About Us

Message from the Director

In our world-class research center, we’re working to discover why we are nutritionally so different from one another. To do this, we recruit great scientific minds and use cutting-edge tools in genetics and metabolism. I predict that, one day soon, your health professional will use the science that we discover to provide you with nutrition recommendations tailored for you, rather than the average recommendations that they can give you now. 

At the UNC Nutrition Research Institute we’re building a healthier tomorrow for you, your children and future generations. We use this site to keep you updated about our news, milestones, significant achievements and involvement with the community.

Steven H. Zeisel, MD, PhD

Steven H. Zeisel, MD, PhD

Institute Director, Professor of Nutrition and Pediatrics

We Develop Precision Nutrition

The UNC Nutrition Research Institute is an internationally recognized center that conducts innovative basic and translational science studying how individual differences in requirements and responses to diet affect our individual nutritional needs. We believe that our advances in nutrition science are leading to successes in preventing or mitigating the negative effects of chronic diseases and aging and in improving human development, even prior to conception.

MISSION
To lead the field of Precision Nutrition research by applying advanced scientific methods for understanding individual requirements for and responses to nutrients.

Core Values

Our Core Values are the shared values to which we commit ourselves for how we conduct our work at the NRI and the way we approach our mission and vision.

Faculty

Investigators research the role of nutrients in preventing disease, diet-related health behaviors and risk factors for disease, the effect of the environment and genes on disease outcomes, and the impact of gene-nutrient interactions.

Funding

As a nonprofit center, the NRI receives state funds, federal grants, and private donor gifts to explore new scientific ideas, recruit the world’s best scientists, and provide hands-on education and mentoring of students.

Kannapolis

The Nutrition Research Institute is located in Kannapolis, a blossoming community near Charlotte. With a population of 48,000, Kannapolis offers many modern-day conveniences while maintaining its welcoming small-town feel.

Statement on Equity and Diversity

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.

Board of Advisors

Colonel Fred T. Brown, Jr.
Group Vice President (Retired)
Carolinas HealthCare System
Charlotte, NC

Mr. Byron L. Bullard
Member Emeritus
President, Presbyterian Hospital (Retired)
Charlotte, NC

Dr. Patrick Burgess
Founder and Inventor, EndoTool
Chief Medical Officer, MD Scientific, LLC
Charlotte, NC

Mr. John Fennebresque, Jr.
Managing Director
Fennebresque & Co., Investment Banking
Charlotte, NC

Mr. J. Steven Fisher
Chairman and CEO
Farmers & Merchants Bank
Salisbury, NC

Dr. Erika Gantt
Surgeon
OrthoCarolina
Charlotte, NC

Mr. Jason C. Holt
LPL Financial Advisor
Farmers & Merchants Bank
Salisbury, NC

Dr. Kathleen A. Kaney
Senior Vice President
Atrium Health
Charlotte, NC

Dr. Farzaneh Keshmiri-Sanchez
President
Carolina Aesthetic Dentistry Experience
Concord, NC

Dr. Kevin W. Lobdell
Surgeon
Atrium Health
Charlotte, NC

The Honorable James G. Martin
Immediate Past Chair, NRI
Governor of NC, 1983-1995
McGuire Woods, LLP
Charlotte, NC

Mr. Jeffrey M. Petry
Managing Director, Life Sciences & Healthcare
Deloitte Consulting LLP
Charlotte, NC

Mr. Craig Richardville
Chief Information Officer
SCL Health
Denver, CO

Ms. Rina K. Shah
Vice President, Clinical Programs
Beacon Laboratory Benefit Solutions
Research Triangle Park, NC
Charlotte, NC

Mr. Tom E. Smith (Chair)
Chairman, President and CEO,
Food Lion Inc. (Retired)
Salisbury, NC

Mr. Richard A. Vinroot
Mayor of Charlotte, 1991-95
Attorney at Law
Robinson, Bradshaw and Hinson, P.A.
Charlotte, NC

Dr. James H. Woodward
Chancellor Emeritus
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Charlotte, NC

Where We Are

UNC Nutrition Research Institute

500 Laureate Way
Kannapolis, NC 28081
704-250-5000

UNC Nutrition Research Institute

The UNC Nutrition Research Institute building is located on the 350-acre NC Research Campus in Kannapolis.

UNC Chapel Hill

The Nutrition Research Institute is a unit 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. At the NRI we are proud of our Carolina heritage and to be representing it on the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. 

NC Research Campus

The North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, just north of Charlotte, is home to eight university research centers, plus industry, government and nonprofit organizations that share the goal of empowering human health through nutrition. Collectively, scientists focus on understanding the science behind precision nutrition and safer, more nutritious crops and foods.

Support the NRI

By donating to the Nutrition Research Institute, your money targets the root of most American disease. Our scientists focus on how our genes respond to food so that soon medical practitioners will be able to guide people in their health from childhood through old age. Our critical research depends on the generosity of people like you.