Human Research Core

The Human Research Core provides human nutrition research investigators with multi-disciplinary services and equipment in one location. The core is complete with examination rooms and equipment, phlebotomy and processing laboratory, pharmacy, and furnished consultation rooms. For nutrition intervention studies, the HRC offers a metabolic kitchen specifically designed to support nutrition research.

State-of-the-Art Resources and Support

• Human metabolism and body composition assessments
• Clinical laboratory and support services
• Preparation and delivery of precisely designed meals for study participant

The HRC is available for academic, public and private research. The core encourages collaborative as well as independent research and is committed to conducting innovative, basic, and translational science to support the understanding of precision nutrition. These advances in science promote the prevention and reduction of chronic disease and obesity.

Services

The Human Research Core offers these clinical services for academic, public and private research:

Consultation
Study Design
IRB Submission
Scheduling
Subject Recruitment
Telephone Screening
Informed Consent
Anthropometric Measurements

Clinical Services
Hgb A1c Testing
Glucometer
Medical Screening
Phlebotomy
Pregnancy Test
Processing of Samples
Urine and Stool Collection

Nutrition Assessment
Diet Recall
Food Records

Diet Design
Recipe Development

Equipment

Body Composition Laboratory
Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) (GE Lunar iDXA)
Whole-Body Densitometry BodPod® and PeaPod®

Clinical Laboratory
Transient Elastography-FibroScan® 502 Touch (Echosens™)
Facilities: General Exam Rooms (4), and Consultation Rooms (2)

Metabolic Rate Assessment Laboratory
Dynamometer (BIODEX)
Metabolic Cart (Parvo Medics)

Human Whole-Room Calorimeter

Metabolic Research Kitchen

Specimen Collection & Processing

Hours of Operation

The hours for the Human Research Core vary according to the requirements of the research studies in progress at any particular time. Please contact the HRC at (704) 250-5035 for more information.

Human Whole-Room Calorimeter

Our advanced research suite uses indirect calorimetry to evaluate a research participant’s 24-hour energy balance (intake and expenditure). The suite is equipped with a bed, treadmill, bathroom, airlock chamber for entry of food, ports for blood draws and entertainment options. Data can be collected without interruption during meals, sleep and light activity. Monitoring, consenting, scrubs, supplies, technicians and analysis upon completion are included. The Whole-Room Calorimeter is essential for studies on energy balance and fuel use.

 

Metabolic Research Kitchen

Investigators work with a Registered Dietitian to design, prepare and serve precisely composed meals with a safe, accurate and consistent approach. The kitchen is equipped with commercial appliances and professional software. A spacious dining area, adjacent to the kitchen, is available to accommodate up to 50 research participants for diet intervention studies.

 

HRC Staff

 

Martin Kohlmeier, MD, PhD

Martin Kohlmeier, MD, PhD

Professor of Nutrition

Director, Human Research Core
& Nutrigenetics Laboratory

UNC Nutrition Research Institute
Professor, Department of Nutrition
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

mkohlmeier@unc.edu
704-250-5023

Sierra Bonney, MS

Sierra Bonney, MS

Clinical Study Coordinator

Ms. Bonney received her MS in Animal Science from NCSU where her research focused on the role of plant bioactives in wound healing, inflammation, and muscle health. After graduation, she joined the NRI in December 2019.

sierra_bonney@unc.edu
704-250-5062

Emmanuel Baah, MD

Emmanuel Baah, MD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Dr. Baah’s areas of interest include genetic epidemiology, nutrigenomics, and nutrigenetics. He currently works with Dr. Kohlmeier to strengthen training programs in precision nutrition, particularly for physicians.

ebaah@unc.edu
704-250-5041

Tondra Blevins

Tondra Blevins

Medical Laboratory Technician

Tondra has 35 years of experience in laboratory science in research and medicine.  With over 10 years at the UNC NRI, she works with scientists from the NRI and outside universities and companies on human studies involving various types of research involving nutrition.

tondra_blevins@unc.edu
704-250-5035