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A number of different units at Duke present particularly natural connections for the investigators, as well as mentoring opportunities for the post-doctoral researchers, recipients of Center grants and fellowships, graduate and undergraduate students involved with the center. For example, the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences is a premier institution for research and training in the neurological foundations of decision-making. Duke is particularly strong in the medical treatment of obesity and obesity related health conditions, from the Duke Childhood Obesity Clinic to the Duke Diet and Fitness Center. The Duke Center for the Study of Adolescent Risk and Resilience is a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded research center, which focuses on self-regulation and addictive behaviors including eating. The Duke Global Health Institute focuses on reducing health disparities including complex health problems including obesity.

At UNC, the Nutrition Department within the Gillings School of Global Public Health are both ranked first in the nation within their respective domains. The Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP), directed by Ammerman, was one of the first 3 Prevention Research Centers (PRCs) funded by the CDC in what is now a national network of 26 Centers including academic, community, and public health partners that conduct applied public health research. HPDP has a strong focus on addressing food insecurity and healthy food access through a variety of innovative approaches coordinated with federal food benefits programs.

Collectively, our Duke-UNC partnership provides a blend of expertise in field experiments, Big Data analytic skills and dataset access, with “boots on the ground” applied public health research capabilities and community connections.