The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has a chance to play a major role in the battle against obesity.
The National Institutes of Health awarded UNL with an $11.3 million grant to do research on obesity. Project leaders say the goal is to look at the issue at a molecular and microscopic level, examining how changes in nutrition can affect the body's processes.
Project director Dr. Janos Zempleni says he's been studying the disease for several years. Obesity affects more than one-third of the U.S. population.
"There's almost a mandate to put our resources and our ideas into an area where there's an oppressive need to move research forward," Zempleni said.
The grant will fund five separate UNL labs, each conducting different forms of research on the topic. Researchers say the long-term goal is for UNL to be an international leader in understanding obesity at a molecular level., and to help people make better choices to prevent obesity and related diseases.