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NORC News

Plaisance chosen as 17th Named New Investigator for UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center

July 11, 2016

Eric Plaisance, PhD has been selected as this year’s Named New Investigator for the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC). The center leadership selects among the funded pilot/feasibility recipients and then receives approval from the UAB NORC External Advisory Committee prior to formally making the appointment.

Dr. Plaisance is an assistant professor in the Department of Human Studies. He joined the faculty in 2013, arriving at UAB from an initial faculty appointment at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA. His research focuses on exploring the role of modulators of brown and white adipose tissue thermogenesis as a means to attenuate the reduction in metabolic rate observed with calorie restriction.

The pilot project Dr. Plaisance will work on in the next year is titled "Role of Hydroxycarboxylic Acid Receptor Agonists on Energy Homeostasis and Metabolism”. The proposed research is specifically interested in the targeting of nutrient responsive pathways which can be manipulated to reduce the accretion of adiposity and beneficially alter energy metabolism.

The Named New Investigator is an honor created at the time the UAB NORC received its designation as an NIDDK Center in 2001. The award is especially important for an early career scientist providing $45,000 towards salary, protecting effort dedicated toward their pilot project.

The first person to hold the Named New Investigator distinction was Barbara Gower, PhD, Vice-Chair for Research in the UAB Department of Nutrition Sciences.