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The Pediatric Metabolic Research Program is located in the OU Children's Physicians Building, on the fourth floor. In addition to the Program, this space houses the Pediatric Diabetes/Endocrinology clinics and academic offices.  Our facilities are well-suited for a broad range of metabolic research, and we are open to the use of our facilities for collaborative or independent research.  For more information, please contact  Sharon Silliman.  See below for highlights from our facilities.


Body Composition

We are one of the few research centers that can analyze body composition across the lifespan.  This is accomplished using the air displacement plethysmography (PEA POD, TOD POD, and BOD POD) or dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (GE Lunar iDXA).  In addition to measuring total body composition, these devices can assess regional composition and bone mineral status.  Mobile measurements can also be made using the Tanita bioelectrical impedence analyzer.


Energy Expenditure

A MedGraphics Ultima CardiO2 metabolic cart is available for performing exercise stress tests and for measuring energy expenditure during exercise. This system includes an ECG and breath-by-breath gas exchange for indirect calorimetry measurements. Testing can utilize a treadmill (Trackmaster 425), an electromagnetically braked bicycle (Lode Corival), or other modes of physical activity.

 A canopy flow system (Parvo Medics) with gas mixing chamber is available for dedicated resting energy expenditure measurements. Subjects rest quietly during these measurements.

Free-living energy expenditure measurements will soon be available using the doubly-labeled water method. A small dose of water labeled with non-radioactive forms of hydrogen (2H) and oxygen (18O) are given orally and urine collections are obtained regularly for up to 2 weeks thereafter. The rate at which the labeled hydrogen and oxygen appear in the urine is used to calculate the total energy expenditure during the measurement period. The measurements are performed using an isotope ratio-mass spectrometer (ThermoElectron Delta V).


Physical Activity Monitoring

We currently use the StepWatch (Cyma Corporation) to monitor physical activity patterns in either the laboratory or free-living situations. The StepWatch is a small accelerometer worn above the ankle. It can record step frequency in 3-60 second intervals for several days at a time.


Peripheral Vascular Integrity

Small and large artery elasticity is determined non-invasively using pulsewave analysis (HDI analyzer).  Vascular endothelial cell function (post-occlusive dilation) is assessed using the Endo Pat System.


Exercise Training Facility

Our primary exercise training center is a 750 sq ft. room that contains 6 Precor treadmills, 2 Lode Corival bikes, a Precor Multigym for weight training, and dumbbells for free weight training. A separate 360 sq ft room is available for children's play or group activities. Locker rooms with shower facilities are located adjacent to the main exercise room.



Dedicated laboratory space includes facilities for processing of blood samples, tissue culture, and other laboratory procedures.  A range of services are available, such as measurement of serum insulin, c-peptide, and glucose concentrations.