The North Carolina Research Campus

Researchers at the North Carolina Research Campus’ (NCRC) Human Performance Laboratory, located at the Appalachian State University Human Performance Laboratory, are using collaboration to advance the understanding of the link between exercise, nutrition and overall health. The Human Performance Laboratory is nationally recognized for producing groundbreaking scientific discoveries in the area of nutrition and exercise immunology. Led by Dr. David Neiman, this research center brings together experts from other universities, corporate partners, and community participants to conduct studies on the effects of food products and nutrition on human performance.

TRANSCRIPT OF “Fostering collaboration”

David Neiman: I got into marathon running back in the 70s just because it was like a worldwide movement. I’ve run 58 marathons and ultra-marathons. After a race, people would get sick. You can take a good thing and it can turn around and hurt you if you push it too far. So, when that happened to me, I decided to dedicate my research career to looking at the relationship of exercise and its effects on the immune system.

The North Carolina Research Campus is a conglomerate of several universities all working together on one theme: nutrition. The key word at the NCRC is ‘collaboration.’ I have collaborated widely with these experts and these other universities, and we have actually attracted funding from 29 different companies; both Pepsi and Coca-Cola, Gatorade, Dole Foods, the American Pistachio Growers, Under Armour. They sponsor the types of studies we do – exercise, nutrition, the effects on the immune system.

The industry wins in testing the efficacy of their products. Academicians win by publishing good papers. All of our studies have some real-world end goal. Through collaborative research, we can produce some novel data that can help us get published in some good journals and, in the end, advance public health.

David Nieman, DrPH, FACSM
Director, Appalachian State University Performance Laboratory