We request renewed funding to continue the documented success achieved by UAB's Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) in its first two funding cycles. Inaugurated with NIH funding in 2000, our NORC fosters multidisciplinary, collaborative basic clinical and translational nutrition and obesity research. Since it was first funded, the NORC's research base has grown substantially. At inception (2000), we had 60 members;this number increased 70% to 102 members in 2006 at our last renewal and another 31% to 134 members in 2011. In 2000, our members held as Pis 15 R01s or K-awards that were clearly related to nutrition or obesity;this number increased 93% to 29 such grants active in 2006 and another 17% to 34 (including ROD grants) active in 2011 (as of this writing). UAB's NORC has directly helped to recruit at least a dozen new and established obesity and nutrition investigators in the past funding cycle. Our publication output has steadily increased in absolute numbers and as a proportion of the world's literature on obesity and nutrition. The impact of NORC publications as judged by citation counts consistently exceeds the norm for peer-reviewed literature on obesity and nutrition. Our NORC leadership oversees two NIH-funded T32 training grants for obesity research, an industry-sponsored obesity training grant, and a series of national nutrition and obesity-related conferences. Our NORC funds at least four P/F studies per year, a Named New Investigator, and an extensive Enrichment Program. UAB provides our NORC over $700,000 annually to supplement the NIDDK P30 grant. The NORC Cores in Metabolism/Body Composition, Genomics, Animal Models, and Biostatistics have flourished, resulting in cost-effective research and enhanced access to cutting-edge technology that is heavily utilized by our members. Our primary theme is Obesity: Causes, Consequences, and Alleviation. Within this broad multidisciplinary theme, we are cultivating subdomains such as obesity among minorities and health disparities;obesity, caloric restriction, and aging;developmental and pediatric aspects;and mathematical/quantitative science approaches. Backed by exceptional institutional support and academic infrastructure, we request renewed funding to continue our contributions to this important area of research.

Public Health Relevance

One's nutritional intake can have profound positive or negative consequences on health. So too does obesity, or excess body fat, have profound effects, usually negative, on health, quality of life, and lifespan. Beyond these broad generalities, however, much remains unknown in these domains, and misinformation and superstition abound. Our center advances knowledge on these critical contributors to health and disease through scientific inquiry that is both rigorous and creative.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDK1-GRB-2 (M3))
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Evans, Mary
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University of Alabama Birmingham
Schools of Public Health
United States
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