Nutrition Support


Benefits for Investigators and Collaboration


This modern state-of-the-art dietary kitchen is available for the preparation of food for inpatients, outpatient, and pack out meals. The specialized kitchen ensures precise conditions during food preparation so that research can later determine the nutrients consumed by research volunteers. 


The MRU kitchen provides nutrition support for all MRU study protocols which includes the following: 

Kitchen and Dietetic Support

MRU kitchen staff, which includes a research dietitian and a research diet technician, provide controlled dietary regimens that can provide specific foods/nutrients or eliminates specific foods/nutrients depending on study requirements for resident and non-resident research studies 

The dietitian meets with the PI and /or coordinator prior to scheduling subjects to determine the scope and meal needs of a study. The research dietitian can calculate and develop weighed and controlled research meals within the parameters of the study for both inpatient and outpatient study participants and meal pack-out studies. A diet technician prepares and weighs meals for eating in-house or as pack-outs.

  • The MRU kitchen can prepare multiple day pack-outs that can be sent out by courier. The study coordinator schedules the deliveries with the courier and the MRU kitchen staff. Packout meals are charged based on supplies, labor and amount and type of meals and snacks. 
  • Inpatient and outpatient in house regular meals are provided to research participants, and parent or guardian. 
  • The MRU has a dining room used for participant and parent/guardian meals. 
  • The MRU kitchen and dining room support the Eating Laboratory for additional nutrition research on a case-by-case basis with specific permission.

Nutrition Data Analysis for Research

The research dietitian also does subject food record analysis and 24-hour recalls using Nutrition Data Analysis for Research from the University of Minnesota. The dietitian uses NDSR for weighed meal calculations. NDSR provides a variety of nutrition analysis reports and has an extensive nutrient list. 


Access Questions


For scientific inquiries on the use of core services and grant applications, contact the MRU Director Dr. Fida Bacha, M.D. or Administrative Assistant Lizzet Vasquez; phone 713-798-7083.

Projects requesting the use of the MRU or EMU services must be routed through the CNRC administrative office for cost estimates. Contact Regina Davis.