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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Teams

Healthy Body Weight Research Unit
(James Roemmich, PhD, Research Leader)

Dietary Prevention of Obesity-Related Disease Research Unit
(Matthew Picklo, PhD, Research Leader)

Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center - University of North Dakota Human Studies Collaboration


    Gerald F. Combs, Jr., Ph.D.
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    U.S. Dietary Guidelines Adherence and Healthy Body Weight
    Research addresses the effectiveness of dietary and physical activity practices based upon the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans in preventing unhealthy weight gain and minimizing risk factors for obesity-related chronic disease. The project includes participation in the multi-center ARS HEALTH project, and development and evaluation of new interventional strategies to achieve healthy body weight in diverse populations. Both controlled feeding and community-based studies are conducted.
    Lisa Jahns, RD, PhD- Research Nutritionist
    Susan Raatz, R.D. MPH, PhD- Research Nutritionist
    James Roemmich, PhD- Supervisory Research Physiologist
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    Biology of Obesity Prevention
    Research addresses the underlying physiological functions affected by diet and physical activity in the maintenance of healthy body weight. This includes the trans-generational programming of energy metabolism. The tools of genomics and metabolomics are utilized to elucidate the factors affecting individuals’ responses to dietary and physical activity interventions, including the propensity of some individuals to gain weight. It involves mostly animal models.
    Kate Claycombe- Research Nutritionist and Team Leader
    W. Thomas Johnson- Cooperating Scientist
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    Role of Food Factors in Maintaining Healthy Body Weight
    Research addresses the role of oxidative stress in obesity and inflammation, focusing on the efficacy of dietary antioxidants as modulators of the beneficial effects of physical activity on glucose uptake and metabolism. It involve studies with animal models as well as human volunteers.
    Matthew Picklo- Research Physiologist and Team Leader
    Gerald F. Combs, Jr.- Center Director
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    Obesity and Bone Metabolism
    This research addresses the roles of adiposity on bone metabolism. In particular, it seeks to elucidate the effects of chronic inflammation, physical activity and dietary factors on the deposition and remodeling of bone.
    Jay Cao- Research Nutritionist and Team Leader
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    Dietary Modulation of Obesity-Related Cancer
    This research will address the linkage between obesity and cancer with the goal of elucidating the roles of diet and physical activity in preventing obesity-related cancer. The project focuses on the role of dietary selenium in preventing obesity related cancer. It includes fundamental research utilizing cell and animal models, as well as metabolic research with human volunteers
    Huawei Zeng- Research Molecular Biologist and Team Leader
    Gerald F. Combs, Jr.- Center Director
    Lin Yan- Research Nutritionist
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    USDA ARS Collaboration
    W. Thomas Johnson- Cooperating Scientist
    Forrest Nielsen- Cooperating Scientist

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    Last Modified: 10/10/2014
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