Energy Balance and Glucose Metabolism Core

The Energy Balance and Glucose Metabolism Core provides Affiliate Investigators with a comprehensive, state-of-the-art resource for measuring energy balance and body composition, for characterizing metabolic and diabetogenic phenotypes and for utilization of sophisticated imaging techniques relevant to nutrition and obesity.



Director:  Gregory J. Morton, PhD

Research Associate Professor

Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition

University of Washington





Metabolic Imaging Subcore Director:  Ellen Schur, MD, MS

Associate Professor

Division of General Internal Medicine

University of Washington




Indirect calorimetry and related services for rodents:

  • Total energy expenditure by indirect calorimetry under temperature- and humidity-controlled conditions
  • Locomotor activity
  • Meal pattern analysis/continuous measures of total daily food and water intake
  • Continuous body temperature monitoring
  • Running wheel activity
  • Food preferences
EBGM Energy balance

Biostatistical data analysis:

  • Biostatistical adjustment of energy expenditure or other measures for group differences in body mass and composition (Butler et al., Diabetes 2010; Kaiyala et al., Diabetes 2011).
Biostatistical Data pic EBGM

Body and tissue composition:

  • Noninvasive body composition analysis for measures of fat mass, lean body mass and water content in conscious rats
    and mice
  • Biopsy sample triglyceride content in tissue samples as small as 30mg
  • Tissue and blood collection for subsequent processing and analysis by the UW NORC Analytical or Adipose Tissue and Lipid Biology Core or the Diabetes Research Center (DRC) Cellular and Molecular Imaging or Immunity and Inflammation Core (for cell sorting/FACS analysis)(
Body and tissue pic EBGM


  • Insulin tolerance test
  • Glucose tolerance test
  • Euglycemic glucose clamp combined with tracer dilution techniques (rats only)


Subcore personnel can acquire and process images and/or perform statistical analysis of imaging data for the following existing protocols:


  • Body composition analysis and quantification of intra-abdominal fat by iDXA or CT/MRI
  • Functional MRI of brain response to visual food cues and/or oral intake including oral glucose tolerance tests
  • Structural  MRI of the hypothalamus


  • Fat-water MRI of small animals to measure visceral and subcutaneous fat depots
  • Mouse brain MRI

Metabolic banner

Developing new protocols to meet investigator needs

Metabolic Imaging Subcore services are designed to provide maximal support for users in the initial phases of adopting imaging technologies for use in their research. Therefore, the following consultative services are provided free of charge.

Initial Consultation. Contact Dr. Ellen Schur (

Protocol Optimization. Design and/or optimize protocols to meet investigator needs

Training. Training affiliate investigators or personnel to perform certain imaging procedures or analyses

Ongoing Consultation. Troubleshooting or adaptation if problems arise

NORC Metabolic Imaging Pilot Awards

These awards ($2000 for animal and $3000 for human studies) can be used to cover the cost of hourly usage fees at UW imaging facilities during pilot and feasibility testing.

Facilities and equipment

NORC Metabolic Imaging services are provided in conjunction with UW imaging facilities, many housed in the UW Department of Radiology. Facilities may charge hourly usage fees for scanner time that are independent of any NORC service fees.

  • High Resolution NMR Spectroscopy and Imaging Core (SLU).
  • Bio-Molecular Imaging Core (BMIC-SLU).
  • Diagnostic and Imaging Sciences Center, MR Research Laboratory (UWMC).
  • Integrated Brain Imaging Center (IBIC-UWMC).
  • UW Institute for Translational Health Studies’ (ITHS) Body Composition, Bioenergetics and Exercise Unit (UWMC).

Services and Fees:

Click here for the Energy Balance and Glucose Metabolism Core Service Flyer

Click here for the Energy Balance and Glucose Metabolism Core Service Chargeback Rates

Click here for the Metabolic Imaging Subcore Service Flyer

Click here for the Metabolic Imaging Subcore Service Chargeback Rates

Members of the NORC Energy Balance and Glucose Metabolism Core

Gregory Morton, PhD, Energy Balance and Glucose Metabolism Core Director Dr. Morton is a Research Associate Professor of Medicine at the Diabetes and Obesity Center of Excellence at the University of Washington.  He received his PhD at Deakin University, Australia under the supervision of Dr. Greg Collier, and subsequently completed a post-doctoral research fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Schwartz within the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition at the University of Washington, Seattle.  Dr. Morton is also Director of the Energy Balance and Glucose Metabolism Core of the NIH/NIDDK-funded Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Washington and serves on several local and national committees.

Kayoko Ogimoto, PhD Kayoko completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Exercise Physiology with an integrated minor of Biochemistry, Nutrition and Veterinary Physiology at the Oregon State University. Kayoko works with investigators to streamline the study implementation for the NORC Energy Balance and Glucose Metabolism Core. She oversees the data collection and is responsible for the organization, formatting, processing and biostatistical data analysis of indirect calorimetry and related service for rodents.

Jarrell Nelson Jarrell Nelson joined the lab in 2011 and is a Research Scientist 1.  He completed his B.S. at Washington State University and is responsible for the performance of indirect calorimetry, ambulatory activity, body temperature and running wheel studies.

Members of the NORC Metabolic Imaging Subcore

Donghoon lee
Donghoon Lee, PhD

Research Associate Professor

PhD, Brown University

Donghoon is responsible for assisting NORC investigators with in vivo MRI on a 14T MR scanner.