Obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes are major health problems in West Virginia and consequently, the WVU Health Sciences Center, the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the School of Medicine are committed to investment to tackle these health issues and improve the lives of West Virginians. As part of an initiative to address these issues, the institution is investing in the basic sciences to support efforts to elucidate underlying mechanisms regulating metabolism, which will have a broader impact in understanding obesity, metabolic syndrome and/or diabetes. The Department of Biochemistry has recruited into the area of metabolism, has plans to continue recruiting in this area, and has fostered research success in metabolism. The institution is establishing a critical mass in the area of metabolism and has invested in infrastructure to support research in metabolism. We anticipate that the culmination of these efforts will strengthen research productivity in this area of emphasis, provide new insight into mechanisms regulating metabolism and potentially impact the health of West Virginians.