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UH awarded $11 million NIH grant for Precision Nutrition Center of Excellence

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have awarded the University of Hawaii at Manoa a five-year, $11-million grant to fund creation of an Integrative Center for Precision Nutrition and Human Health, a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE).

Precision nutrition focuses on individualized differences in how nutrients are consumed, absorbed and converted to energy. Culture and customs, dietary preferences, genetics/epigenetics, environmental factors and economics all contribute to widely varying nutrition and overall health outcomes.

The Precision Nutrition COBRE grant is led by Dr. Marla Berry, Director of the Pacific Biosciences Research Center (PBRC) in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) and an outstanding cross-disciplinary leadership team of faculty from SOEST, the John A. Burns School of Medicine, the UH Cancer Center, and the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at UH, the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center and community stakeholders.

Core Services


The Bioinformatics Core is a centralized resource for providing expert and timely bioinformatics consulting, analysis, collaborative research, management, and training solutions for high-throughput ‘omics’ data.

Community Engagement

The Community Engagement and Outreach Core serves as the bridge between Precision Nutrition COBRE researchers and communities most impacted by nutrition-related health conditions.


The Epigenomics Core Facility offers library preparation and sequencing services that include DNA methylation profiling, protein/nucleic acid association analysis, whole-genome sequencing, targeted sequencing, gene expression profiling, and microbiome analysis.


The Microbial Genomics and Analytical Laboratory (MGAL) Core provides equipment and technical expertise for high-throughput sequencing library preparation, metabolite and lipid analysis, and facilities for the safe handling, cultivation, and storage of microbial strains


The Microscopy Imaging Center for Research through Observation (MICRO) Core includes the Biological Electron Microscopy Facility (BEMF) that houses the only transmission electron microscope (EM) in the state and the only scanning EM at UHM supporting biological and biomedical research.

Murine Metabolic Phenotyping

The Murine Metabolic Phenotyping Core provides service, consultation, education and training in murine metabolic testing. Core staff are available to assist investigators in all aspects of the metabolic testing, including suggestions for genetic background and experimental design, data analysis, and interpretation.


The goal of the Statistical Analysis of Nutrition and Diet (SAND) core is to build capacity in study design, dietary assessment tool selection, development and use for diverse populations, dietary and anthropometric data entry, and analysis.

The Precision Nutrition Team

Marla Berry, Peter Hoffmann, Ben Fogelgren, Marilou Andres, Christopher Rettenmeier, Marilyn Dunlap, Brad Jones, Rachel Novotny, Andy Stenger, Youping Deng, Monica Esquivel, Lucia Seale, Alika Maunakea

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), one of the 27 institutes within NIH, supports the COBRE Program to foster faculty development and institutional research infrastructure enhancement through the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program.

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