The University of North Carolina Clinical Nutrition Research Unit (UNC CNRU) was first established in 1999 with a unique focus. Traditionally, Clinical Nutrition Research Units concentrated their attention on hospitalized patients, hospital outpatients and occasional clinical trials in non-hospital based populations. At UNC, we extended the traditional paradigm by designing a CNRU that includes all of the above as well as additional areas of nutrition research involving communities and populations, thereby capitalizing on our strengths that span public health and medical disciplines. The UNC CNRU bridges nutrition science at the interface between medicine and public health. We are specifically designed to provide expertise and core services that increase and enhance: 1) Conduct of nutrition-related basic science, epidemiologic and intervention (including classical clinical nutrition) research, 2) Translation from basic to epidemiologic to intervention nutrition research and vice versa, and 3) Recruitment of investigators from non-nutrition disciplines so that they include nutrition-relevant measures and questions in their research. The UNC CNRU deploys modern molecular biological and biochemical, epidemiological, behavioral and innovative multi-media methods to assist investigators with nutrition research in humans and in animal models for human diseases. While we have the capacity to assist with individual-based studies in classical clinical nutrition research, we also assist with the population-based studies that are so important for prevention research. Given where nutrition science is in 2005, population-based studies are the natural extension of the clinical trial.
Specific Aims : 1. To support and enhance the conduct of human nutrition research;2. To create synergies by enhancing cross-disciplinary collaboration in nutrition research;3. To increase the research base in nutrition sciences at UNC (funding and number of investigators);4. To develop and assist young investigators entering nutrition research;5. To attract investigators from disciplines outside of nutrition for collaborations that include a nutrition focus;6. To establish nutrition foci within other large NIH-funded research centers at UNC;7. To enhance nutrition education for health professionals and nutrition scientists;8. To translate findings from nutrition research so the general public can use this information to improve their health.
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