Research

There are three signature areas of research in Nutrition:Research words

  1. Obesity, energy balance and chronic disease: Dr. Beverly, Dr. Brown, Dr. Lovelady, Dr. McIntosh, Dr. Morrison, Dr. Shriver
  2. Bio-active food component effects on cell function and prevention of disease processes: Dr. Erikson, Dr. Kipp, Dr. Loo, Dr. McIntosh, Dr. Morrison, Dr. Zhou
  3. Nutrition risks and needs of under-served/limited resource populations:  Dr. Brown, Dr. Dharod, Dr. Haldeman, Dr. Shriver

The Nutrition faculty are fully engaged in the research process central to the research productivity in the life sciences and allied health sciences at UNCG, and actively collaborating with other researchers at UNCG and at other institutions such as:

  • Johns Hopkins University,
  • Vanderbilt University,
  • Duke University,
  • Wake Forest University,
  • East Carolina University,
  • the University of Georgia,
  • North Carolina State University,
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
  • Appalachian State University,
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte,
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University 9SJTU), P.R. China.

Faculty research programs have been funded from national governmental agencies including the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Agriculture, and national foundations including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Heart Association, and J.B. Reynolds Foundation.

Research is also supported by local, state and regional agencies including the US Department of Agriculture Southern Rural Development Center and the North Carolina Healthy Weight Initiative Community Grants Program.

Current studies include:

  • Dietary protein sources at breakfast affect cognitive performance at the level of neurotransmission and Hypoglycemia-induced changes in the glucose metabolome and HAAF, Contact:  Lee BeverlyPIC13095 Bone Density
  • Understanding the influence of culture, ethnic identity, and extended families on the dietary and physical activity behaviors of African American children, Contact:  Natasha Brown
  • Food insecurity and health outcomes among immigrants and refugee populations, Contact:  Jigna Dharod
  • Micronutrients and brain development and function, Contact:   Keith Erikson
  • Nutrition interventions for low-income, diverse families, Contact:  Lauren Haldeman
  • Nutrient-gene regulation of bone metabolism, Contact:  Deborah Kipp
  • Cellular/molecular functions of phytochemicals in chronic disease prevention, Contact:  George Loo
  • Nutrient needs during lactation and exercise, Contact:  Cheryl Lovelady
  • Regulation of fat cell differentiation and metabolism, Contact:  Michael McIntosh
  • Molecular mechanisms mediating hyperplastic obesity and cancer, Contact:  Ron Morrison
  • Child nutrition and childhood obesity with emphasis on parental factors that influence dietary intake and food availability in low-income families; nutrition & exercise; body image & body esteem in children, Contact:  Lenka Shriver
  • Nutritional factors in pathogenesis and treatment of alcoholic liver disease, Contact:  Zhanxiang Zhou

Research Facilities and Equipment

Department research facilities include modern nutrition science laboratories, The Dickson/Harris Teeter Cellular and Molecular Nutrition Laboratory, and The Cemala Foundation Human Nutrition Research Laboratories.  State of the art laboratory equipment including Applied Biosystems 7500 FAST PCR System, Nanodrop and Beckman spectrophotometers, flow cytometer, radioisotope detection units, microtiter plate readers, luminometer, an imaging system, high-speed and ultracentrifuges, standard cell culture and molecular biology equipment, and inverted and direct light microscopes with fluorescent capabilities.  The Human Nutrition Research Labs include anthropometric equipment available for field research, exercise testing equipment, a phlebotomy and anthropometric measurement room, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometer (DEXA) bone density unit, and Nutrition Data System for Research software for dietary intake analysis. Computer facilities are conveniently located in multiple campus computer centers.  The library collection and support personnel enhance the research environment.

The laboratory facilities of the UNCG Center for Research Excellence in Bioactive Food Components at the North Carolina Research Campus include a state-of-the-art Metabolomic profiling platform featuring an Agilent HPLC TOFMS system and a Leco GC-TOFMS system (Agilent 7890N gas chromotography coupled with Pegasus HT time-of-flight mass spectrometer).  The lab also contains two HPLC systems; Buchi Sepacore preparative chromatography; an Applied Biosystems 7500 real-time PCR system; laminar flow hoods and cell culture incubators; low speed, superspeed, and ultracentrifuges; a Labconco freeze dry system; a Buchi mini spray dryer B-290; two Millipore Milli-Q Element water purification systems; a light inverted microscope; and a Kodak image station 4000R.

UNCG Research Resources

The Office of Sponsored Programs supports sponsored research activities at UNCG.  This unit is the central point of coordination for sponsored projects and the University’s authorized representative for grants, contracts, and other agreements from government agencies, private industry, and non-profit foundations.

The Office of Research Integrity helps support the research community on the UNCG campus and in the community by providing helpful guidance and resources in accordance with the federal guidelines and the responsible conduct of research.

Departmental Research Support Staff

Paula Cooney
Robin Hopkins, Ph.D.