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About Us

Director: Simeon Taylor, MD, PhD

Associate Director:  Braxton Mitchell, MPH, PhD

The Mid-Atlantic NORC provides infrastructure and resources to expand the scope of our collaborative research efforts and to expedite new discoveries in nutrition-related research.  A major goal is to provide a research needed establish nutritional guidelines that minimize chronic disease risk and address health disparities in our population.

Our NORC brings together resources and expertise in genetic epidemiology, statistical genetics, functional genomics, basic adipose cell biology and clinical investigation that can address basic mechanisms that determine individual responses to energy imbalance and to specific nutrients. Furthermore, our members possess expertise in applied physiology and clinical interventions to carry out translational research that extend basic research findings. 

NORC members focus their work on the influence of nutrition and exercise on risk for age-related chronic diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease (CVD), sleep disordered breathing, and osteoporosis.  To identify and evaluate the important genes that predict biological responses to diet (nutrigenomics) and exercise, our multidisciplinary research team utilizes the full spectrum of human genetics research from recruitment and phenotyping to high throughput molecular genetics to state-of-the-art statistical genetic analyses.

Our research base currently includes investigators working on nutrition- and obesity-related research at three institutions: The University of Maryland, Baltimore and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with multidisciplinary expertise and a strong track record of collaboration and NIH funding.

Our Goals

The  goals of the Mid-Atlantic NORC are:

1. to sustain a research environment that facilitates rigorous clinical and translational Nutrition and Obesity research
2. to provide high quality, cost-effective research services to enhance Nutrition and Obesity research and translation to patient care
3. to identify nutrient-gene interactions influencing nutrient metabolism and the risk of chronic diseases, and also to investigate the role of the gut microbiome in Nutrition-related diseases
4. to translate state-of-the-art Nutrition science into lifestyle intervention strategies to prevent or treat obesity and its co-morbidities, and to elucidate the mechanisms whereby interventions deliver health benefit
5. to fund Pilot & Feasibility Grants to attract young investigators to conduct innovative research in the field of Nutrition and Obesity