Research Cores

The UCSF NORC promotes and supports research in obesity, nutrition and metabolism at UCSF. One aspect by which the NORC achieves this goal is through supporting the maintenance and evolution of the state-of-the-art facilities required to meet the needs of the NORC’s research community. These Core facilities provide research capabilities requiring up-to-date expertise and resources commonly required for nutrition and obesity research that are beyond that which can typically be supported within any individual laboratory. To that end, the NORC’s research focus areas are supported by:

  • Human Metabolism Core provides rovides an integrated infrastructure for NORC investigators who currently conduct human research. The core consists of a number of services that provide consulting with study design, subject recruitment, and statistical analyses, conducting clinical research, and an array of specialized NORC-focused methods, instruments, and facilities for human body composition/metabolism, radiologic imaging  and biobehavioral measurements that enable several aspects of research into human nutrition, obesity and metabolism at UCSF.
  • Mouse Genetics, Metabolism & Microbiome Core supports a suite of services facilitating studies in the mouse, an essential model organism in nutrition, metabolism and obesity research.
  • Genomics & Metabolomics Core provides an array of sophisticated methods and instruments that enable sophisticated human genetic and genomics research and/or the tools to generate genetic models to test hypotheses.

Benefits of the Research Cores


The centralized resources in the Biomedical Cores are facilities that provide expertise, training and/or instruments that are most efficiently provided in shared facilities. Our cores enable immediate access by NORC researchers to sophisticated and/or expensive methods and technologies. This service eliminates the need to spend substantial resources and effort in acquiring and implementing such needs in individual laboratories; and dramatically speeds the process by which a researcher inexperienced in sophisticated methods can obtain data in an area that he/she otherwise may not enter because of fiscal or technologic barriers. It also eliminates the needless duplication of development efforts in multiple laboratories while ensuring that the data obtained from a Core is produced in consistent ways that facilitate cross-comparison of results. Thus, a well-designed Core serves to lower financial barriers to heavy-use NORC members, improves the opportunities to recognize interesting collaborative directions, and enables researchers to remain abreast of technologic improvements in rapidly changing fields at low cost.

Education & Technical 

Cores also serve as educational and technical centers of knowledge that further the teaching missions of the NORC. In general, the Cores act as focal points around which established research programs are efficiently pursued and around which novel research programs and collaborations grow.