Nutrition, Exercise and Phenotype Testing Core

  • Consultation services to university investigators regarding appropriate testing/assessment, and/or intervention approaches for their studies.
  • Standardized and sophisticated nutritional assessments and physiological testing of human subjects for obesity related studies.
  • Services to directly assist researchers in conducting dietary, behavioral, and/or exercise intervention in human subjects.
  • Training in many techniques or the assistance in development of new techniques/technologies needed for the metabolic and neurobehavioral assessment of humans.

Have a question regarding nutrition, physical activity, or body composition? Need help finding the right assessment measure? Just getting started on that grant or IRB application and need a study consultation? We would love to help you!

Our services are currently run through MiCORES. MiCORES is an online core management system from Agilent Technologies and iLab Solutions designed to streamline the process of requesting and billing for core services.

Already a MiCORES user? Go to our core page, sign in using your umich credentials and navigate to the “request services” page.

Not yet a MiCORES user? To get started you must register for an account. Once you are registered, go to our core page, sign in using your umich credentials and navigate to the “request services” page.

Once you are on our MiCORES page, you will see two quote requests: 1) Study Consultation or 2) Study Initiation. Please use the directions provided to choose the appropriate request form.

Important Note: If the NExT services you are requesting are in need of MCRU staffing or rooms, you will need MCRU approval (via eResearch) before we can provide any services. In addition, your study team will be responsible for scheduling MCRU room reservations for your participants directly with MCRU staff – and your study team must also ensure that this schedule aligns with the availability of the NExT staff member(s) providing the services. This process can be explained in greater detail when you speak with NExT staff.

For COVID-19-related safety procedures for our exercise tests, we consulted with Mike Szabo in the Pulmonary Function testing lab at UMHS, and he confirm that our proposed approach described below was appropriate.

For all exercise tests, we will continue to use standard exercise testing procedures, in which subjects breathe through a sterilized mouthpiece during the test – and we measure the O2 and CO2 in their expired breath throughout the test.  At the end of the exercise test, all equipment will be cleaned and disinfected, all touchable surfaces will also be disinfected – and the filter will be disposed of appropriately.

Exercise tests will be scheduled with at least 1 hour separating the departure of one participant and the arrival of another into the testing suite.

RMR measurements involve subjects resting quietly in their hospital bed while we collected their expired air via a ventilated Plexiglas canopy that is placed over their heads for 20-30min.  Again, after this test is completed, all equipment will be cleaned and disinfected.

Metabolic Phenotyping

Metabolic Phenotyping services are provided at both NAL and PAL locations (i.e., both MCRU and Dominos Farms – Lobby M). The site where the service will be provided will depend on the specific service being requested (e.g., DEXA, Bod Pod, clamp procedures, tissue-specific analysis). The specific site for services you are interested will be clarified when you speak with NExT staff about your study’s needs.

Our DEXA is located within MCRU on Level 1 of the CVC, the BOD POD is located in Lobby M of Domino’s Farms, and the PEA POD is located near the NICU in Mott.  Unsure which method is best for your study and/or want additional information?  Contact us and we’ll help! 

Nutrition Assessment Laboratory (NAL)

Located in the Michigan Clinical Research Unit (MCRU) on Level 1 of the Cardiovascular Center (CVC) of UMHS, this facility includes a full metabolic kitchen, and NAL staff offices. Current services include dietary assessment design and execution, nutrition counseling, and menu/meal development. These services are provided jointly by The Momentum Center.

Physical Activity Laboratory (PAL)

The primary location of the PAL is in Lobby M of Dominos Farms (Room 2121). This facility includes an exercise/metabolic testing room and an anthropometric assessment room (including Bod Pod). Current services include a variety of exercise tests, physical activity assessment design and execution, and support for supervised exercise interventions. There is also an exercise physiology testing room available within the MCRU on Level 1 of the CVC. 

The overall objective of the Nutrition, Exercise and Phenotype Testing (NExT) Core (formerly the Human Phenotyping Core) is to enhance and expand the research capabilities of investigators performing clinical and translational studies related to nutritional interventions, obesity, or obesity-related disorders in humans. NExT is a service core of the Michigan Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (MNORC), however services are available to all university researchers.

NExT services are provided in three categories:

  1. Metabolic Phenotyping services (e.g., body composition, resting metabolic rate, insulin sensitivity)
  2. Bionutrition support through the Nutrition Assessment Laboratory (NAL)
  3. Physical activity/exercise assessments, testing, and exercise intervention support through the Physical Activity Laboratory (PAL).


Contact Us

Jeffrey Horowitz, PhD

Co-Director, NExT

Karen Peterson, DSc

Co-Director, NExT

Sarah Ball

NExT Core Manager