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NORC Facility (NORC & ARC)


About our Core


The Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Obesity Research Center was established to promote and support research related to Nutrition and Obesity at University of Maryland Baltimore and The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. The Mid-Atlantic NORC is led by Drs. Simeon Taylor (Director) and Braxton Mitchell (Associate Director), who are Co-Principal Investigators on the NIH grant that supports the NORC (P30DK072488). To achieve its mission, the Mid-Atlantic NORC has three established biomedical research cores that provide services to Nutrition and Obesity Researchers at UMB and JHMI:

  • Clinical Translational Research (CTR) Core (Alice Ryan, PhD, Director). The CTR Core provides specialized services to researchers conducting clinical research at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Dr. Ryan), the ProHealth Research Clinic in West Baltimore (Dr. Lawrence Appel, MD, Director), and the Amish Research Clinic in Lancaster, PA (Dr. Braxton Mitchell, PhD, Director). The CTR Core provides a range of services supporting nutrition-, exercise- and obesity-related intervention studies (feeding studies and behavioral intervention trials) and observational studies that include nutrition- and obesity-related exposures.
  • Community Obesity Measures of Movement, Anthropometry, Nutrition& Diet (COMMAND) Core (Erin Hager, PhD, Director).  Under Dr. Hager’s supervision, the Field-Based Anthropometric, Dietary, and Physical Activity Assessment Sub-Core provides support for investigators who incorporate anthropometric, dietary/feeding, and physical activity measures into community research protocols.
  • Animal Model Phenotyping (AMP) Core (Liqing Yu, MD, PhD, Director).  Metabolic phenotyping of animal models under different nutritional, environmental, pathophysiological, and pharmacological conditions has become an integral part of most NIH-funded research in basic and translational sciences.  The goal of the AMP Core is to provide a variety of high-quality animal phenotyping and metabolic analysis services essential for Nutrition and Obesity research.

The Cores provide customized research services as well as consultations and collaborations. Researchers interested in using the NORC Service Center should contact the Core director for a consultation for services available and costs.  Services include:

Clinical Translational Research (CTR) Core:

  • Study design and consultation
  • Recruitment
  • Physical activity assessment
  • Nutritional assessment
  • Interventions: controlled feeding
  • Interventions: behavioral (weight loss, exercise, nutrition)
  • Specialized assays (e.g., OGGT, meal challenges)
  • Laboratory assays
  • Statistical and genetic analysis
  • Bioinformatics support
  • Access to biobanked serum and plasma


Community Obesity Measures of Movement, Anthropometry, Nutrition& Diet Core:

  • Equipment loan/rental (stadiometry, BIA, accelerometry, tablets)
  • Analysis support
  • GIS support


Animal Model Phenotyping (AMP) Core:

  • Energy balance studies using TSE PhenoMaster Metabolic Cage system that measures energy expenditure and respiratory exchange ratio (by Indirect Calorimetry), water/food intake, and physical activity in awake mice;
  • Continuous recording of many physiological parameters, including changes in core body and tissue temperatures using the state-of the art Stellar Telemetry system;
  • Body composition analysis of mice using EchoMRI;
  • A series of in vivo analysis of nutrient metabolism, including hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp studies, tissue glucose uptake, glucose tolerance test, insulin tolerance test, tissue fatty acid synthesis/uptake/oxidation; and (5) Assays of blood glucose, lipids, hormones, and adipokines.





Name Role Phone Email Location
Simeon Taylor, PhD
Core Director
(410) 706-6439

Dan Morgan
Program Specialist

Alice Ryan, PhD
Core Director (CTR)
(410) 605-7851

Erin Hager
Core Director (COMMAND)
(410) 706-0213

Liqing Yu (Justin)
Core Director (AMP)
(410) 706-5829

Braxton Mitchell
Director Amish Research Clinic
(410) 706-0161

Lawrence Appel
Director Prohealth Research clinic
(410) 955-3613

Xiao Jian Sun
Core Researcher
(410) 706-5865


In House Services Price List

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