Nutrition & Obesity Research Center

The University of California San Francisco's Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (UCSF NORC) is one of the eleven NIH-funded research centers, integrating multiple programs in areas of nutrition, obesity and metabolism. For almost two decades, we have actively expanded our research base in this critical subject area. 

Our center's collective goal is to define the underlying mechanisms of disease and to significantly contribute to the prevention and treatment of obesity and its complications, achieving our goal by providing collective research facilities, a lecture program that fosters interactions amongst laboratories conducting cellular, animal, translational, clinical and epidemiologic research, pilot funding for new and interdisciplinary research directions, as well as an administrative infrastructure that promotes these integrative goals.


58 investigators


22 departments


7 campuses

Core Facilities

Our core facilities provide research capabilities requiring the most current expertise and resources commonly required for nutrition and obesity research that are beyond what can typically be supported within any individual laboratory. The NORC's research focus areas are supported by three primary cores.

Study design, subject recruitment, and facilities that assist with sample collection and storage and expertise in interpreting the results

Human Metabolism


Enables similar measurements in body composition and radiologic imaging for small animal models

Mouse Metabolism


Provide methods and instruments that enable sophisticated human genetic and genomics research

Genetics & Genomics

Pilot & Feasibility

The Pilot and Feasibility program is a major pillar on which the success of the UCSF NORC is built, awarding grants of $50,000 to various projects, in average of three a year, to projects which are exploratory in nature, allowing applicants to collect preliminary data needed for subsequent larger grant applications.

The intentions of this program relate directly to the major UCSF-NORC goal of strengthening a growing interactive community of nutrition and obesity researchers by enabling new investigators and junior faculty to establish NORC-relevant research programs; attracting established scientists to the fields of nutritional sciences, obesity, and related disorders; fostering highly innovative directions in basic and clinical nutrition and obesity related research, including clinical studies in minority and other underserved patient groups; developing new and innovative collaborations among NORC investigators with other faculty; encouraging and promoting the effective and consistent use of the UCSF-NORC Core resources.


Enrichment Programs

To provide exceptionally high-quality opportunities for investigators at UCSF to exchange research information, for recognized experts in obesity and nutrition to enlighten the UCSF community on both research and clinical practice, and for faculty to educate trainees, as well as to strengthen the multidisciplinary and collaborative network that links nutrition and obesity research being conducted across UCSF

The objectives of the program are to strategically integrate a complementary yearlong set of speakers regularly interspersed in the weekly UCSF Endocrine Grand Rounds, Diabetes and Obesity Seminar Series, and institution-wide talks within the graduate school seminar series; oversee the maintenance of a high-quality weekly Obesity and Nutrition Journal Club at UCSF in order to implement further the training components of the NORC mission; conduct and strategically continue to grow the annual NORC retreat