The Cellular and Molecular Biology Core (CMBC) – formerly the Adipocyte Biology and Molecular Nutrition (ABMN) Core – was established in 2006 with a focus on assessment of adipose tissue morphology and function. Since then, the Core has broadened its scope to meet changing needs, an now provides assistance in conducting leading-edge research in the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for the pathogenesis and complications of obesity and the abnormalities associated with disruptive alterations in nutrient intake/metabolism.

Services provided by the CMBC include adipose tissue biology, and also critical infrastructure and technical support to study muscle, liver, and endothelial cell function. Research supported by the CMBC now also includes crosstalk between different tissues (e.g., adipose to liver or muscle) and between different cells within a tissue (e.g., stromal vascular cells and adipocytes).

The CMBC enhances and facilitates sophisticated nutrition/obesity research by providing: 1) cellular assessments and services needed for mechanistic studies, 2) access to specialized equipment; and 3) expert consultative services in integrative cellular and molecular biology to allow investigators at any level of experience to conduct mechanistic nutrition/obesity research.

Core Description

The purpose of the Cellular and Molecular Biology Core (CMBC) is to assist NORC investigators in evaluating the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in: i) pathogenesis of obesity; ii) the multi-organ system complications associated with obesity; and iii) the multi-organ system abnormalities caused by alterations in nutrition and metabolism. One major focus of the services provided by the CMBC is cell-cell communication and tissue cross talk, because of the importance of inter-organ and cell-to-cell signaling in the pathogenesis of nutritional and obesity related diseases. The expertise of the CMBC directors in cellular metabolism, cell biology and molecular nutrition, the highly skilled staff, and the array of well-maintained specialized equipment provide NORC investigators with integration of the diverse services needed to study mechanisms in cell and tissue systems which will enhance both basic and clinical research studies.


Service available to All entities, including for-profit organizations.

Priority service for Specific groups, centers or departments – see Additional Information for details.

Additional information:

Services available to members of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC).  Applications to the NORC can be found at


  • Cells for Culture (3T3-L1, , OP9, HIB1B, SBGS, C2C12, huPre-Adipocytes, huSkeletal Muscle Cells, huMicrovascular Endothelial Cells)
  • Adipose Tissue Morphology
  • Gene Expression Analysis and RNA Extraction (Autophagy, Fatty acid metabolism, Glucose metabolism, Endoplasmic reticulum stress, ECM/Fibrosis, Angiogenesis, Inflammation)
  • Protein Expression Analyses and Lysate Preparation (mTOR signaling, Insulin signaling, Endoplasmic reticulum stress, Inflammation)
  • Substrate Metabolic Assays (Glucose uptake, Glycolysis, Glucose oxidation, Glycogenesis, Fatty acid uptake, Fatty acid oxidation, Lipid incorporation, Lipolysis)
  • Mitochondrial Physiology (Routine substrate inhibitor protocols to investigate the function of Complex I, Complex II, OXPHOS, Max ETS)
  • Training (Biochemical characterization assays, Mitochondrial function and physiology assays, Cellular trafficking and imaging, Autophagy analysis)
  • Extracellular Vesicle Isolation and Characterization (Microvesicles, small EVs (exosomes))
  • Project consultation
  • Access to specialized equipment


  • ABI QuantStudio real-time PCR (2)
  • Li-Cor Odyssey Near IR protein detection system
  • Li-Cor C-DiGit Chemiluminescence protein detection system
  • Qiagen TissueLyser II
  • Nanodrop ND-1000 spectrophotometer
  • Bio-Tek Synergy II multi-mode plate reader
  • Aurora Scientific Single Fiber Analyzer
  • Beckman liquid scintillation counter
  • Beckman Coulter Multisizer III for adipocyte sizing
  • Oroboros Oxygraph 2K respirometry systems for mitochondrial physiology studies (2)
  • Nanosight NS300 for extracellular vesicle analysis
  • Luminex 200 Multiplex Immunoassay Analyzer to measure cytokines, adipokines, etc., in biospecimens
  • NuAire laminar flow hoods (3)
  • NuAire CO2 incubators (4)
  • Lonza Amaxa Nucleofector II transfection system
  • World Precision Instruments EVOM-2 for cell monolayer electrical resistance measurements
  • Nikon TS100 light & fluorescent microscope
  • Life Technologies Countess automated cell counter


Please contact this core directly for pricing information.

Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC)