New laboratory space enables enhanced nutrition research

The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition has a new, remodeled space for research.

Michael Pagliassotti, department head since 2013, discussed the opening of the new Food and Nutrition Clinical Research Laboratory, housed in the Gifford Building.

As the department continued to grow, it became necessary to search for ways to increase clinical research lab space. Through the Office of the Vice President for Research Institutional Research Facilities Improvements – Planning for the Future program, the department was awarded funding to renovate almost 1400 sq. ft. of current lab space.

Remodeled space

Room with a hospital bed and medical technology.
The renovated FCNRL Client Study Room.

“We decided to take advantage of a small laboratory that Professor Chris Melby has used in previous years for human studies,” explained Pagliassotti. The original lab consisted of one large reception and study area with one small room that housed a bed for use in human studies. In the new space, several adjoining rooms in the Gifford Building were used to increase the space. The lab space was expanded from ~300 sq. ft. to ~1387 sq. ft.

In years past, space for conducting clinical/human research related to foods, nutrition and health has been severely limited. The new FNCRL will result in a lab that will be able to accommodate large-scale, multidisciplinary clinical/human studies focused on food, nutrition, and health. The facility will include areas for subject reception; subject screening and pre-study analysis; dietary and appetite/satiety assessment and counseling; clinical studies; medical examinations; sample collection; processing and analysis; and data management.

The primary goal for the new lab is to provide the necessary space to conduct high-quality, multidisciplinary and transformative research. Towards this end, the new space now houses two subject study rooms, with hospital beds generously donated by Kevin Unger, President/CEO UCHealth North Region.

A place to grow

Room with desks and waiting chairs.
The new FCNRL main room.

“We hope in the future we can build the laboratory into a University focus for multidisciplinary studies that involve food,” said Pagliassotti, “We think this space will enhance research throughout the department and University.”

Assistant Professor Sarah Johnson, Associate Professor Tiffany Weir, and Program Assistant Zara Hopkins put in a large amount of work to finish the proposal, develop the lab, and work with facilities during the remodel. “Everyone did a tremendous job and we owe them a big debt of gratitude,” said Pagliassotti.

The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.