical, and translational research with an emphasis on understanding the metabolic factors, environmental influences, and associated genetic traits underlying nutrition and obesity-related health problems.

The specific aims of the UAB NORC are:

Research. To foster multidisciplinary research focused on the biological, behavioral, and environmental bases for nutrition/obesity-related disorders. This occurs by promoting integrated and multidisciplinary research efforts in nutrition and obesity from the perspective of disciplines such as genetics, molecular biology, psychology, sociology, physiology, endocrinology and diabetes, economics, health policy, physics, pathology, epidemiology, statistics, exercise physiology/muscle metabolism, surgery, pediatric and adult medicine, to name a few.

Training. To continue to offer a strong nutrition training environment to improve the education of medical students, house staff, practicing physicians, graduate and postgraduate trainees, allied health professionals, and research scientists. This occurs through an expanded seminar series, a dynamic enrichment program, and our Center’s training grants.

Translational Services. Enhance patient care and public health through translation of research findings into applicable information for practitioners and the public.

Core Facilities

The UAB NORC is supported by three shared core facilities. The cores represent distinct units with complementary physical and personnel resources that operate in an interactive pattern. The cores are:

Animal Models Core

The Animal Models Core provides specialized expertise in the use of animal models and state-of-the-art instrumentation to facilitate animal research related to nutrition and obesity. The core is a unique resource for investigators with services and resources that support three animal subcores including the small animal phenotyping subcore, the transgenic mouse facility, and the aquatic animal research subcore.

Biostatistics Core

The Biostatistics Core  serves as the focal point from which investigators draw statistical expertise for the design, management and analysis of nutrition-related research projects. The specific aims of the core are to: 1) coordinate and manage statistical activities in the NORC to ensure that investigators have ready access to statistical consultation and support; 2) provide statistical consultation on study design, research proposal development, and manuscript submission; 3) provide statistical analyses forprojects including statistical genetics, and interface with other research cores on the UAB campus; 4) participate in the teaching and training activities of the NORC; and 5) develop methodologies for novel experimental designs and analyses.

Metabolism Core

The Metabolism Core was specifically designed to provide state-of-the-art assessments of human energy expenditure, substrate metabolism, body composition, body fat distribution, and bone quality; to offer cost-effective, centralized analytical services to ongoing funded and pilot research projects; to promote multi-disciplinary research and training in clinical nutrition and obesity across the UAB campus; and to present training, advice, and instruction to students, fellows, and investigators.

Contact Us

James O. Hill

Professor of Nutrition Sciences
Nutrition Sciences Department Chair

Contact Information • Phone: (205) 934-6103



Administrative Offices

University of Alabama at Birmingham
1675 University Blvd, WEBB 506
Birmingham, AL 35294-3360

Elizabeth W. Smith MPA, RDN, LD, Program Manager II • Phone: (205) 975-9675