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.
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

Healthy Brain Function Tied to Nutrition

The research in Dr. Carol L. Cheatham’s Nutrition and Cognition lab focuses on effects of nutrition on brain development and function throughout the lifespan. In her work, she is exploring the importance of certain nutrients and foods to the development, maintenance, and lifelong integrity of the hippocampus and frontal brain areas.

Preventing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders (FASD)

Knowing the prevalence of FAS and PFAS guides prioritizing prevention and intervention efforts. Numerous studies have placed the economic cost of FAS and associated disorders at over $1 million per case per lifetime. These costs include increased medical treatments, increased educational costs, decreased worker productivity, and increased societal costs (youths with FAS are estimated to be nineteen times more likely to be in prison than youths without FAS).

NRI Researcher Receives Award to Further Work on Obesity and Cancer

The NCI OIA, a new type of grant bestowed on experienced and highly productive cancer researchers to provide long-term support for their exceptional work, will allow Hursting the freedom to take more risks in his lines of inquiry as well as more time to mentor junior investigators and develop the next generation of researchers in the increasingly important area of nutrition and cancer prevention.