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The goal of the UAB NORC Behavioral Science and Analytics Core is to foster collaborations and enhance productivity of investigators using behavioral science theories, constructs, and procedures for the design and delivery of clinical interventions for nutrition and obesity and the use of innovative clinical trial designs for intervention evaluation.


Intervention Development: To support the development and delivery of behavioral and other clinical interventions for nutrition- and obesity-related conditions. We will guide investigators in the selection of theoretically grounded and empirically informed interventions; assist with decisions related to intervention dose, modality, and content; and offer resources and staff to deliver selected interventions.

Study Design and Assessments: To support the selection and implementation of study designs to evaluate behavioral constructs and outcomes in nutrition/obesity research. We will provide consultation and support in developing obesity-related behavioral studies and assist with the selection of study design, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods; sample size estimation; and choice of behavioral assessments using quantitative and qualitative methods.

Data Capture and Data Management: To provide electronic data capture and data management support for nutrition/obesity studies. We will assist in implementing data-capture systems for trials and observational studies, which would include setting up electronic case report forms, integrated implementation of randomization techniques including minimization, and integration of wearable and remote data-collection technologies such as integrated voice response and text message for remote collection of behavioral data.

Data Analysis: To provide data analysis consultation and support for behavioral studies related to nutrition/obesity. We will provide consultation and support for a wide variety of techniques to analyze behavioral intervention and observational data. These will involve application of statistical techniques including Bayesian modeling, data mining, and machine learning to examine trial and observational study data, as well as qualitative analysis (e.g., organizing focus group/interview data using NVivo conducting thematic content analysis).


The Behavioral Science and Analytics core assigns the highest priority of use to nutrition/obesity-related, peer-reviewed, federally funded research and NORC-approved pilot/feasibility studies. The Cores uses a flexible charge back policy when assisting NORC pilot and feasibility grantees to substantiate extramural research grant applications. Usually, the investigators will be asked to cover as much of the routine charges as possible; however, because funding may not be in hand to fully support the acquisition of preliminary data, the Core will absorb these costs in part if fiscally feasible. The Core will also provide an estimate of the support effort required to accomplish so that the level of support can be properly budgeted.


Tapan Mehta, Ph.D.

Family & Community Medicine
School of Medicine

Gareth Dutton, PhD

Preventive Medicine
School of Medicine

Dori Pekmezi, PhD

Health Behavior
School of Public Health

Nengjun Yi, PhD

School of Public Health



Tapan Mehta, Ph.D.
Family & Community Medicine , School of Medicine
Phone: (205) 975-9171
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gareth R. Dutton, Ph.D.
Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive Medicine
Phone: (205) 934-6876
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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