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Obesity Research Cluster

About Us

The Texas Tech Obesity Research Cluster (ORC) was established in Spring 2013. This collaborative research cluster was initiated by Dr. Naima Moustaid-Moussa and Dean Linda Hoover, College of Human Sciences, along with the Office of the Vice President for Research. Both Dean Hoover and Interim Vice President for Research Michael San Francisco, have endorsed Dr. Moustaid-Moussa as the Founding Director of the Obesity Research Cluster. As part of the Texas Tech University System, the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center - Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Biomedical Sciences, have taken an active role in this research collaboration.

Founding Director: Dr. Naima Moustaid-Moussa, Professor, Nutritional Sciences

Co-Sponsor: Dean Linda Hoover, College of Human Sciences

Co-Sponsor: Dr. Michael San Francisco, Interim Vice President for Research

Rationale/Objectives

Purpose

The purpose of the Obesity Research Cluster is to foster and enhance interdisciplinary Basic Clinical and Community Translational Research; to understand the causes and complications of Obesity; as well as what methods will help prevent and treat Obesity along with its related complications. The goals of the ORC include increased collaboration among members from both Texas Tech University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, which will lead to increased publications, funded grant proposals, as well assist in the training of undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral students. Research conducted within this Research Cluster will include both basic clinical and community research that will inform and advance strategies to prevent, decrease and slow down Obesity. Our research will use diverse state of the art approaches ranging for cellular and molecular studies, to animal models of Obesity and Metabolic disorders. Finally, via community based participatory research to address the complexity of Obesity from the biological, behavioral, environmental and societal aspects.

Background

Reports by various federal health agencies and foundations (NIH, CDC, USDA, RWJF , etc.) indicate that the obesity rates in America have reached alarming levels. Texas is among the states with the highest rates of obesity. Given the urgency of this epidemic, Texas Tech University highlighted obesity research in its Strategic Plan of 2010. This opportunity is further strengthened by existing obesity, nutrition, diabetes, and cancer-related and expertise across at TTU and HSC.

  • Nutrition, Obesity and Diabetes are highlight strategic Investment areas at Texas Tech University
  • Obesity is now named a disease by the American Medical Association, which will potentially add increased Federal funding in this research area and assist obese individuals with the management of this disease

Objectives

  • Develop collaborations within the TTU System, the West Texas Region and State of Texas agencies
  • Increase student focus on basic clinical and community research on Obesity and its related conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer

The Obesity Research Cluster is comprised of the following departments and/or centers from Texas Tech University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center:

Texas Tech University

Agricultural and Applied Economics

Animal and Food Sciences

Biological Sciences

Center for Adolescent Resiliency

Center for the Study of Addiction and Recovery

Health Exercise and Sports Studies

College of Human Sciences

Media and Communications

Nutritional Sciences

Office of the Vice President for Research

Personal Financial Planning

Psychology

The Institute of Environment and Human Health

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Cell Biology and Biochemistry

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Pathology

School of Biomedical Sciences

School of Medicine

School of Nursing