Energy Balance Core

The Energy Balance Core provides Affiliate Investigators with a comprehensive, state-of-the-art resource for measuring energy balance and body composition in rodent models, and for applying sophisticated neuroscience techniques to nutrition- and obesity- related research. 



Director:  Gregory J. Morton, PhD
Research Associate Professor
Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition
University of Washington

Associate Director: Joshua Thaler, MD, PhD
Associate Professor
Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition
University of Washington


i) Indirect calorimetry and related services for rodents:


  • Total energy expenditure by indirect calorimetry under temperature- and humidity-controlled conditions
  • Locomotor activity
  • Respiratory quotient
  • Running wheel activity

EBGM Energy balance
  • Continuous measures of total daily food and water intake 
  • Meal pattern analysis
  • Pair-feeding
  • Food preferences
  • Activate and/or inhibit neurons


  • Behavior monitoring

Biostatistical Data pic EBGM
  • Temperature- and humidity-controlled chambers (4°C- 30°C)
  • Continuous body temperature monitoring 
  • Thermal conductance measures

ii) 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).

iii) 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

Services and Fees:

Click here for the Energy Balance Core Service Flyer

Click here for the Energy Balance Core Service Chargeback Rates

Members of the NORC Energy Balance Core

Gregory Morton, PhD, Energy Balance Core Director Dr. Morton is a Research Associate Professor of Medicine at the Diabetes Institute 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 Core of the NIH/NIDDK-funded Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Washington and serves on several local and national committees.

Joshua Thaler, MD, PhD Dr. Thaler is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Diabetes Institute at the University of Washington and the Associate Director of the Energy Balance Core. He graduated with a major in Biochemistry from Harvard College (Magna Cum Laude with Highest Honors, and on the Dean’s List), then obtained an MD and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, San Diego and the Salk Institute (where he was a Chapman Scholar and a Lucille P. Markey Fellow). He short-tracked through the Internal Medicine residency program at UW and was an endocrinology/metabolism fellow, working in Dr. Michael Schwartz’s laboratory.

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 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.