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Nutrition Obesity Research Center at Harvard

Nutrition-related disease states such as diabetes and obesity may be treatable eventually by the use of therapies at the cellular and molecular levels. The Nutrition Obesity Research Center at Harvard seeks to establish a research environment which encourages the approach to defining common clinical nutrition research problems using the most sophisticated technology and scientific knowledge available.

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Pilot & Feasibility Project Grants

This is an exciting opportunity for early phase and established scientists to begin or continue studies of importance to nutrition, metabolism, and/or obesity. Projects will be funded up to $20,000 in the first year, with possibility for renewal for a second year.

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Surgical Options for Obesity

Physiological Mechanisms

and Clinical Effects


July 12-13, 2017

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In the News

2014 Pilot & Feasibility Project awardee Elaine Yu is leading a clinical trial that will study the impact of gut bacteria on weight.
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Nicotinamide N-methyltransferase Knockdown Protects Against Diet-induced Obesity

Kraus et al explored the regulation and roles of NNMT in obesity and type 2 diabetes by knocking down Nnmt with antisense oligonucleotides in high-fat diet (HFD) fed mice. Nnmt prevented HFD-induced hepatic steatosis (A), improved glucose tolerance (B), decreased triglycerides (C) and free fatty acids. Nnmt knockdown in white adipose tissue and liver may protect against diet-induced obesity and its harmful metabolic consequences. Kraus et al. 2014. Nature (printed with permission).

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Probiotics Prevent Necrotizing Enterocolitis

TLR 4 protein expression is downregulated by PCM in the epithelium of immature human intestinal xenografts. Immature human intestinal xenograft epithelium was exposed to probiotic-conditioned or control Mann-Rogosa-Sharpe (MRS) media for 48 h. Immunofluorescent detection of TLR4 demonstrated an excessive presence of TLRs in control sections, which was lost after exposure to probiotic secretions. Nomarski images shown in the bottom panels confirm tissue morphology of the same section. Ganguli et al., 2013, American Journal of Physiology, Gastroenterology and Liver Physiology (printed with permission).

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Arterial Inflammation in Patients with HIV

There is increased aortic PET-FDG uptake (red coloration) in a participant infected with HIV compared with a non-HIV matched control participant. Neither participant had known heart disease. For each participant, the Framingham Risk was low with a score of 2 and calcium was not present on the cardiac CT scan. Neither participant was receiving a statin. A, indicates anterior-posterior orientation and F, foot-head orientation. Towakol et al, 2012, Journal of the American Medical Association (printed with permission).


Contact Information

Nutrition Obesity Research Center at Harvard Medical School
Massachusetts General Hospital,
55 Fruit Street,
Boston, MA 02114
phone 617-724-9109

2016 Annual Symposium – The Adipocyte in Energy Regulation
July 13, 2016- July 14, 2016

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