Atkins funded professor to head obesity center

by Eric Schroeder
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ANN ARBOR, MICH. — The University of Michigan has received a $5.7 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to establish the Michigan Nutrition Obesity Research Center. Once completed, the facility will be one of 13 federally-funded centers that focus on diet and metabolism.

“The focus of the center is to support research that will provide new insights into how dietary intake, both the quantity and quality, affects an individual’s metabolism,” said Charles Burant, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan and the Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Professor of Metabolism. “We hope that this will allow us to identify new ways to modify dietary intake to encourage weight loss in overweight individuals or improve metabolic health to prevent chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.”

Dr. Burant will serve as director of the new center. Karen E. Peterson, professor of environmental health sciences and director of the Human Nutrition Program at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, will serve as co-director.

According to the University of Michigan, the new center will provide researchers with access to core laboratories with the tools and personnel to examine metabolism in people. The center also will encourage the use of new technologies that may measure changes in thousands of components of the body in response to different diets, the university said.

As part of its mission, the new center will oversee the Investigational Weight Management Clinic, which integrates research into a clinical weight loss programs. Adult clinic participants will be able to participate in a variety of clinical studies related to nutrition and obesity.

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