NORC - Centers

Mid-Atlantic, Maryland

DIRECTOR Alan R. Shuldiner, MD - Mid-Atlantic NORC Website


The mission of the Mid-Atlantic NORC is to foster multidisciplinary research that leads to discoveries that enhance our knowledge of how nutrition impacts risk for chronic disease (including obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular disease, sleep disordered breathing, and osteoporosis) and translate this knowledge into effective clinical treatments and prevention efforts. The Mid-Atlantic NORC is a collaborative effort among University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, the US Department of Agriculture (Beltsville), and the Geisinger Health System.

The objectives of the Mid-Atlantic NORC are to:
  • Enable inter- and multidisciplinary efforts to identify genes and nutrient-gene interactions that influence nutrient metabolism and the risk of chronic diseases (particularly obesity, type 2 diabetes, CVD, stroke, and osteoporosis), and to determine the role of the gut microbiome in these and other nutrition-related diseases.
  • Understand the mechanisms by which weight loss through caloric restriction and exercise reduce risk factors for type 2 diabetes and CVD (e.g., hypertension, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance) in obese Americans and to understand the effect of aging on these nutrition and obesity-related chronic diseases.
  • Translate new discoveries in nutrition science by testing the effectiveness of lifestyle intervention strategies (diet and/or exercise) to:
    1. Prevent and treat obesity and its co-morbidities in at-risk groups (middle aged/older individuals, urban minorities, and youth).
    2. Prevent and treat sarcopenia and osteopenia associated with deconditioning and suboptimal nutrition in the elderly, as well as improving rehabilitation after hip fracture.
  • Expand the four Mid-Atlantic NORC research cores to provide state-of-the-art and cost-effective services to a growing research base to enhance nutrition and obesity research and its translation to patient care.
  • Attract young investigators from different fields of biomedicine to apply innovative methods that address important questions in the field of nutrition through the P& grant mechanism.
  • Increase awareness of researchers and practicing health professionals in the Mid-Atlantic region about the important role of nutrition in human health by:
    1. Enriching and promoting nutrition education for medical, graduate, and allied health professional students, house staff, and physicians.
    2. a. Disseminating new developments in the area of nutrition science to the public through outreach programs in public schools and the community.


Adipose Biology and Basic Mechanisms Core
The Adipose Biology and Basic Mechanisms Core offers investigators access to adipose tissue samples from well-characterized subjects, and assists investigators with analysis of adipose tissue morphology and metabolism, specialized cell and organ culture methods, and analysis of gene and protein expression.

Biostatistics & Medical Informatics Subcore
The Biostatistics & Medical Informatics Subcore offers expertise and advice for data analysis, design implementation, data collection, report generation, and database management.

Clinical & Translational Research Core
The Clinical &Translational Research Core provides assistance for nutrition and physical activity assessments in clinical nutrition research.

Molecular Genetics & Nutrigenomics Core
The Molecular Genetics & Nutrigenomics Core provides resources and support for molecular genetics, genetic epidemiology, and functional genomics.