Obesity Research Institute
The Texas Tech University (TTU) Obesity Research Institute (ORI) was formally approved by the TTU Board of Regents at its February 2019 meeting. Dr. Naima Moustaid-Moussa, Professor in Nutritional Sciences, and adjunct Professor in Plant & Soil Science was named Director of ORI, reporting to Dr. Joseph Heppert, Vice President for Research and Innovation (OR&I).
The ORI was originally established in 2013 as the Obesity Research Cluster (ORC) in the College of Human Sciences (COHS). This collaborative research cluster was initiated and founded by Dr. Naima Moustaid-Moussa and Dean Linda Hoover COHS with support from and OR&I who endorsed Dr. Moustaid-Moussa as its Director. The ORI serves as a central collaborative platform for obesity researchers from TTU System, the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Biomedical Sciences
President Cluster Hire
The President's Cluster Hire program was designed to contribute significant research towards TTU's goal to become a top tier research institution. These Clusters were expected to be interdisciplinary in nature but with a thematic focus that addressed a strategic research area. Related to the ORC, Nutrition and Obesity were included as strategic investment areas.
In fall 2014, the ORC was awarded the President's Cluster Hire Tier 2 (9/1/2014-8/30/2018) to support a postdoctoral fellow, external high-profile speakers experts in obesity, nutrition and metabolic diseases, and provide seed funds to support and incentivize pilot and feasibility collaborative research. Through 2019, ORI was primarily supported by COHS and the Office of Research Development and Communications.
ORI will continue this collaboration, which has extended over the years to other TTU colleges and TTUHSC campuses.