Voruganti to Advance Research on Childhood Obesity with NIH Grant 

June 30, 2020 – NRI principal investigator Saroja Voruganti, PhD, has received a 2020 Cross Border Collaboration Award from the Center for Global Health Studies (CGHS) at the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) Fogarty International Center (FIC). The awards support research partnerships, in part, between U.S. and Latin American investigators that address childhood obesity prevention.

Childhood obesity is widely prevalent in the US (18.5% in Whites and 25.8% in Hispanics) but is surpassed by Mexico, the most obese country in the world, with 24.6% of children being obese. Both genetics and diet play a key role in how obesity develops. Read more.  


NRI Summer Virtual Programming for Students 

June 30, 2020 – Camp cancelled? Vacation on hold? Kids bored in the house? No more! The NRI recognizes that this summer may look different than most for many families. We’re here to provide your students with opportunities to have fun while learning at home!


Designed for high school students (including rising freshman and recent grads), our digital internship program offers students the opportunities to learn from the NRI’s faculty, participate in group mentoring, and complete an independent project and presentation – all via Zoom! This six-week program will meet twice-per-week starting July 6. Applications are now open via the NRI website. Apply Now!


Designed for elementary and middle school students, Camp NRI is a monthly program featuring a follow-along science experiment or similar project. Live presentations will be available on both Facebook and Instagram. Camp will be in session on Wednesday, July 15 (11 AM – Instagram and 2 PM – Facebook) and Wednesday, August 12 (11 AM – Facebook and 2 PM – Instagram). Keep an eye out on Facebook and Instagram for experiment announcements and shopping list, which will be provided ahead of each session. See you there!


Female Scientists Breaking Barriers at the Nutrition Research Institute

June 30, 2020 – Ada Lovelace, founder of scientific computing and the first computer programmer, approached science in a poetical way that still inspires scientific perspectives today. Rachel Carson was a marine biologist and environmentalist who authored the groundbreaking book Silent Spring, which shook Americans into an environmental awakening. Katherine Johnson, an African American space scientist and mathematician, made it possible for Alan Shepard to walk on the moon. Dr. Ellen Ochoa was a woman of two legacies: being the first Hispanic female to go to space and the first Hispanic director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. These women were pioneers of their time, forging legacies in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) despite the bias and societal pressures women faced in these fields. Read more.


Researchers Map How Coronavirus Infection Travels through Cells of Nasal Cavity and Respiratory Tract

June 30, 2020 – A major study of novel coronavirus infection in human airways adds to evidence that wearing a mask is an important step toward limiting transmission of COVID-19.

In a scientific article published in the journal Cell, scientists at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and the UNC School of Medicine have characterized the specific ways in which SARS-CoV-2 — the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 — infects the nasal cavity to a great degree by replicating specific cell types, and infects and replicates progressively less well in cells lower down the respiratory tract, including in the lungs. Read more.


NRI Statement on Equity and Diversity

June 30, 2020 – The Nutrition Research Institute does not tolerate racism, bigotry, violence or harassment. We denounce systemic racism and stand in support of efforts to bring about equity and justice. A core value to which we, the people who compose this institute, have committed ourselves is Inclusion and Respect. We defined this value because we seek to foster an environment where open inquiry and expression are embraced. We realize, however, that stating a core value isn’t sufficient. We are committed to improving dialogue, listening carefully, becoming educated about the realities faced by our Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) colleagues, and taking action to ensure that they are equally able to contribute to and reap the benefits of being part of the NRI community.

The NRI, which fully supports the fair and equal treatment of all people who face discrimination, oppression and injustice, is taking this time to emphasize our support of the BIPOC community, which has urgent, critical needs.