FY17 Impact Report
















Children's Health Study 2018



































Choline Status Study















Let Food Be Your Medicine






Registration Open for 2018 NGx Short Course

NGx Workshop June 4-7, 2018  Kannapolis, NC

Designed for graduate students, health professionals and nutrition scientists from academia and industry

Presented by UNC Nutrition Research Institute (NRI) and the UNC Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (NORC)

This workshop-style course will provide the fundamental concepts of nutrigenetics, nutrigenomics and personalized nutrition through cutting edge presentations and hands-on experiences. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a personal DNA test and examine their own nutrigenetic data. Click here for more information and to register.

I want to ensure doctors are trained in nutrition.




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!

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Nutrition Research Institute is a branch of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With an environment that inspires pioneering research, innovation, and entrepreneurship, UNC Chapel Hill has long been an agent for economic prosperity in North Carolina. Today more than 150 North Carolina companies have spun out of UNC, many from the university’s research. They generate more than $7 billion in revenue in the state each year and provide nearly 8,000 jobs to residents and 38,000 jobs worldwide. At the NRI we are proud of our Carolina heritage and to be representing it on the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, NC. Many of our faculty members started at Chapel Hill and have found their callings with the Nutrition Research Institute. medium_blue_450px

NC Research Campus

The NC Research Campus (NCRC) is located in the city of Kannapolis, just north of Charlotte. Centered on the advancement of nutrition, agriculture and human health,  scientists from universities, industry, government and non-profit organizations are finding new ways to promote healthy lifestyles and to prevent, treat and cure the most prevalent diseases of our times like cancer, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s and other diet and lifestyle-related disorders. NCRC-logo3

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NRI Updates


Choline Biomarker Study Wins Federal Support

February 16, 2018 – UNC Nutrition Research Institute director Steven H. Zeisel, MD, PhD has been awarded a four-year, $2.6 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), one of the National Institutes of Health, to develop and validate a panel of laboratory tests that can assess choline status in humans. Zeisel expects the outcome of this research to improve public health worldwide.

Study of first-graders shows fetal alcohol spectrum disorders prevalent in US communities

February 6, 2018 Philip A. May, PhD, research professor in nutrition at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute, led NIH-funded research that examined over 6,000 children and determined prevalence of FASD ranged from 1.1 to 5 percent. 

A study of more than 6,000 first-graders across four U.S. communities has found that a significant number of the children have fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), with conservative rates ranging from 1 to 5 percent in community samples. The new findings represent more accurate prevalence estimates of FASD among general U.S. communities than prior research. Previous FASD estimates were based on smaller study populations and did not reflect the overall U.S. population. The study was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Whole Foods and Nutrient Synergy

January 29, 2018 – Have you ever wondered why we eat certain foods together? What is it about pork that demands applesauce? Wouldn’t a lovely piece of hard cheese go well with that glass of red wine? Is beef and broccoli just a dish or might there be a benefit to eating those together? It is difficult to trace how these traditional pairings got started. Apples with pork dates back to the time of Christ when an Ancient Roman named Apicius wrote down a recipe, but where did he get the idea?

Why a Fly?

January 29, 2018 – The genome of a fruit fly is strikingly similar to that of a human — so much so that scientists have been studying these tiny insects for over 100 years, in search of treatments for diseases like spinal muscular atrophy and neurological disorders. UNC geneticist and director of the Integrative Program for Biological and Genome Sciences Bob Duronio, PhD is one of those scientists. “It begins with curiosity. Curiosity about a process. And then a question about that process. And then a hypothesis that will lead to an experiment that will provide results and data to interpret. What I love about this process is that my hypotheses are often wrong. And that’s really exciting — because no human being is smart enough to understand biology at a level of molecular detail where their hypotheses are always right.”