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Clinical & Translational Research (CTR) Core

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Director: Alice Ryan, PhD

CTR Satellites


The CTR Core is a central component of the Mid-Atlantic NORC with a multidisciplinary team of experts in obesity, endocrinology, genetics, and statistics as well as interventions in nutrition, exercise, and weight loss. The CTR core provides services that integrate, coordinate, assist and foster interdisciplinary clinical translational patient-centered research and research training in obesity and nutrition. Central to this mission is assistance with formulation of hypothesis driven specific aims, the development of cogent experimental designs, the use of state-of-the-art methodologies, and the provision of comprehensive quality-controlled phenotyping and nutritional and behavioral interventions. The CTR supports studies examining, nutrition, physical activity and weight loss, metabolic health in obesity, pharmacogenomics, post-prandial lipemia, telomere length, metabolomics, the microbiome, obesity and inadequate nutrition as risk factors for cardiovascular and kidney diseases.

The overall aim of the CTR Core is to translate and transform patient-centered preventive and mechanism based-clinical nutrition and metabolic research in obesity from the bedside-to bench-to; bedside for translation into community medical practice.

The objectives of the CTR Core are to:

1) provide comprehensive measures to phenotype subjects for enrollment in clinical research protocols;

2) assist MidAtlantic NORC investigators with the development and conduct of studies that probe the pathophysiological basis and treatment of nutritional, obesity and related disorders;

3) provide NORC investigators with access to archived data and biobanked DNA and blood from the Amish and ProHealth resources; and to provide them with the computing infrastructure and statistical analysis support needed for their genetic and clinical studies;

4) serve as an educational/consultation resource for investigators, junior faculty, fellows, and students;

5)promote new research that relates to CTR Core research service functions.

The Core is organized around three thematic Sub-cores: The Clinical & Metabolic Sub-core, the Community-based Dietary Studies Sub-core, and Community-based Genetics Subcore. The services provided by the CTR Core is applied across all three sub-cores. 

  • Medical and cardiovascular evaluation
  • Body composition, physical activity & nutrition assessments
  • Laboratory assays & metabolic studies
  • Design of clinical trials
  • Community-based recruitment
  • Genetic analysis, genotype-driven recruitment and research
  • Statistical support & bioinformatics