Mission and Vision


The people of the NRI

Take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved with the UNC Nutrition Research Institute (NRI) and help us become the world’s premier institute for scientific discovery: make a gift, attend an Appetite for Life event, or participate in our research.

As scientists, physicians, and healthcare practitioners better understand nutritional individuality, they will be able to enhance human health, improve brain development, and more effectively treat diseases like obesity, cancer, and diabetes. Be part of our team!

The Nutrition Research Institute (NRI) studies why people’s metabolism and nutrient requirements differ from person to person. As scientists, physicians, and healthcare practitioners better understand nutritional individuality, they will be able to enhance human health, improve brain development, and more effectively treat diseases like obesity, cancer, and diabetes. The NRI studies nutritional individuality by conducting research in nutrigenomics and metabolomics. Nutrigenomics is the study of how nutrition changes the way genes function and how genes change our nutrient requirements. Metabolomics is the simultaneous measurement of thousands of chemicals—in either blood or urine—that make up an individual’s metabolism. Read more.

Our research not only influences the scientific community, but the general public as well. We strive to share our discoveries with everyone. Read some of our latest articles on what is happening at the Nutrition Research Institute.

The Nutrition Research Institute is committed to conducting innovative basic and translational science studying how individual differences in requirements and responses to diet affect our individual nutritional needs. We believe that our advances in nutrition science are leading to successes in preventing or mitigating the negative effects of chronic diseases and aging and in improving human development, even prior to conception.

Vision: Our vision is to use scientific discovery to ensure optimal health through individualized nutrition.

Mission: To enhance understanding of health and human development through greater knowledge of how genetic, epigenetic, and metabolic mechanisms affect people’s requirements for and responses to nutrition.


UNC Nutrition Research Institute Board of Advisors

James G. Martin, Ph.D.
Chair, NRI Board of Advisors
McGuire Woods, LLC
Governor, State of North Carolina, 1983-1995
Mooresville, NC

Fred Brown
Group Vice President, Carolinas Health Care System
Charlotte, NC

Byron L. Bullard
President Presbyterian Hospital (Ret.)
Charlotte, NC

Ann Cannon
Community Leader
Concord, NC

Chris Cope
President, Allen Tate Mortgage
Charlotte, NC

John Fennebresque, Jr.
Managing Director, Fennebresque & Co., Investment Banking
Charlotte, NC

Arthur Gallagher
Vice President, Novant Health Foundation and Community Engagement
Charlotte, NC

Erika Gantt, M.D.
Surgeon, OrthoCarolina
Charlotte, NC

Brien Lewis, J.D.
President, Catawba College
Salisbury, NC

Tom Smith
Vice Chair, NRI Board of Advisors
Chairman, President and CEO, Food Lion, Inc. (Ret.)
Salisbury, NC

Richard Vinroot
Attorney at Law, Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A.
Mayor, City of Charlotte, 1991-1995
Charlotte, NC

Phyllis Wingate
President, Carolinas Medical Center, Northeast
Concord, NC

James H. Woodward, Ph.D.
Chancellor Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Charlotte, NC