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NORC Overview

UT Southwestern's Nutrition & Obesity Research Center (NORC) is one of 12 nationwide designated by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and funded by the National Institutes of Health. The UTSW NORC supports research infrastructure, enrichment programs, and collaborative activities for investigators conducting research in the causal factors of nutrition and obesity-related health problems, including consequences, prevention, and alleviation.

Message from the Director

Jay Horton, M.D.

We have assembled a highly interactive and collaborative interdisciplinary team of investigators that harnesses expertise from diverse disciplines, with a goal of defining the behavioral, metabolic, genetic, and molecular mechanisms contributing to obesity and obesity-induced disease."

By the Numbers






Extramurally Funded Research Grants


Annual Total Grant Funds

Pilot & Feasibility Grants

UT Southwestern's Nutrition and Obesity Research Center funds Pilot and Feasibility (P&F) grants to investigators who are conducting research related to obesity, metabolism, and nutrition. The objective of the P&F program is to support new and established investigators at UT Southwestern as they generate sufficient preliminary information to successfully apply for major research funding.

Four $50,000 awards are available annually.

View Pilot & Feasibility Grant Details

Key Cores

To support research efforts, four cores provide state-of-the-art services that augment the capabilities, availability, and budgets of individual NORC investigators:

 Animal Phenotyping/Metabolism Core

Animal Phenotyping/Metabolism Core

Provides an array of blood metabolites and hormones, 50-plus metabolic cages, telemetry measurements of blood pressure, heart rate, core body temperature, and activity, multiple imaging modalities to characterize fat distribution, and hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps and primary cell isolation. Visit Metabolic Phenotype Core.

Lipid Mass Spectrometry Core

Lipid Mass Spectrometry Core

Provides comprehensive quantification of lipids in cells, tissues, and blood.

Quantitative Metabolism and Imaging Core

Quantitative Metabolism and Imaging Core

Provides sophisticated flux measurements of metabolic pathways in vivo and 1H imaging and spectroscopy to characterize skeletal muscle and liver lipid content in humans.

Genetics, Single-Cell Sequencing & RNA Sequencing Core

Genetics, Single-Cell Sequencing, and RNA Sequencing Core

Provides exome sequencing and gene expression and analysis.

Our Goals

  1. Provide the infrastructure to support, facilitate, and advance studies in nutrition, obesity, and metabolic syndrome

  2. Develop the next generation of nutrition and obesity researchers

  3. Establish Interdisciplinary research teams to create dialogue and support collaborations to support translation of basic scientific findings to humans and effectively communicate these advances to the public

Meet the UT Southwestern NORC Team

L to R: Jonathan Cohen, Ph.D.; Jeffrey McDonald, Ph.D.; Xiaorong Fu, Ph.D.; Guosheng Liang, Ph.D.; Joyce Repa, Ph.D.; Jeffrey Browning, M.D.; Shawn Burgess, Ph.D.; Jay Horton, M.D.; Joel Elmquist, D.V.M., Ph.D.; Syann Lee, Ph.D.; Philipp Scherer, Ph.D.; Jeffrey Zigman, M.D., Ph.D.