Center for AIDS Research (CFAR):  Nutrition, Metabolism and GI Core

The Nutrition/Infection Unit is home to the Lifespan/Tufts/Brown CFAR Nutrition, Metabolism and GI Core.  This Core has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1998.  It provides services for investigators studying nutritional and metabolic aspects of HIV infection and treatment.   The Core Director is Dr. Christine Wanke.  Dr. Tamsin Knox is the Co-Director of the Core.

To discuss using Core services, please contact Dr. Tamsin Knox at:  617-636-3811 or by e-mail at:

To learn more about the Lifespan/Tufts/Brown CFAR, please visit our website at:


Please remember to cite the CFAR grant in your publications and presentations:

Supported by the Lifespan/Tufts/Brown Center for AIDS Research (P30 AI042853).

Current Services Offered by the Nutrition, Metabolism, GI Core


Specific Services

Nutritional survey instruments

3-day food records; Food frequency questionnaires; 24-hour (telephone) recall; ACASI (audio computer assisted self-interview) with direct data entry or interviewer assisted entry; Food security/insecurity

Nutritional services for international studies

Recipes and nutritional values of common foods in international database; On-going studies in India, Vietnam, Kenya, Argentina; Food security in countries with reduced resources; Spanish competence for all nutritional materials

Nutritional status measurements

Anthropometrics;  Bioelectric impedance (BIA); DXA with body composition and bone density;  Cross-sectional imaging for visceral fat; MR spectroscopy for liver and muscle metabolism

Analysis of nutritional data

Custom data entry and analysis; Minnesota Database (all system updates); Nutritional data analysis for international studies; Database for India, Vietnam, Kenya, Argentina; Glycemic indices of common foods; Cluster analysis of complex dietary data

Nutritional laboratory measurements

Micronutrients – zinc, selenium, retinol, etc.;


Lipid measurements, lipid subpopulations; Inflammatory markers, Hs-CRP; lipopolysaccharide (LPS)

Surrogate markers of CVD: Carotid intimal thickness, brachial artery responsiveness, coronary calcium scanning

Insulin resistance measurements – glucose tolerance tests, FS-IV GTT, insulin clamp studies, fructosamine

Neurocognitive functioning

Depression; Memory, executive function, mini-mental status exam


Plasma levels of NRTIs, PIs, NNRTIs; Probe studies for cytochrome function

GI and liver function

Lactulose/mannitol testing, D-xylose absorption, Stool examinations; Liver function assessment, Viral hepatitis serology and viral loads; Fibrosis markers; Assessment of fatty liver;  Quantitative bacteriology; Intestinal microbiota and systemic evidence of bacterial translocation including LPS

Investigational and regulatory support

IND packet preparation; Regulatory documents for clinic studies; DSMB; International studies

Access to data and specimens

Nutritional database; Samples from cohort and interventional studies with over 175,000 specimens available

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