Research

The Center for Pediatric Obesity Medicine (CPOM) is driven to discover new knowledge to improve the health outcomes of children and teens who struggle with extra weight. This quest includes for example, uncovering the biological, psychological, and environmental causes of abnormal weight gain and testing new treatments for the management of obesity and obesity-related conditions like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or depression.

Research Opportunities for Youth MRT Research - Patient Intake

  • We are looking for kids and teens who want to participate in research studies to test ways to improve their health and weight status.
  • All study visits occur at the University of Minnesota campus.
  • Free parking is available.
  • All study procedures and supplies are free.
  • Receive compensation for study visits.
  • Call or email for more information and to see if you qualify.

Current Research Studies

Gopher Kids Liver Study

Gopher Kids Liver Study

Logo with Goldy GopherTeens 12-17 years old
Involves 6 visits over 6 months
Teens who have fatty liver disease
Daily pill to see if it improves fatty liver and helps with weight loss

Contact: Patti Laqua 612-624-2151 or laqua001@umn.edu

STEP TEENS Study

STEP TEENS Study

STEP teens logoTeens 12-17 years old
Involves 17 in-person and 14 phone visits over approximately 20 months
Once weekly injection to see if it helps teens lose weight

Contact: Nina Jacobs 612-624-3137 or njacobs@umn.edu

Meal Replacement Study

Meal Replacement Study

meal replacement logoTeens 13-17 years old
Involves 9 visits over 18 months
Replaces usual meals with pre-portioned, calorie-balanced meals from Healthy for Life Meals at no cost

Contact: Nina Jacobs 612-624-3137 or njacobs@umn.edu

Self-Weighing Study

Self-Weighing Study

self-weighing logoTeens 12-17 years old
Involves 1 phone call with a study coordinator
Teens weigh themselves at home with an electronic scale and answer questions about the experience

Contact: Nina Jacobs 612-624-3137 or njacobs@umn.edu

SMART

SMART

SMART logoTeens 12-17 years old
Involves 13 in-person and 7 phone visits over 18 months
Identifying what will work best for each individual, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. All teens receive behavioral lifestyle therapy, some may receive medication

Contact: CPOM 612-626-2349 or cpom@umn.edu

Heart of Gold Study

Heart of Gold Study

Heart of Gold logoTeens 14-20 years old
Involves 1 visit lasting 4-5 hours
Looks at heart structure and function at rest and while exercising using an MRI and stationary exercise bike

Contact: Lucas Simmons 612-624-2139 or simmo377@umn.edu

Brainiac Study

Brainiac Study

Brainiac logoTeens 13-17 years old
Involves 1 visit lasting 1-2 hours
Help find the relationship between weight and brain function through a series of questionnaires and tests on an iPad.

Contact: Lucas Simmons 612-624-2139 or simmo377@umn.edu

The most up-to-date and comprehensive place to find a description of clinical trials available in the US for those living with obesity is on ClinicalTrials.gov, as required by U.S. Law.

Center Research Cores and Services

The center utilizes a variety of research techniques to better investigate the origins and therapies for pediatric obesity. CPOM has the following equipment and assessment capabilities:

Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Assessment Core
  • Vascular structure and function assessment
Body Composition, Metabolism and Phlebotomy Core
  • Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA)
  • Pediatric phlebotomy services
  • Standardized meal testing
  • Energy expenditure assessment (metabolic cart)
Tissue Biorepository
  • Sample storage (-80 C freezers)
  • Sample tracking