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Metabolism and Obesity

Metabolism and Obesity Research

In order to create a healthier community, our scientists and clinicians are working to discover how our genes, hormones, diet and activity affect calorie burning and appetite.

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About Our Research

  • How do hormones and medicines change appetite and calorie burning?
  • How does fat (adipose tissue) regulate metabolism?
  • What treatments or lifestyle changes are effective for preventing or reversing obesity?
  • How does the gut microbiome impact body weight?
  • What characteristics define response to treatments for obesity?
  • How does obesity impact other metabolic conditions such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)?
  • How do different organs work individually or communicate with each other to impact obesity?

Research studies generally do not benefit the study participants directly. Instead, they help people who may have a particular disease in the future.

Some of our studies may provide benefits such as:

  • Weight loss or improvement in other health conditions
  • Monetary incentives
  • Access to new and advanced therapies and treatment strategies before they are available to the public

Some studies have risks associated with the treatments or procedures. Our medical providers screen every new potential participant to ensure they they safely meet the criteria to participate. Participation is voluntary, and our research team monitors participants' health and wellbeing during the length of the study. All risks will be explained, and we have strategies in place to minimize risk.


Our studies are all very different. Participants may be asked to:

  • Take a medication
  • Follow a diet or consume foods/supplements that we provide
  • Undergo tissue and blood sampling
  • Complete questionnaires
  • Receive imaging such as MRI, DXA and PET-CT
  • Wear an activity monitor
  • Be measured for weight, height and waist circumference
  • Stay in our clinical research unit for observation and procedures
  • Have their metabolism tested in our whole room calorimeters
  • Exercise under supervision

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