The Tulane University Obesity Research Center (TUORC) was established in 2016. The center is a university-wide group of investigators dedicated to excellence in obesity research using systems epidemiological and clinical approaches. Its primary mission is to facilitate interdisciplinary efforts to integrate systems epidemiology with research on the diet and lifestyle risk factors, etiology, consequences, treatment and prevention of obesity and its metabolic complications such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular and kidney diseases. A particular focus of the Center is a greater understanding of the complex interactions of human genomics, metabolomics, epigenomics, and gut microbiome with diet and lifestyle in determining obesity risk and weight management in the context of population cohorts and intervention trials. Our overarching goals also include improving nutrition and obesity education at multiple levels, and facilitating personalized nutritional and lifestyle management of patients. We have close collaborations with investigators from Tulane University at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and School of Medicine, Harvard Chan School of Public Health, and other institutes.
Investigators in TUORC are presently conducting research to:
- Address dietary and lifestyle risk factors for epidemic of obesity;
- Discover novel genomic, epigenomic, metabolomics, proteomics, and microbiome markers predict obesity and related cardiometabolic disorders including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer;
- Test precision diet and lifestyle interventions on weight loss and maintenance, and reduction of diabetes and cardiovascular complications;
- Detect early-life (prenatal and childhood) risk factors for adulthood diseases;
- Test gene-environment interactions and perform Mendelian randomization analysis on lifestyle risk factors and obesity related diseases.