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!

Most of the Nutrition Research Institute’s faculty is appointed to UNC’s Department of Nutrition at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. It is the only nutrition department in the US situated in both a school of public health and a school of medicine. A global leader in research and training, the department engages in innovative work that capitalizes on both these schools’ approaches to health, resulting in an unusual breadth of scientific and policy approaches. Visit the UNC Department of Nutrition here.


The North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, NC, is a 350-acre research center located just north of Charlotte, NC. The campus is a scientific community that collaboratively works to empower human health through nutrition. Eight universities, the David H. Murdock Research Institute, companies and entrepreneurs focus research and development on safer, more nutritious crops, healthier foods and precision nutrition. Research and product development are collaborative and multi-disciplinary. Focus areas are as varied as phytochemicals in fruits, vegetables, grains and herbs; exercise physiology; post-harvest physiology; population-based, genetic studies; and precision nutrition. Learn more about the North Carolina Research Campus here.


emailcicle fbcircle twittercircle

NRI Updates


Early-Life Predictors of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

January 22, 2020 – The clinical teams at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute and in South Africa led by principal investigator Philip A. May, PhD have published findings of a decade-long effort to drive down the age at which the diagnosis of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) can be made in affected children. The paper, “Early-Life Predictors of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders” is published in Pediatrics. There is a continuum of disabilities associated with prenatal alcohol exposure that can negatively impact cognitive, behavioral and educational development. Early diagnosis in a child in will likely make timely nutrition and other interventions for children with FASD possible and more effective the earlier they are begun. The May team concluded from their years of work that assessment of a combination of growth, dysmorphology, and neurobehavioral characteristics allows for accurate identification of most children with FASD as early as 9 to 18 months. Read the full paper here.

This article was published originally in the journal, Pediatrics, on September 12, 2019.

Important NIH Award for NRI and Partners

December 17, 2019 – The UNC Nutrition Research Institute announces a recent award from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) that will improve our knowledge of the complex interactions between environmental exposures throughout the lifespan and human health outcomes. This grant brings together a partnership of academic research groups located on the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC), and RTI International, a nonprofit research organization located in the Research Triangle Park.

NRI Congratulates First-Time First-Authors

December 12, 2019 – Agatha Christie once said, “the first time you do a thing is always exciting.” Well, we’ve had a lot of excitement at the Nutrition Research Institute recently! Two members of the Smith Lab are celebrating becoming first-time first-authors of scientific journal publications.Read more.