Contact Information

Primary Contact

Kong Chen


10 Center Drive
Rm 6-3952
Bethesda, MD 20852


The Metabolic Clinical Research Unit (MCRU) opened in 2007 as a key component of the Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research . The NIDDK worked closely with the Clinical Center to design the Unit, which houses state-of-the-art facilities and equipment for a wide range of metabolic clinical research studies. The MCRU brings together experts in a wide range of fields including metabolism, endocrinology, nutrition, cardiovascular biology, gastroenterology, hepatology, genetics, and behavioral sciences. It supports protocols designed by researchers from across all NIH institutes investigating the factors that contribute to weight gain, obesity, and associated diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even certain types of cancer.

Established Technologies

  • Body Composition
  • DXA (450-lb capacity)
  • Bod Pod
  • Bioelectical Impedance (single and multi-frequency)
  • Stable isotopes
  • Physical Activity and Fitness Assessments
  • Exercise testing lab
  • Accelerometers
  • Continuous heart rate and blood pressure
  • Dietary
  • Metabolic kitchen
  • Computerized vending machines
  • Food preference/array
  • Whole-body Energy Metabolism
  • Three whole-room indirect calorimetry suites
  • Metabolic carts
  • Doubly-labeled water
  • Nursing (inpatient and outpatient)