Energy Balance Core

Owing to its high prevalence, its association with highly co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, and a dearth of effective therapeutic options, obesity is among the most serious public health concerns. To facilitate the development of new therapeutic strategies, research that advances our knowledge of fundamental aspects of energy homeostasis, nutritional science, and obesity pathogenesis is needed. In this capacity, rodents serve as excellent models of metabolic physiology, allowing combinations of genetic manipulations and pharmacological interventions to interrogate fundamental biological processes. To assist with the phenotypic analysis of these animal models, the Energy Balance (EB) Core of the UW NORC has provided high quality, state-of-the-art physiological measurements to the UW community for >15 years (2000-2017), services that promote the rigorous conduct of studies within our UW NORC scientific theme of Energy Balance and Obesity Pathogenesis.

EB Core Services:

Energy Homeostasis
Indirect calorimetry and related services for both mouse and rats:
• 16 cage temperature and humidity-controlled indirect calorimetry system
• Energy expenditure
• Fuel utilization
• Locomotor activity
• Continuous measures of food and water intake
• Meal pattern analysis
• Food preferences
• Continuous body temperature monitoring
• Running wheel activity

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)

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.

Glucose Homeostasis
• Insulin tolerance test
• Glucose tolerance test
• For euglycemic glucose clamp studies, please contact the UW Diabetes Research Center Cell Functional and Analysis Core (

• Temperature controlled chambers (4°C – 34°C) for cold or heat challenges.
• Body temperature monitoring
• Tail temperature
• Thermal conductance (heat dissipation)

Video Monitoring
• Continuous recording for behavioral analysis
• Night vision

Metabolic Analysis
• ELISA/EIA (glucose, insulin, NEFA, corticosterone, glucagon)
• For specific analytes, please contact the UW Diabetes Research Center Analytical SubCore (


View our current price list for services here

Contact Gregory Morton at


Members of the NORC Energy Balance Core:

Gregory Morton, PhD
Gregory Morton, PhD


Joshua Thaler, MD, PhD
Joshua Thaler, MD, PhD

Associate Director

Caeley Bryan, MS
Caeley Bryan, MS

Research Scientist 1