Clinical Investigation Unit

Université Laval, Québec, Québec
What the facility does

Human nutrition clinical studies

Areas of expertise

The Clinical Investigation Unit is a one-of-a-kind infrastructure in Canada used for clinical and epidemiological studies in nutrition and health. The unit has state-of-the-art medical, scientific and computer equipment for all steps of a human nutrition clinical study. The unit also has a sampling room, two anthropometry rooms, a metabolic kitchen, a dining room and eight interview or assessment rooms. The unit is one of the largest infrastructures of its kind in the country, meaning it can carry out several research projects at one time.

Research services
  • Clinical study design (multicentered, double blind, randomized, parallel, or other),
  • Preparation of test plans,
  • Recruitment of participants,
  • Clinical and biological monitoring,
  • Site coordination for multicentered studies,
  • Statistical support,
  • Preparation of final reports and scientific articles,
  • Regulatory affairs (ethical approval or submission to Health Canada)
Sectors of application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment

Specialized lab



Clinical Investigation Unit

Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) ,bone densitometer; GE Lunar Prodigy Advance

Measures bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition (body fatness and lean body mass)


Indirect calorimeter (MOXUS Modular Metabolic System), AEI Technologies

Measures energy spent when resting or during activity


EndoPat 2000, Itamar Medical Ltd. and Rapid Cuff Inflator, Hokanson

Measures endothelium function


Nutritional analysis software (NDSR, R24W)

Analysis of dietary intake (24-hour web recalls, food records), creation and nutritional analysis (recipes, menus, experimental diets)


Web-based functional application nutrition platform (FANI)

Web platform used to collect nutritional study data from research tools and self-completed questionnaires.


Computer equipment:

20 computers

Available for digitally managing the questionnaires administered during clinical research projects

Eight interview or/ assessment rooms Eight Mac computers (one per room) Includes a medical consultation room with an examining table and a family consultation room
Sampling room Six laptops and six iPads For volunteers to complete the questionnaires during blood sampling
  Room with a total area of 167 m2 Includes two anthropometry rooms, one short-stay room and a bone densitometry room
  Eight sampling chairs  


Eight OMRON digital blood pressure monitors


  Impedance scale (Tanita)  
  Defibrillator (Zoll Medical AED Plus)  

Metabolic kitchen

Kitchen with an area of 109 m2

Used to prepare food consumed by research volunteers during controlled or semi-controlled nutrition intervention studies

Dining room

Room separate from the metabolic kitchen with an area of 68 m2 and seats for 24 people

Used for controlled or semi-controlled nutrition intervention studies. Food is consumed by research volunteers on site to control dietary intake and compliance.