New metabolic kitchen provides resource for campus researchers

AHS Metabolic Kitchen

The Metabolic Kitchen is in the basement of the Applied Health Sciences Building. (Photo: Elizabeth Monge)

The College of Applied Health Sciences is home to a new resource on campus for faculty and staff whose research requires study participants to follow a tightly controlled diet.

The Metabolic Kitchen, which is located in the basement of the Applied Health Sciences Building (AHSB) at 1919 W. Taylor St., is a professional-quality facility staffed by professional chefs and registered dietitians.

The staff of the kitchen will design, prepare and package meals according to a researcher’s protocol, then deliver the meals to the study’s coordinator for further distribution to research participants.

UIC’s Krista Varady, associate professor of nutrition and kinesiology, is overseeing the kitchen’s operation.

“It’s a much-needed resource on campus,” said Varady, who has experience running feeding trials for her own research on intermittent fasting diets and collaborating with other researchers to design feeding trials.

“In the past, it was difficult to run feeding trials. We had to use whatever kitchen we could find on campus,” she said.

Renea Solis, a UIC instructor, AHS alumna and a graduate of the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, consulted on the design of the 900-square-foot kitchen, which has two ovens, a walk-in refrigerator, industrial-sized freezers and plenty of counter space.

“I hope the facility will be a resource for multidisciplinary collaborations among campus researchers,” Varady said.

Researchers on campus who want to learn more about the Metabolic Kitchen can contact Varady at varady@uic.edu.